It's pretty much a universal opinion that job interviews suck. Obviously, being the interviewee is seriously challenging, but even the interviewer has to overcome some hurdles. Basically, job interviews are pretty uncomfortable for all parties involved, for the most part. But, some new research seems to prove that interviews can actually be more demanding on women than men (as I write this, rest assured that women everywhere are rolling their eyes and feigning shock). But in all seriousness, a new report proves that there's one interview question that hurts female job applicants more than men, and when you hear it, it might make you even more frustrated.
So, what's the question? It's definitely one of the most dreaded moments during job interviews. You know it. You're sitting down, after having finally gotten comfortable. You're feeling calm, cool, and collected. You're crushing this interview. And then, they ask it: "Can you tell me about your previous salary?" Or something to that effect. And you freeze. For some reason, that question just feels so much more personal than all the others. Maybe you're afraid that if you're honest, they won't pay you as much as they would a man in the same position.
Well, you're not too far off with that assumption, unfortunately. While women who open up about their salary history still tend to make less than male counterparts, per Fortune:
Women who refuse to disclose what they make generally earn 1.8% less than women who do give up the details. If a man refuses to disclose his current salary, however, he gets paid 1.2% more.
Yeah, you read that right. It's really no secret that sexism is still alive and well in today's society, but this latest piece of information is nonetheless disheartening. Not only do women average only 90 cents for every dollar a man earns, but there is now proof that female job applicants are judged more harshly than their male counterparts.
This news is also discouraging considering that women typically are advised not to answer questions about their previous salary. Because women usually earn less than men, telling job interviewers what they make could mean their new salary is significantly lower than what they truly deserve.
So, what can women do? Experts recommend taking charge of the conversation, as soon as salary is brought up. Be prepared, by researching what typical salaries are for the position you're applying to, and steer the conversation in that direction. Of course, it's completely okay to tell the interviewers that you'd rather not discuss the question, but as this latest research shows, that might have some negative drawbacks.
Being a woman is expensive, and now it seems that, even when they follow financial advice, they still lose.