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The Interview Question That Employers Should Stop Asking

A recent survey found that 53 percent of people think employers should not be asking this traditional interview question.
The Interview Question That Employers Should Stop Asking
Image credit: Shutterstock

During the interview process, the conversation of salary is unavoidable. But is it invasive for employers to ask candidates what their current salary is? Most Americans think so.

In a recent survey by job search website Glassdoor, more than half of the 1,329 respondents, made up of U.S. workers 18 and older, said they do not think employers should ask candidates about their current and past pay. In fact, some people and organizations believe that the traditional interview question can lead to pay inequality practices within companies.

Related: 11 Interview Questions That Trip Everyone Up

While it’s been a mission for many today to fix the gender pay gap, it still has ways to go. Overall, more women (60 percent) than men (48 percent) believe that the question about current and past salaries should not be asked because they think it will determine starting pay salaries. And according to Glassdoor Economic Research, on average women in the U.S. earn 76 cents for every $1 that American men make. On top of the pay gap, women also do not negotiate pay as often as their male counterparts -- in fact, 68 percent of women do not negotiate pay compared to 52 percent of men.

“Asking prior salary history questions can trigger unintended consequences and introduce bias into the hiring process that disadvantages women from day one,” Dawn Lyon, Glassdoor’s SVP of global corporate affairs, said in a press release.

Related: 3 Important Tactics for Job Interviews

However, the study goes beyond gender pay gap, further uncovering the preferences of job applicants when it comes to the onboarding process. Almost every person surveyed (98 percent) agreed that it would be helpful to see actual pay ranges in job listings. Because when it comes to jobs, a major part is about the money -- in fact, a majority of survey takers (55 percent) would be willing to work for a company with a subpar reputation if it paid more than one with a good reputation.