Nailing a job interview often comes down to how well you prepare. It's not always the most qualified candidate who gets the job. It's often the person who offers up the best answers. (Unless you're interviewing at this company with a completely different hiring approach. Then you need much more than good answers.)

Still, there are questions even smooth-talking narcissists have trouble dodging. Sometimes it comes down to cold, hard facts. Ones you don't particularly want to share because it could hurt your future earning potential.

When talk about salary starts, so does the flop sweat. Especially when the HR person, recruiter or the person who could be your boss asks the dreaded salary history question. "How much do you make at your current job?"

The glaring problems with this question are so obvious -- so much so that some states are making it illegal to ask. It gives the interviewer the upper hand and offers them insight into something that isn't really any of their business.

Tough luck if you don't live in one of those states. So here's how to approach this question in the most graceful way possible.

Flat out refusal could bite you later

Money Magazine recently spoke to a few career coaches to get their take on how to best handle this awkward situation. Two recommended dodging the question entirely, either by flat out saying you wouldn't answer it or replying with a question of your own. On paper, sounds great. Negotiating rule number one is to get the other person to talk first. Instead of saying a number, you redirect the conversation and ask the interviewer what they think a fair salary for the job is.

In reality, I don't see either approach working well. What's more, refusing to answer could hurt your future salary if you're a woman.

"A woman who is asked about her salary history and declines to disclose earns 1.8 percent less than a woman who discloses," PayScale data found. "If a man declines to disclose, he gets paid 1.2 percent more on average."

Tell the truth and then some

Melissa Llarena, CEO of Career Outcomes Matter, told Money Magazine to simply tell the truth. But give your interviewer more to work with. Give them good reasons to pay you more. In your response, include why you feel you should earn more in this position and the other benefits you hope to gain from this company.

"My current salary is $X amount. But I don't feel I am it accurately represents the value I can bring to your company. The market range for this type of position is $X amount."

Of course, that entails doing your homework. You need to know the market, the job duties and the company well enough that you have a number or a range going into the interview. You also need to come prepared to the interview with examples of career successes that back up your rationale to earn higher, more desirable salary.

You can also try to guide the conversation towards other non-monetary perks. Ask about what else the company offers, such as benefits, time off, flexible working policies and childcare. Hopefully they won't blab on about any of these lame perks. It could be worth it to you to accept a job with a lower salary if it pays off in other ways. Up to you to decide. Though salary negotiation is somewhat of a game, being a straight shooter can serve you well.