I blurted out my salary. Was that a mistake?

During the initial phone interview with a recruiter for a hospital supervisor position,  I made the mistake of telling her what I currently make per hour.  I quickly realized my mistake,  and said “however,  as you know,  my current position is a non-leadership, non-managerial role. At my previous job, as supervisor at xx hospital,  I made much more — much more. ” The recruiter then commented, “I can tell you that you’d be making quite a bit more with this position.  We have a formula we use to calculate your salary based upon your experience,  etc. etc. It would definitely be more. “

I’ve since had a 2nd phone interview with the manager of the department I’m interviewing for.  She seemed impressed and the interview went well,  etc. She said they’d narrowed it down to 3 candidates and that the “Director would make a decision – and that I would hear from them in 2-3 weeks.”

I’m wondering what she meant by the Director “making a decision” (I haven’t interviewed in person), and even more so – I’m wondering – just how severely did I slit my own throat by revealing my current salary?

In this situation, I don’t think you did any damage at all. Can’t be sure, of course, but the recruiter stated pretty clearly that they already have a salary assigned for this job and they have a formula they  use to calculate salary.

Now, assuming that this formula isn’t based on your last salary (which it doesn’t sound like it is) this is how it should be done. The amount of pay for a job should be based on the job and the experience of the person in it–because different experience brings different skills and different benefits. Pay should not depend on your previous pay.

Now, the weird thing is the whole “director would make a decision” and you haven’t even had a face to face interview. Usually, they narrow it down to two or three candidates and then interview all three, and the director (hiring manager) would make the decision after that.

So, I’m not clear on what’s happening with the interview, but it would be strange to get an offer without an interview. Still, I don’t think you made a mistake with the salary thing, and I’m glad you clarified that you were making more in a similar role.

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2 thoughts on “I blurted out my salary. Was that a mistake?

  1. In a hospital environment, they are likely required to have an Affirmative Action Program (what hospital doesn’t get federal funds?), and are subject to OFCCP audits. In that case, “internal equity” will also come into play.

    1. Absolutely. Bigger organizations with defined responsibilities are most likely to have solid salary structures.

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