Salary is always a slightly weird if not uncomfortable topic to talk about during HR interviews at least for me. What should I say, would it be so much that I might be taken as a R-tard, or so less that I might be laughed at. Well believe it or not, very few folks know how much they should get paid depending on their experience, location, interview performance and other factors. When I was a fresher, it was pretty much a category in which all of us were put in when hired by a big firm. Everyone had the same amount on their paychecks. But as experience level rises, we get smarter and bolder (at least that is how it is supposed to be), we start thinking about our salary more seriously. I am yet to find a tool/website which would honestly provide a figure that would be very close to what I can ask for in an offer. Services like PayScale, Salary.com seem to be bullshitting us for quite long. Every time I checked my worth on these sites with my experience and other factors, I used to get a figure way less than my colleagues were getting. May be that could be a business tactics used by these services to entice us in getting their paid service to provide more information and get a better salary figure.
Recently a famous job site in India Naukri.com launched a service called PayCheck. This service basically gives a graphical representation of where you stand among other people with similar profile as yours. A little bit of digging into this and you would realize that the data these guys are using is from the salaries reported by active profiles on Naukri.com. The problem here? Well, if we are talking about folks who have their current salary on Naukri, and are actively searching for new openings, there is a high probability that the salary they have posted is less than what they expect. Using such figures for calculating our expected salary seems a little dubious. Nevertheless, not all are searching for just a better pay, so there is some amount of good data which has helped in this analysis. I wish Naukri ties up with some kind of parallel service wherein they allow anonymous users to post their salaries alongside the companies and their satisfaction rates, something on the lines of Glassdoor, mouthshut etc. This way we really have a better dataset to calculate our expected salary.