One question that always comes back to me when looking for a new job is why should I take a pay cut?
Changing employment can be challenging. But in some cases, people have started to let their fears guide them. They would take the first job because their current working conditions are not ideal anymore.
While being in the process of looking for a new job, marketing your skills are essential. When you are contacted by a company for an initial interview you need to do your homework. Find out by searching the net what the company is doing but also you can find how much they pay their employees. There are some websites that also will anonymously provide feedback from previous or current employees.
During the initial interview process the focus is on making sure to go to the next step of the process by being interviewed by the hiring manager. As a rule of thumb money should not be discussed, instead the focus should be on the position itself and the company. If, however, this does happen, the HR person could ask you for the salary you are looking for. Giving them a range is always best while stating at the end it can be negotiated.
If you are being called for a second interview, be prepared with a list of questions from company core values to what the hiring manager likes the most about the company as well as what he/she would like to change in the company, can give you an idea of what exactly the company is all about. Ask specific questions about the tasks the job requires as well. Even if you know what you are supposed to do, it shows you are interested in the position.
When it comes down to money you should be prepared to negotiate not with HR but directly with the hiring manager after you have been interviewed and the offer letter has been sent to you. If the salary is below your current salary you can breakdown what skills you are bringing to the company as well as why you are asking for more. By appealing to the hiring manager directly you can see if they are willing to pay a fair salary.
If they are refusing to do it, it is a sign the company is not paying their employees fairly but also, there could be more issues you will discover only when you start working there.
I have seen too many companies that will not paid their employees a fair salary while smaller companies with less income would.
You should never cut your currently salary to go somewhere else. You should have at least a ten percent raise when you are starting at a new position.