How to answer the question ‘What is your current salary’

The salary issue is a sensitive thing, as much as we may have passion in what we do, who wouldn’t mind a little bit more money? Have you ever been asked this question and contemplated whether to say the truth or not? Or maybe inflate the amount just a little bit?

The question seems simple and straight forward right? Well my good people, the answer is the same.

This question is asked by the interviewer to establish what level of remuneration and even benefits you currently enjoy and see how that compares to the package the company is planning to offer.

Companies have varied salary bands brought about by the ability of the company to pay their employees. A start up cannot be compared to a stable company with over 20 years experience in the same industry. This simply means that although being in the same industry, an accountant in company A may not earn the same as an accountant in company B.

When a company underpays, employees are less productive, eventually look for a better offer and the company ends up incurring cost recruiting for the positions. And when a company overpays, the payroll budget may be too high and profitability will suffer which may even lead to retrenchment. It’s such a tricky balancing act.

I have met  enough candidates in interviews who lie! Read about The Salary Inflator. The reason being one wants to receive a higher package as possible than what they currently earn in the event that they are successful. Dunia ni ndogo (the world is small) and when you lie, one day you might end up getting caught and you will lose your credibility.

If your package is unrealistic, interviewers may ask for your payslip or even ask around from friends in the industry for confirmation. Would you want to get caught in a lie? I don’t think so.

The best and highly recommended way to answer this question is very simple. Tell the truth!


Prepare, do your best and sell yourself in an interview. You can always negotiate an offer once you receive it.



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