Category Archives: Boneheaded job interview questions

How companies ruin our candidacy: the old “What salary range are you looking for” scam

I don’t know about you but I am seeing a connection between “Name your salary range” and never hearing from the company again.

I never understood that at all — the company does not allude to what the job pays. Not a hint of it…and before you know it, the company is never heard from again.

You know it is not “you.” You get feedback at the interview like “You just described the entire job” and your experience is more than enough for the job… but your chance mysteriously goes up into smoke once you name your salary.

You know you are fully qualified. You know you are smart and talented and you can run circles around the former employee that had the job.

So it isn’t “us.” This is a “THEM” problem again. And how dare you insult OUR collective intelligences by being so secretive and dishonest.

These companies never admit what the salary actually is. I suspect that the pay is far less than what we are asking for — and this is dumb for them, because do they actually think somebody will say “$15 an hour is about what I am asking for”? Do they think somebody will actually name a rock bottom per hour rate??? Who’s crazy here?

If the hiring entity winds up with a collective salary range of low 30s – high 40s (from all candidates when all is said and done) — gee, didn’t you just defeat the purpose of the entire interviewing process, if the salary that is actually available is a great deal less than what we are asking for?

It makes no sense.

The only way to not encounter this nonsense is to see the company name the actual salary when the ad is run. Or for them to say to you straightaway “We are offering X; is that suitable? if not, we will say goodbye right now.” That’s not going to happen, since nobody wants to look cheap.

Sorry, but  your company IS cheap and if you insist on paying somebody a very low nonliveable wage salary, hire a fresh out of high school grad and train the individual on the job.

I for one am sick of it — and I am pretty sure this is what happened to Monday’s job interview. The “what salary range are you looking for?” question was asked, I told them… and it doesn’t look to me like I am in the batch for the second interview.

I am thinking I priced myself out of the market. Well, too bad; I didn’t ask for a gargantuan salary but I didn’t ask for a non livable wage salary, either.

And if you DID give “low to mid 20s” as a salary range, how does it look for you? It looks like 1-you don’t know your value 2-you are clueless or 3- you are rock bottom desperate to get the job.

And there is no guarantee you will get the job.

So how do you WIN?

If you tell them straightaway, “I will work for whatever you are paying, ” you will look weak and desperate. It also does not guarantee that you will get the job.

I think a big tip off to the salaries in the company is to have a look at their benefits. A bunch that is allotting 5 days for vacation and perhaps a small handful of sick days probably isn’t at the top of the heap when it comes to paydays for the employees. Then again…I could be wrong.

Also have a look at the office itself: if it looks shabby and run down, it is not likely competitive pay or livable wage is the order of the day.

It doesn’t look to me like I am in the running for this job, either.   It is now about 1030 pm on Friday and I did not hear from the woman who interviewed me on Monday.

I for one am sick of this kind of question…and you never hear them say “Well, we are offering X” once you give the salary range you are asking for. This is unfair and this is not doing anybody a service, a favor or a courtesy.. This is a blatant waste of our time. And not only that, it is positively wrong behavior.

I am wondering how somebody actually acquires a job like these jobs — who is getting the offer? Do they pick some dummy? Who is getting the offers???

The only way to know for certain what the company is paying: they mention the salary in the copy of the ad or they email you and tell you right away, in their first email to you. This way you can take it or leave it.  As for the rest of the ads, “anything goes”: the salary can be anything from maybe $11 an hour to competitive wage.

Anybody’s thoughts and comments?