Host: What if I can't dodge the salary question?
Karen Chopra: If you can't dodge the salary question, be ready with a very broad range of what you have made over the last five or six years, in terms of compensation. So what we're looking for is not what your salary was but what your total compensation was. When you take it back five years ago, and you strip out everything but your base, and you say well in recent years my compensation has ranged from and you start with that low number and then you take your most recent job or your highest paying job and all the bonuses and all the benefits and anything else towards the reimbursement whatever they have tossed on top and you put all that on and you give that as the top of your range.
What you are looking for by giving a range of compensation is the sort of bracket, what it is that they are going to be offering for this position. Full credit for that particular answer goes to John Lucht, who has written a great book on career search called 'Rites of Passage at $100000 to $ 1 Million', and this is his recommendation for how to handle that and I think it's probably the best way. If you just can't dodge the question, give him a range, give him a really big range and hope you bracket it whatever they are offering in the middle of it.