Author Topic: Job Interview - What if salary is lower than hoped-for?  (Read 12773 times)

netskyblue

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Job Interview - What if salary is lower than hoped-for?
« on: March 30, 2015, 04:49:07 PM »
So I applied to a job posting yesterday on a whim.  I say on a whim, because I have the suspicion that this company may not offer a salary in the range I am hoping for.  But, you never know if you don't try, right?  Well they called me today, left a message, they want to interview me.

I did not disclose my salary expectations on the online application form (I put $1).  I currently make $39,500/year.  I am hoping for $50k/year.  The absolute minimum I would take would be $48k/year, and that's only if the benefits are as good as or better than my current company, AND I really feel good about the job after talking to the hiring manager.  I'd prefer to start my negotiation at $55k and have some room.

What should I do if they don't offer close to my range?  I suspect they might only be offering similar to my current pay, or even (heaven forbid!) less.  They're not on glassdoor.com.


I don't want to seem shocked and disappointed by a low offer, even though I won't take it.  I'm so afraid my reaction will come across like "...oh…"  awkward pause.

seattlecyclone

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Re: Job Interview - What if salary is lower than hoped-for?
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2015, 04:51:50 PM »
Simple, just tell them "Sorry, $X is not enough higher than my current compensation to convince me to leave. Can you do better?" You're under no obligation to accept their initial offer, and everything is negotiable. Maybe they'll get back to you with a high enough number, maybe not. You know what your own minimum is. Don't feel bad walking away if they can't meet it.

netskyblue

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Re: Job Interview - What if salary is lower than hoped-for?
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2015, 04:53:07 PM »
Thanks.  I'm kind of just looking for the correct thing to say to avoid looking like a doof.  Maybe they will offer high enough, who knows.

JLee

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Re: Job Interview - What if salary is lower than hoped-for?
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2015, 04:55:59 PM »
You don't have to explain anything to them - you can simply say it's not enough.

Simple, just tell them "Sorry, $X is not enough higher than my current compensation to convince me to leave. Can you do better?" You're under no obligation to accept their initial offer, and everything is negotiable. Maybe they'll get back to you with a high enough number, maybe not. You know what your own minimum is. Don't feel bad walking away if they can't meet it.

Yup! I had two calls from recruiters last week and what they had to offer would have been a pay cut. I politely told them so and now they know what I'm looking for. :)

anon-e-mouse

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Re: Job Interview - What if salary is lower than hoped-for?
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2015, 04:56:58 PM »
The interviewer (if they're doing a decent job) should ask you what your compensation requirements are.
Be honest with what you currently make and have a good answer to why you deserve more.
At the very least, they usually ask if you have any questions for them.

Most open positions have a salary range. 
If the top of their salary range for the position is too low for you, then you are probably looking for the wrong position.
Maybe you're just trying to get your "foot in the door" at this company so it's worth it.

Psychstache

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Re: Job Interview - What if salary is lower than hoped-for?
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2015, 04:59:05 PM »
The interviewer (if they're doing a decent job) should ask you what your compensation requirements are.
Be honest with what you currently make and have a good answer to why you deserve more.
At the very least, they usually ask if you have any questions for them.

Most open positions have a salary range. 
If the top of their salary range for the position is too low for you, then you are probably looking for the wrong position.
Maybe you're just trying to get your "foot in the door" at this company so it's worth it.

+1 to everything except the bolded part.

mozar

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Re: Job Interview - What if salary is lower than hoped-for?
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2015, 08:52:02 PM »
I find it's fine to tell the recruiter what I make, and then tell them what % raise I am willing to leave for. Then you can just move on and not have to dig in your heels about not giving in first. Even if you like what they come back with, you can still counter for something higher.

Ynari

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Re: Job Interview - What if salary is lower than hoped-for?
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2015, 09:12:52 PM »
http://www.askamanager.org/category/salary

Reading a couple of posts on Ask A Manager will give you a good idea of how to respond.

mxt0133

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Re: Job Interview - What if salary is lower than hoped-for?
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2015, 09:34:07 PM »
The first rule of negotiations is to never let them know the absolute minimum you will take.  The second rule of negotiation is never give more information than you can get, whoever has the most information will be able to make the most best decisions. 

So if they ask you what you are currently making just deflect it and ask them what the salary range for the position is.  If they ask again tell them that what you are currently making is not really relevant to the new position as the responsibilities will be different.  If they keep pressing tell them that based on your research and the responsibilities expected of the position the fair market salary that you expect is, X.  Communicate to them that you will seriously consider their best offer and if the offer is lower than you expect then you have to be able walk away if you want a higher offer.

cynthia1848

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Re: Job Interview - What if salary is lower than hoped-for?
« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2015, 07:36:09 AM »
Wait until you get the offer!  Then worry about the negotiation.  You have more power once they have decided that they want you as part of the company.

Megma

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Re: Job Interview - What if salary is lower than hoped-for?
« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2015, 07:46:39 AM »
Wait until you get the offer!  Then worry about the negotiation.  You have more power once they have decided that they want you as part of the company.

I agree that your concern is premature. The job market is tough these days and there are lots of times I've had an interview and then did not want the job after talking to them or they did not want to hire me or both.

First, see if they want to hire you and then see if you want to take the job by negotiating the salary. Also, I don't know what field you are but a 25% increase in one move strikes me as a lot...unless it's a higher position (ie non-manager to manager or something of that nature) than you currently are in.

TrulyStashin

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Re: Job Interview - What if salary is lower than hoped-for?
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2015, 07:53:51 AM »
The first rule of negotiations is to never let them know the absolute minimum you will take.  The second rule of negotiation is never give more information than you can get, whoever has the most information will be able to make the most best decisions. 

So if they ask you what you are currently making just deflect it and ask them what the salary range for the position is.  If they ask again tell them that what you are currently making is not really relevant to the new position as the responsibilities will be different.  If they keep pressing tell them that based on your research and the responsibilities expected of the position the fair market salary that you expect is, X.  Communicate to them that you will seriously consider their best offer and if the offer is lower than you expect then you have to be able walk away if you want a higher offer.

+1   Don't tie your future compensation to what you make now.  That's irrelevant.    If an employer tries to do that you can respond, "My decision isn't between my current job and this job.  It's among this one and other opportunities."    Then give them reasons why your salary should be at the high end of the range (you have an extra credential; niche experience in X that's valuable to them etc).

Bert The Turtle

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Re: Job Interview - What if salary is lower than hoped-for?
« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2015, 07:59:19 AM »
Simple, just tell them "Sorry, $X is not enough higher than my current compensation to convince me to leave. Can you do better?" You're under no obligation to accept their initial offer, and everything is negotiable. Maybe they'll get back to you with a high enough number, maybe not. You know what your own minimum is. Don't feel bad walking away if they can't meet it.

What seattlecylcone said.  I personally like the concept of "BATNA": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Best_alternative_to_a_negotiated_agreement  You can always walk away from a negotiation.  If you can't, then it's not really a negotiation.

It sounds like you've already figured out what the minimum is that you'll accept before changing jobs, but you just need some reassurance that you can say so.  If they offer you too low of a starting salary, just say so.  Be gracious about it and let them know that although you're looking to change employers, you still have loyalty to your current employer and need to have a good enough reason to leave.

The one caveat that I would make is that you need to be sure you're looking at the whole picture.  Salary is only part of the compensation package.  Things like benefits, opportunity for advancement, interesting projects, workplace culture, "prestige" (i.e., will the company look good on your resume for later jobs), and all sorts of other things should influence your decision as well.  If you applied on a whim despite your salary concerns, there must be something else about the job that was attractive to you.  Just because you may be looking to FIRE doesn't mean that it's all about getting the biggest salary to beef up your savings rate.

netskyblue

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Re: Job Interview - What if salary is lower than hoped-for?
« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2015, 08:30:55 AM »
Quote
Also, I don't know what field you are but a 25% increase in one move strikes me as a lot...unless it's a higher position (ie non-manager to manager or something of that nature) than you currently are in.

I'm a buyer.  Currently in the jewelry industry, this job is in the electronics industry.

My market research puts median salary for this type of position in the $50-60k range, and that's the range of most of the jobs I've been applying to. 

I currently work for a SMALL business, and have 7 years experience at this specific position.  When I started, the person before me was literally writing paper purchase orders by hand and filing them in an accordion file.  I computerized the entire purchasing system, built my own database to track current & past orders, and wrote reports to track every aspect of the department.  For example - I was able to save 23% in shipping costs from one of our most-used vendors by implementing a schedule for ordering, instead of just ordering whenever (as I was trained to do).  I handle over a million dollars per year of ordering.

I believe the low salary at my current job has to do with the size of the business, and what they were paying the person before me, who basically only called/faxed in orders, and filed papers.  When I was promoted to this position (from customer service rep - entry level) I was not given a pay raise.  It was 3 years before I got one (after asking for one).  Salary is about 50% of the reason I've been looking for a new job.  Wanting out of the crazy bridal industry is the other 50%.

I have an interview this afternoon.  I just want to be prepared in case it does get that far today.  If they offered something like $45k, I'd probably say I was expecting closer to $52k and go from there.  But this business doesn't appear to be as large as some that I've been applying to.  I'm also unclear from the job posting if I'll BE the department (as I am now), or if I'll be one of many, which will obviously affect salary.  I'm so afraid that if I get an offer, it could be $35k or something, and I'll be left sputtering and feeling insulted.


frugaliknowit

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Re: Job Interview - What if salary is lower than hoped-for?
« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2015, 08:49:29 AM »
Do not tell them what you currently make.

Let them make an offer, then negotiate based on your research on the market rate for the position.  Good luck!

JLee

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Re: Job Interview - What if salary is lower than hoped-for?
« Reply #15 on: March 31, 2015, 08:51:10 AM »
No need to be insulted - once you find the salary range, you can politely walk away. When I was first looking for full time jobs in my early 20's, I walked out of Staples after I was offered ~$7/hr to fix computers. "That's..way too low for me, thanks."

+1 on not telling them what you currently make. It's none of their business and they'll only use it to negotiate in their favor. I generally tell recruiters, but I am hopeful that they'll use that information to find better jobs (and stop calling me for stuff that pays less than what I make now) instead of trying to underpay me for stuff.

aneel

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Re: Job Interview - What if salary is lower than hoped-for?
« Reply #16 on: March 31, 2015, 09:10:19 AM »
Do the interview and think of it more as a networking opportunity.  In the past, I applied to a position that I suspected was too entry level for me.  I had a great phone interview conversation with the hiring manager, and at the end they agreed that I was over qualified and my salary requirements didn't match, but I kept in contact with them for about a year to discuss further, better suited job openings they had.  No regrets here even though I never actually joined their team.  So like other's have said, just be open and honest, but have no expectations.

netskyblue

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Re: Job Interview - What if salary is lower than hoped-for?
« Reply #17 on: March 31, 2015, 02:55:08 PM »
Interview went well, I got the impression the interviewer really liked me - and it was the VP of the department I'd be in, rather than someone from HR, so she knew the details of the position very well and I got my questions answered.  Towards the beginning of the interview, she asked my salary requirements, and (proud of myself) I deflected, saying I'd like to know more about the department first, and <specific question>.

She took me on a tour of the office, everything went really well.  The basics seemed very in line with what I do now, but wholesale rather than retail, and in a different industry.  Volume of ordering was greater than where I'm at now.  There are 2 people doing the job I would be doing, one of them retires at the end of this week, the other will be retiring in a year or two.

So when she asked if I was ready to talk salary now at the end of the interview, I said yes, what kind of range were you thinking?

And here my suspicions were confirmed.  She threw out $28-$32k.  I paused thoughtfully.  She then said it's been 7-8 years since she's had to hire anyone, and what was *I* thinking?  So I said that's quite a bit lower than where I'm at now, and I was thinking more along the lines of upper-mid 40s.  Then asked if she had the flexibility to do that.  She said maybe, reiterated that it had been quite a while since she'd had to hire anyone.  She talked about the benefits (comparable to what I have now), said they have annual performance reviews, and that they never go more than 12 months without a pay increase.  (Which is nice, but that's how it was for the first 2 years of my current company - then the recession hit.  So I know things can change.)

It ended up with her saying she'd discuss it with her boss, who would be back in town on Thursday, and she should be able to let me know by the end of the week.

In all, it was a good interview, even if we can't come to an agreement on salary.  (And it is salaried, not hourly, unlike where I'm at now.)  In all seriousness, $28-32k is what they could probably expect to hire someone straight out of college with no experience in purchasing.  I was at $30 when I started.  She seemed very eager to put some of the responsibilities she's  been dealing with the past 2 years onto someone else, so I'm hoping we can work it out.  I have the experience, and would require a lot less training than a fresh newbie.  So, we shall see.

JLee

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Re: Job Interview - What if salary is lower than hoped-for?
« Reply #18 on: March 31, 2015, 04:25:13 PM »
Nicely done on the deflection - sounds like you were able to get a fair sense of the job without the interviewer viewing you through any preconceptions based on your salary requirements.

Best of luck!

Faraday

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Re: Job Interview - What if salary is lower than hoped-for?
« Reply #19 on: March 31, 2015, 06:40:39 PM »
...
And here my suspicions were confirmed.  She threw out $28-$32k.  I paused thoughtfully.  She then said it's been 7-8 years since she's had to hire anyone, and what was *I* thinking?  So I said that's quite a bit lower than where I'm at now, and I was thinking more along the lines of upper-mid 40s.  Then asked if she had the flexibility to do that.  She said maybe, reiterated that it had been quite a while since she'd had to hire anyone.  She talked about the benefits (comparable to what I have now), said they have annual performance reviews, and that they never go more than 12 months without a pay increase.  (Which is nice, but that's how it was for the first 2 years of my current company - then the recession hit.  So I know things can change.)
...

EXCELLENT JOB on the negotiation! You did a great job. The interviewer was trying to see if she could get a bargain, but if she couldn't, she was researching what she needed to do to make a good hire. You did a great job of keeping things on the table, and she sounds like an interesting person to work with.

asauer

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Re: Job Interview - What if salary is lower than hoped-for?
« Reply #20 on: March 31, 2015, 06:47:55 PM »
I'm in HR and here's the dirty secret- we will ALWAYS offer the lowest possible number we think the person will accept.  So...here are some things to think about:
1. what is the total compensation?  If they pay the same as your current job but pay WAY more in benefits, fringe and time off, work from home options...that may be worth it.
2. what is the career path?  do people move up faster there (read: more money sooner)
3. If they straight out ask "what's your current salary?" say "I'm looking for $55k".  They can say "that's above our range" and you can say "well, I'm somewhat flexible depending on total compensation etc." Then the ball is in their court to make the highest possible offer they can."  Of course, they probably won't counter until they actually offer you the job.

netskyblue

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Re: Job Interview - What if salary is lower than hoped-for?
« Reply #21 on: April 03, 2015, 09:36:45 AM »
Well, I got a call/voicemail a few minutes ago on my cell phone asking me to call them back.  Gotta wait an hour till lunch time to be able to make a personal call.

I have a strong suspicion they're probably not going to be able to meet my salary requirements, but...I've got one more hour of hoping they can.

netskyblue

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Re: Job Interview - What if salary is lower than hoped-for?
« Reply #22 on: April 03, 2015, 11:41:23 AM »
They asked me back for a second interview, and said we could discuss my salary requirements!  *hope hope hope*

aneel

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Re: Job Interview - What if salary is lower than hoped-for?
« Reply #23 on: April 03, 2015, 01:01:30 PM »
Congrats.  It sounds like they really want you, so remember you have the control now!

Doulos

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Re: Job Interview - What if salary is lower than hoped-for?
« Reply #24 on: April 03, 2015, 01:46:56 PM »
#1 Figure out what you would do for work after you retire.
#2 Work toward your dream job even if you have to take pay cuts.

Once you have the job of your dreams, you will naturally excel due to actually enjoying and having passion about what you do.
This leads toward the higher compensation.

MissPeach

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Re: Job Interview - What if salary is lower than hoped-for?
« Reply #25 on: April 03, 2015, 01:51:45 PM »
Do not tell them what you currently make.

Let them make an offer, then negotiate based on your research on the market rate for the position.  Good luck!

+1

pagoconcheques

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Re: Job Interview - What if salary is lower than hoped-for?
« Reply #26 on: April 03, 2015, 03:14:17 PM »
If the number is lower than what you want, but close, consider asking for an additional week of vacation or something else of value to you.  Perhaps you can work at home one or two days a week? 

Compensation isn't entirely made up of salary. 

Megma

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Re: Job Interview - What if salary is lower than hoped-for?
« Reply #27 on: April 06, 2015, 06:18:09 PM »
When is interview #2? I'm rooting for you!

netskyblue

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Re: Job Interview - What if salary is lower than hoped-for?
« Reply #28 on: April 07, 2015, 07:57:57 AM »
When is interview #2? I'm rooting for you!

It's tonight after I get off work!

Re: vacation, I'm not really sure how that works.  Everywhere I've worked has VERY set vacation policies.  Like where I am now, it's 2 weeks, then 3 weeks after 10 years.  Everybody knows how long you've been there, and somebody has to "cover" you while you're gone, so everyone would know if you're taking more vacation than what "they" get.

This new place told me it's 1 week the first & second year, 2 weeks the third through ninth year, and 3 weeks after 10 years.  Which kind of bites, because next year would be my 10th year at this place, so I'd be sacrificing a lot of vacation time, but...meh.  My husband and I aren't really vacation people.  It's just nice to sit at home and relax for a week.

I have mentally adjusted my lowest amount I will take though...45k instead of 48.  I really DO want to work there, and the wholesale environment seems so much better suited to my personality than retail.  The interviewer did a really good job of selling me on working there.  However, it's salary, whereas I'm hourly.  If I look at my actual gross pay from last year, it's over $41k a year, due to some overtime.  I can't justify changing jobs and losing 2 weeks vacation a year for any less than 4k.  I'll be sad if I have to walk on this one, but I'm not going to take a pay cut just because the grass looks greener at the new company.

CONS:
* New job would be about 2 miles further from my house, so it would be a bigger stretch to bike there.  And a bit more gas if I drive.
* I would be giving up 11 weeks of vacation over the next 10 years, if I stayed there that long.
* Health insurance is about $60/year more expensive, plus I would have to do COBRA for 3 months if I changed to this new job.  That's about $1200.
* Salaried, and I was told I'd be working about 45 hours a week.  I only work about 41.5 now.

PROS:
* I would get to roll over my shitty 401k into an IRA and buy the funds I WANT!  (This is a big pro, IMO, but not specific to this particular new job).
* Working office hours, no weekends (as opposed to every other Saturday and some rare Sundays, as I do now).
* I would be dealing with only manufacturers and retailers, NOT customers.  (Also a big, big, big pro.  Our clientele consists of lots of entitled rich people, crazy brides, and for some odd reason, the recently bereaved.  I do not deal well with emotional people or irrationality.)
* Maybe a pro...I'd have access to wholesale pricing on appliances & furniture.  It will be another 4 years or so before we're able to buy a house, but this might be of use.  More so than jewelry, anyway.
* I was told there would be annual performance reviews, and a year never goes by without a pay increase.  (I've averaged 3 years between raises here, and one I only got because I asked for it).
* I really liked the woman who would be my supervisor.  (But I really like my supervisor now, too).

UNKNOWNS:
There's always the chance I could hate all my co-workers?  Chance you take at any new job, though.
I don't know how the 401k plans compare.  We have crummy fund choices, but get a 4% match at my current job.
I do not know if they offer an HSA, or if so, whether they contribute.  I have one now, but employer no longer contributes.

JLee

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Re: Job Interview - What if salary is lower than hoped-for?
« Reply #29 on: April 07, 2015, 10:47:07 AM »
You can often negotiate vacation. I would give it a shot.

okits

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Re: Job Interview - What if salary is lower than hoped-for?
« Reply #30 on: April 07, 2015, 10:59:27 AM »
I would also try for extra vacation. You could always tell your coworkers it's unpaid.

Also, is there any career training (courses, certifications, conferences, licenses, etc.) you're interested in?  You could try to negotiate that into your contract (maybe it comes from a different budget?)

nobody123

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Re: Job Interview - What if salary is lower than hoped-for?
« Reply #31 on: April 07, 2015, 11:41:46 AM »
Re: vacation, I'm not really sure how that works.  Everywhere I've worked has VERY set vacation policies.  Like where I am now, it's 2 weeks, then 3 weeks after 10 years.  Everybody knows how long you've been there, and somebody has to "cover" you while you're gone, so everyone would know if you're taking more vacation than what "they" get.

This new place told me it's 1 week the first & second year, 2 weeks the third through ninth year, and 3 weeks after 10 years.  Which kind of bites, because next year would be my 10th year at this place, so I'd be sacrificing a lot of vacation time, but...meh.  My husband and I aren't really vacation people.  It's just nice to sit at home and relax for a week.

Everything is negotiable.  At the very least they should be able to give you the extra week the first two years to keep you whole.  Who cares if your future coworkers are miffed about it.  Depending on the policy there, their HR folks may just give you extra 'sick days' or 'comp days' or whatever they need to call them to not violate their vacation policy.

I have mentally adjusted my lowest amount I will take though...45k instead of 48.  I really DO want to work there, and the wholesale environment seems so much better suited to my personality than retail.  The interviewer did a really good job of selling me on working there. 

Why would you reduce what you think you're worth based on the sell job of the recruiter?  If they won't hit your $48K amount and you only get $45K, propose a 6 month performance review / raise to get you closer to the $48K, then your 12 month review can get you the rest of the way there.  Get it in writing.

rockstache

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Re: Job Interview - What if salary is lower than hoped-for?
« Reply #32 on: April 07, 2015, 11:57:06 AM »
Be firm about the vacation if it's important to you. My company always takes a hard line with new hires and boasts that they don't negotiate vacation. But if they want to hire someone, they will bend, they just don't advertise it. :)

netskyblue

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Re: Job Interview - What if salary is lower than hoped-for?
« Reply #33 on: April 07, 2015, 11:58:09 AM »
Why would you reduce what you think you're worth based on the sell job of the recruiter?  If they won't hit your $48K amount and you only get $45K, propose a 6 month performance review / raise to get you closer to the $48K, then your 12 month review can get you the rest of the way there.  Get it in writing.

I'm not so much reducing what I think I'm worth... It's just that IF the best I can get out of them is 45k, and I walk, I know I'll regret it.  45k is 13-17k (or 40-60%) more than what "they were thinking" range-wise, so I'm not even sure I can get them to offer that much.

I've been searching for 4 years.  Now I'm at the point where I have to wonder... is that extra 3k worth another 4 years where I am?  Wouldn't I be better suited to take 45k if I can get it?  Based on what they've said about their review system, I imagine it wouldn't be 4 years before I was at 48k, if I started at $45.  And there's no reason I can't still keep one eye open for opportunity elsewhere.

But all this may be moot anyway, as they might not even be able to get to $45, and I'll have to decline.  Even though I do think I'd like working there better than working where I do now.

Megma

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Re: Job Interview - What if salary is lower than hoped-for?
« Reply #34 on: April 07, 2015, 01:54:51 PM »
+1 on negotiating for extra vacation. I have asked in the past and been offered an additional week the first year, so it's possible.

Also, your happiness is worth a lot. If you think you will be happier at the new company (I agree it's hard to know) it's worth more than 3k, or at least it would be to me. Good luck to you! I am rooting for you!

mm1970

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Re: Job Interview - What if salary is lower than hoped-for?
« Reply #35 on: April 07, 2015, 02:31:23 PM »
Quote
This new place told me it's 1 week the first & second year, 2 weeks the third through ninth year, and 3 weeks after 10 years.  Which kind of bites, because next year would be my 10th year at this place, so I'd be sacrificing a lot of vacation time, but...meh.  My husband and I aren't really vacation people.  It's just nice to sit at home and relax for a week.

I have mentally adjusted my lowest amount I will take though...45k instead of 48.  I really DO want to work there, and the wholesale environment seems so much better suited to my personality than retail.  The interviewer did a really good job of selling me on working there.  However, it's salary, whereas I'm hourly.  If I look at my actual gross pay from last year, it's over $41k a year, due to some overtime.  I can't justify changing jobs and losing 2 weeks vacation a year for any less than 4k.

I would be careful here.  Most places I have interviewed have had relatively set vacation policies.  But there was a difference between experienced and non at some of them.  Meaning, if you have experience already, you don't start at the bottom.

So, 1 week the first year?  That would be a no-brainer, definite no for me.  I interviewed last year at a place that had 2 weeks PTO plus 9 holidays a year.  So that's a total of 19 days off. 

They went on to say that they had a hard time hiring "mid-level" people like me.  Well, duh, people in their 30's and 40's aren't going to accept that PTO if they don't have to.  I currently have 34 days a year. I once ONCE changed jobs and lost 3 days a year. 

Now when I job hunt, I look at cost of my bennies, bonuses, vacation, etc.  Really, these benefits can be easily worth thousands. 

Flexible childcare account?  $2000 a year
One week vacation?  $2000 a year
Dental?  $1000
Vision?  $500

Pretty much my "floor" at changing jobs is $10k.

olivia

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Re: Job Interview - What if salary is lower than hoped-for?
« Reply #36 on: April 07, 2015, 04:30:09 PM »
Good luck on the interview tonight-I hope you can get them up to your range!

Faraday

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Re: Job Interview - What if salary is lower than hoped-for?
« Reply #37 on: April 07, 2015, 07:16:21 PM »
You can often negotiate vacation. I would give it a shot.

+1 to negotiating vacation. All you really need is 2 weeks that first year only to make it palatable. They seem like they are practically asking you to negotiate for that extra week....

nobody123

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Re: Job Interview - What if salary is lower than hoped-for?
« Reply #38 on: April 08, 2015, 07:33:27 AM »
Why would you reduce what you think you're worth based on the sell job of the recruiter?  If they won't hit your $48K amount and you only get $45K, propose a 6 month performance review / raise to get you closer to the $48K, then your 12 month review can get you the rest of the way there.  Get it in writing.

I'm not so much reducing what I think I'm worth... It's just that IF the best I can get out of them is 45k, and I walk, I know I'll regret it.  45k is 13-17k (or 40-60%) more than what "they were thinking" range-wise, so I'm not even sure I can get them to offer that much.

I've been searching for 4 years.  Now I'm at the point where I have to wonder... is that extra 3k worth another 4 years where I am?  Wouldn't I be better suited to take 45k if I can get it?  Based on what they've said about their review system, I imagine it wouldn't be 4 years before I was at 48k, if I started at $45.  And there's no reason I can't still keep one eye open for opportunity elsewhere.

But all this may be moot anyway, as they might not even be able to get to $45, and I'll have to decline.  Even though I do think I'd like working there better than working where I do now.

"What they were thinking" is irrelevant.  That's a throwaway phrase they are using to get you to lower your expectations and see if you'll say a lower number.  You are applying for a position of that requires negotiation as part of its core responsibilities, for heaven's sake.  Show them how good you are at it.  You already said that your research shows that the median salary is 50K - 60K.  For someone with ~10 years of experience, you should be at or above the median.  Sell them on how your experience will bring them more value than the extra $3K or so in salary you're asking for.  Flatter them with saying you'll take the $48K, which you know is below the median, because they sound like an awesome company to work for.

If $45K is a good deal for you, by all means take it, but don't make the mistake for not specifically asking for more if $45K is their first offer.  Do the simple math, 45K will take 3 annual raises of 3% to get over the 48K line.

Faraday

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Re: Job Interview - What if salary is lower than hoped-for?
« Reply #39 on: April 08, 2015, 10:46:49 AM »
"What they were thinking" is irrelevant.  That's a throwaway phrase they are using to get you to lower your expectations and see if you'll say a lower number.  You are applying for a position of that requires negotiation as part of its core responsibilities, for heaven's sake.  Show them how good you are at it.  You already said that your research shows that the median salary is 50K - 60K.  For someone with ~10 years of experience, you should be at or above the median.  Sell them on how your experience will bring them more value than the extra $3K or so in salary you're asking for.  Flatter them with saying you'll take the $48K, which you know is below the median, because they sound like an awesome company to work for.

If $45K is a good deal for you, by all means take it, but don't make the mistake for not specifically asking for more if $45K is their first offer.  Do the simple math, 45K will take 3 annual raises of 3% to get over the 48K line.

Those are good arguments from nobody123. If you have quantified the $$ gains you've shown at current employer, you've got a history of accomplishment you can cite. There's no unwritten rule that you are supposed to start over just because this is a new job. Look at it as if you were a contractor, specializing in what you do. Would you lower your price to get the next contract? ONLY if there were extremely good tangibles about getting that client - otherwise, they are paying you for what you know how to do, not for how long you've been at their company.

Over my career, my wonderful, beautiful stay-at-home wife-mom gave me unbridled hell if I came back home from a job interview without showing a salary gain of at least 10%. (She needed that money to take care of her babies! :-) ) End result is that I got damn good at interviews and negotiating the parameters of the new position. (believe me, I made a couple mistakes along the way)

However, in an ironic twist, when she went back into the job market, she sucked bad at negotiating. What ended up happening is that she'd take just about any offer, good or not. Where that led her is she ended up in some terrible situations where employees were regularly mistreated and abused in various ways. She didn't get it that the negotiation sets the stage for the entire employment experience, and that maybe if the offer can't meet your needs,  you actually don't want the job.

Don't get me wrong: I'm not telling you one thing, doing another. There are jobs I've not gotten after a dang good interview, and I'm glad I didn't. That leaves me free to move on and pursue better.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2015, 10:49:23 AM by mefla »

mm1970

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Re: Job Interview - What if salary is lower than hoped-for?
« Reply #40 on: April 08, 2015, 01:25:29 PM »
"What they were thinking" is irrelevant.  That's a throwaway phrase they are using to get you to lower your expectations and see if you'll say a lower number.  You are applying for a position of that requires negotiation as part of its core responsibilities, for heaven's sake.  Show them how good you are at it.  You already said that your research shows that the median salary is 50K - 60K.  For someone with ~10 years of experience, you should be at or above the median.  Sell them on how your experience will bring them more value than the extra $3K or so in salary you're asking for.  Flatter them with saying you'll take the $48K, which you know is below the median, because they sound like an awesome company to work for.

If $45K is a good deal for you, by all means take it, but don't make the mistake for not specifically asking for more if $45K is their first offer.  Do the simple math, 45K will take 3 annual raises of 3% to get over the 48K line.

Those are good arguments from nobody123. If you have quantified the $$ gains you've shown at current employer, you've got a history of accomplishment you can cite. There's no unwritten rule that you are supposed to start over just because this is a new job. Look at it as if you were a contractor, specializing in what you do. Would you lower your price to get the next contract? ONLY if there were extremely good tangibles about getting that client - otherwise, they are paying you for what you know how to do, not for how long you've been at their company.

Over my career, my wonderful, beautiful stay-at-home wife-mom gave me unbridled hell if I came back home from a job interview without showing a salary gain of at least 10%. (She needed that money to take care of her babies! :-) ) End result is that I got damn good at interviews and negotiating the parameters of the new position. (believe me, I made a couple mistakes along the way)

However, in an ironic twist, when she went back into the job market, she sucked bad at negotiating. What ended up happening is that she'd take just about any offer, good or not. Where that led her is she ended up in some terrible situations where employees were regularly mistreated and abused in various ways. She didn't get it that the negotiation sets the stage for the entire employment experience, and that maybe if the offer can't meet your needs,  you actually don't want the job.

Don't get me wrong: I'm not telling you one thing, doing another. There are jobs I've not gotten after a dang good interview, and I'm glad I didn't. That leaves me free to move on and pursue better.
I wonder how much the negotiation for women is that
1.  We don't try it
2.  We don't practice it
3.  When we do it, we are often penalized for it
4.  We feel guilty about it

The judgment that comes along with negotiation can be painful to deal with.  Emotionally charged in many cases, whether you are WITH your company when you are negotiating a raise or not. I find it difficult.  I also have found that women are treated differently for negotiating compared to men (what works for a man doesn't work for a woman!)

I'm busy trying to look for a new job, and I have to remind myself that while I want a new job, I WILL NOT change jobs for less than a 10% bump.  If the offer isn't there, I turn it down.

Guses

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Re: Job Interview - What if salary is lower than hoped-for?
« Reply #41 on: April 08, 2015, 01:36:46 PM »

CONS:
* New job would be about 2 miles further from my house, so it would be a bigger stretch to bike there.  And a bit more gas if I drive.
* I would be giving up 11 weeks of vacation over the next 10 years
* Health insurance is about $60/year more expensive, plus I would have to do COBRA for 3 months if I changed to this new job.  That's about $1200.
* Salaried, and I was told I'd be working about 45 hours a week.  I only work about 41.5 now.


Old Salary: 41K
New Salary: Maybe 45K

After considering the above:
Old salary: 20$ per hour
New salary: 19$ per hour

Plus it is 2 additional miles to commute. I definitely would not be interested in a pay cut and less vacation time.

You have to decide if the Pros outweigh the mostly financial Cons.

 

Franklin

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Re: Job Interview - What if salary is lower than hoped-for?
« Reply #42 on: April 08, 2015, 01:45:07 PM »
Interested in the outcome here.  Although late to the game I have two points. 

1. Getting a new job is one of those rare occasions to considerably bump your pay.  Don't waste the opportunity. 

2. As a hiring manager, I have always had a range from which to work from and I have never asked for compensation history.  I simply don't care.  If you fit the job, you fit.  If you accept within my range then we both win.

CommonCents

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Re: Job Interview - What if salary is lower than hoped-for?
« Reply #43 on: April 08, 2015, 02:34:05 PM »
On negotiating vacation - don't just negotiate starting vacation scale.  Negotiate when you would move up on the scale.  Thus, request to come in with X years of credit, which would start you at Y weeks of vacation, rather than just Y weeks of vacation. 

For example, negotiate that you come in with 9 years of credit working there such that you would achieve 3 weeks next year.  (Or negotiate to come in at 3 weeks, and work back from there.  When they offer 2, express willingness to take 2 if they will move you to 3 in one year when you have 10 years of exp.)

Cinder

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Re: Job Interview - What if salary is lower than hoped-for?
« Reply #44 on: April 08, 2015, 09:33:07 PM »
Posting to follow, I want to know how it turned out for you!