Salary can be a sensitive subject, no matter who brings it up first in a job interview. The interviewer who asks, “How much money did you make last year?” gets interviews off to a rocky start, coming across as offensive and just generally setting a negative tone. The interviewer’s trying to cut to the chase and see if you, the candidate, will disqualify yourself, either by asking for too much money, or for so little that they will wonder why you’re willing to settle for a smaller salary — are you damaged goods?
But it does open the door for you to start discussing salary. Get the upper hand by responding to such a question with one of your own:
Well, since you raised that question, let me ask you: what is the salary range for this position?”
By answering a question with a question, you’ve taken back control. Never feel that a job interview must be one-sided, with all the cards on the interviewer’s side and you at his mercy. A good exploratory conversation for both you and the interviewer is beneficial on both sides.