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  1. Junior Member Registered Member
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    Default An interesting conclusion to the interview process regarding pay (long)

    I hope to not come off as greedy or self entitled but I wanted to share a recent experience I had.

    About a month ago I had saw a position online and applied for it. The posting was listed pay wise between $x-$y. In general sometimes those postings are inflated and with that understanding I still had an interest for the role. During my initial interview with the IT manager he had brought up salary. He confirmed the position paid $x-$y. I made it through three separate interviews and had a good feeling in general. I was then invited for a final meeting with a few high level managers. Going into the meeting I had the mindset of willing to accept $x (minimum on the posting) without any issue. Going into the meeting with this mindset, I had neglected to think about the negotiation process in general.

    The meeting itself lasted roughly 90 minutes. During the first hour it was essentially a recap to previous interviews. That they were looking for a Cisco specialist that could complete these important projects due to compliance issues in a timely manner. They brought up the fact that their IT team is extremely lean on multiple occasions and that I would likely have to work with end users at times (help desk) at times. I really did not have any issue with that, im a pretty flexible person. The conversation is going great and i'm feeling pretty excited to receive the offer letter. The director of IT asked me what am I seeking financially as far as compensation goes. I didn't want to offer my number first, but he was fairly adamant about it.

    I ended up going in the middle between the initial $x-$y amount that was discussed by the IT manager (also in the meeting) at the beginning of the interview process. The director looked mildly agitated and asked how could I view myself being worth that much given my current experience in IT (3 1/2 years). Given this reaction, I was ready to accept $x as a counter. I replied with stating my current technical skill set, certifications, and how I could apply this knowledge, complete their pending projects and continue to take a proactive approach to improve IT processes. The director replied with it wouldn't be fair to give me a position with that pay, as there are IT professionals with several more years experience than me who have not reached that level or are even near it.

    The director then asked me to speak honestly (huh?). He asked me my starting pay at my job when I joined IT. I told him the amount $36k (no degree, no experience, only A+). He then asked me what I was making at my 2nd job. I told him that amount as well. He already knew what I am currently making prior to the meeting. The director said he doesn't understand / believe that i'm making said amount. At this point in time, i'm feeling a bit sour as everything was going so well 10-15 minutes ago. It was also my fault for not being prepared to negotiate as I didn't give it much thought (As I was happy with the previously discussed amount). I explained I'm currently working with a fortune 500 company with a sub division Cisco VAR. I've been studying for 4-5 hours a night on my own time for the past 1.5 years. Obtaining certifications and applying the knowledge in any way possible to my current job. I was asked to leave the conference room for 10-15 minutes as the 3 managers discussed salary.

    The director first offered me coffee which I had accepted. We walked down the hallway and told me that that he was glad I said I was flexible on pay otherwise he would have ended the meeting without an offer. I sat in the chair outside a little flustered. At this point in time I figured I would accept $5k-$8k less than the minimum previously stated as I still wanted the job. 8k less would have matched what I currently make. The IT manager who interviewed came out of the conference room and apologized. I sat down in the conference room and the director told me to take into account the companies benefits. The 3rd member of the meeting then gave me a 5 minute overview of said benefits (lol). I'm guessing at this point in time they think maybe I do make said amount but that I was a contractor? I'm a FTE and already have benefits. The director said based off my current years in IT, he made an offer of -15k less than said X amount. This would have been a 7k pay cut.

    The moment I heard and looked at the offer, I began to shake my head. I said I would at least need matching of my current pay. At that point in time, I had about 3 or 4 different responses. The first being that the offer is below market value, the second being how they expressed how lean the IT team was and how wide the responsibilities would be (all in the while working on important projects), the third option going into how people who have been in IT x amount of years may not be the best representation of worth (I felt this would come off as cocky and self entitled). Ultimately, I showed my inexperience I suppose on a business level and probably on a personable level as well as I didn't offer any response other than I decline, and sat forward in my chair ready to stand up.

    It was an interesting experience. From a technical standpoint I had enjoyed it, it was fairly in depth and tested my current knowledge. When the company created the position, im assuming they looked at the responsibilities and said the skill set for this individual is between $x-$y. For them to agree I would be a good fit for the company and meet the companies needs to fulfill the role but yet subtract 15k due to the number of "years in IT" caught me off guard. If you read this, I want to thank you. I have a tendency to fixate and rehearse what occurs during the day and how I should have responded. I ended up losing a bit of sleep and I feel that posting about it would be better than constantly replaying it in my mind.

    Moving forward, I think i'm at about the salary cap of what I can ask for given my years experience and current skill set in networking. In 5 months i'll have hit a 2 year mark working for a well known company as (entry level) a network engineer. I feel even at that mark my value will be the same. Which makes me question am I looking at potentially another 3 years before I would be viewed as worth the pay that I was asking for? Should I be looking at security analyst roles or AWS roles that (seemingly) match or pay better than networking roles in general and require less overall years experience.. I'm just rambling now instead of working. Sleep deprivation, hehe. Thanks for reading.
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  3. Went to the dark side.... Moderator networker050184's Avatar
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    #2
    You dodged a bullet on this one. You want to work for people that fight to get you as much pay as possible from the company. Managers that want to keep their people happy. Imagine when raise time comes around what this director's mind set would be. I can't imagine it'd be good for you!
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  4. Senior Member LordQarlyn's Avatar
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    #3
    Apparently they saw something in your skill sets to warrant an interview. You made it through several interviews. They posted a range, you made a fair offer of the middle of the range and were flexible enough to accept at the low end. And yet the IT Director looked at your years of experience and decided he could use that to try to low ball you. Think about it, the director wasn't even honest enough to try to offer you a salary in the range his company posted. If the years of experience were a valid concern, they shouldn't have wasted your time - and their time too for that matter.
    They didn't want to pay you what they themselves budgeted for, yet they were very interested in your abilities as the fact they tried to convince you to take the offer shows. You did right by walking away. These days years of experience is not as important as it once was, when determining an offer, assuming the job is not already at a fixed salary, employers also to look to accomplishments and what skills the candidate brings. If you accomplished a lot, know a lot, your years of experience should not have been an excuse to low ball you.

    AWS wouldn't be a bad thing to learn, especially if your current job uses it and you have a chance to get some real world production hands on.
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  5. Senior Member PCTechLinc's Avatar
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    #4
    If you went into the meeting understanding that the pay was confirmed, then the director shouldn't have given you a load of crap about "how can you possibly be worth that much?" Don't waste my time. If you have a different idea about what I'm worth, I'm happy to walk away. I'm not about to play the "let's compare your pay with everyone else in the company so people aren't jealous". If you believe you CAN perform the job responsibilities based on the description, then you are well within your rights to ask for that compensation. To me, your experience, knowledge, certifications, and work ethic are the total package of what you bring to the table. For them to expect you to short-change yourself (taking 7k less than what you're currently making) just because your years of experience don't make them happy, I would have done the same thing. There are plenty of people with 20+ years of experience that couldn't troubleshoot their home router.

    My two cents. Better luck next time buddy.
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  6. Senior Member scaredoftests's Avatar
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    #5
    Ugh. I hate when things change during an interview. It was good that you stepped away.
    Last edited by scaredoftests; 07-11-2018 at 02:31 PM.
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  7. They are watching you NetworkNewb's Avatar
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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Zhou55 View Post
    Ultimately, I showed my inexperience I suppose on a business level and probably on a personable level as well as I didn't offer any response other than I decline, and sat forward in my chair ready to stand up.
    They are the ones who should be embarrassed on how they made themselves look... Giving a salary a range and then not sticking to it. Knowingly offering you lower salary than you what you currently make after making you do all these interviews and wasting so much of your time... I would've been extremely pissed. Can't imagine I would've tried negotiating with them any further at that point either.

    I had something sort of similar happen one time. I was interviewing for a level 2 technical support position at the headquarters of a large national bank. Went through the phone interview and got invited for an in-person interview. Was an interview with a panel of like 3-4 people in the room. Knocked it out of the park... Honestly don't think I could've done any better. Was talking with manager on the way out, while I forget the exact words, he made it clear I seemed like a great fit but this position was already going to someone internally. That he would contact me directly if another position opened. Wasn't too thrilled about wasting my PTO and time to do that but Ok...

    A few weeks later he did end up contacting me directly about a position one level lower. He told me the salary and I let me know it was a little less than what I was looking for. But he said it was negotiable and he could probably get what I was looking for. Also, he said I would most likely only need to be in this position for a few months before moving up. Sounded alright with me! So ended up going in on the interview for this position. Which went well and HR sent offer me for the position soon after. The salary was a little lower than what I told, but he said it was negotiable, so I was kinda expecting that. I sent HR back with what I was expecting, told them I was told it was negotiable... But they said it definitely was not and seemed very surprised... Letting me know this was inline with what average is for this position.

    I was going on other interviews at this time and literally got another offer a few days earlier with how much I much I wanted and asked them to match. The HR person said there was no budging... I declined. Wasting PTO and my time to just being lied to is extremely annoying!

    To make this story weird, that IT manager contacted me again afterwards but this time it was to go some conference with him.... Kinda seemed like a pyramid money making scheme kinda thing. Definitely declined going to that! Seem very awkward he even would ask me.
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  8. Achieve excellence daily
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    #7
    You did the right thing and you should be thrilled that you spotted a bad place to work before accepting an offer.
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  9. Senior Member McxRisley's Avatar
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    #8
    You definitely dodged a bullet by not accepting this job. Them not willing to pay you what was originally advertised is just total BS and even more so when they basically said you weren't experienced enough. I've worked with people who have have 10+ and 15+ years of xp and some of those people barely knew more than your average networking/security student. Years of experience really don't mean a damn thing if you know the tech and can do the job.
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  10. Little Teapot LeBroke's Avatar
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    #9
    You did everything right. The Director treated you like crap, and years of IT experience don't matter. Skills and maturity do.
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  11. Senior Member
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    Agree with everyone else, sounds like a terrible situation. I think I might have been must less polite by the time you got to "tell me how much you made at all your past jobs??" Good riddance to that place.
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  12. Member thedudeabides's Avatar
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    #11
    In the future, for a similar situation, I'd recommend handling it like this:

    You: "Are you saying the job does not pay what was advertised? Because that was a factor in my choosing to apply?"

    Them: "Blah blah bullshit blah blah it doesn't pay what was advertised"

    You: "I think your company is unprofessional for wasting my time...and your own." *stand up and walk away*
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  13. Senior Member Mooseboost's Avatar
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    #12
    You definitely made the right choice by walking away. That was extremely unprofessional on their end. If they are going to treat you like that before you are even hired, how do you think they would treat you after?
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  14. Junior Member Registered Member
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    #13
    These are the same types of companies always bitching and moaning about how they "can't seem to find enough qualified candidates!" too.

    Don't take it personal. At best, this would have probably been the type of job that was a resume filler, not a long term play.
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    #14
    Sorry for your experience, that's a shame. All they did though, was demonstrate to you why their team is 'lean'.

    It's almost a blessing they came in so low, because you had positioned yourself to take less than your worth for a job where you'd have been underappreciated and undervalued, and you'd have shown yourself a pushover which would have likely kept you behind the 8-ball.

    hope something better comes your way, and I'm sure it will.
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  16. Are we having fun yet? UnixGuy's Avatar
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    #15
    Always ask for the higher end of the range offered, and don't be open to negotiations. I've been doing that in the past few years and it worked well. Some might disagree..
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  17. Senior Member NetworkingStudent's Avatar
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    #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Zhou55 View Post
    I hope to not come off as greedy or self entitled but I wanted to share a recent experience I had.
    About a month ago I had saw a position online and applied for it. The posting was listed pay wise between $x-$y. In general sometimes those postings are inflated and with that understanding I still had an interest for the role. During my initial interview with the IT manager he had brought up salary. He confirmed the position paid $x-$y. I made it through three separate interviews and had a good feeling in general. I was then invited for a final meeting with a few high level managers. Going into the meeting I had the mindset of willing to accept $x (minimum on the posting) without any issue. Going into the meeting with this mindset, I had neglected to think about the negotiation process in general.
    .

    Don't let the company tell you what you are worth!!! The company listed the pay in the job posting, and then brought you in for an interview. The manager confirmed the pay during the interview!!


    If they brought you in for an interview, then they can see you filling this position. You made it through three separate interviews!! This is alone is a great feat.

    You did the right thing not accepting the job.


    Something like this happened to me, but it was a phone interview.

    I did a phone interview for a field tech position.
    During the phone interview, I found out the job was on average 10-15 hours a week and maybe 20-25 hours a week during busy season. ( I was never told the job was part time)
    The pay was below the average even for help desk in my location. ( imagine McDonald's or Burger King wages)
    I had to stop the interview. I told the recruiter the average for help desk roles in my area alone are X. Also, I mentioned that the low hours would make it hard to live on this wage.

    i wish they would have put this info in the job posting.
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    #17
    You made the right decision. Unless you absolutely can't stand your job, there's no reason to move for less amount.

    I'm hearing more and more about this type of pressure tactics from employers. Get you in the room, basically shoot down your confidence / self-esteem and then pressure you into signing the offer sheet.
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    #18
    Quote Originally Posted by UnixGuy View Post
    Always ask for the higher end of the range offered, and don't be open to negotiations. I've been doing that in the past few years and it worked well. Some might disagree..
    Can you expand on that a bit ? how do you approach it ?

    I'm usually quite open to negotiations in terms of if I don't get the amount I want, I get an extra week of paid vacations or training budget....

    Just looking to improve my negotiations skills
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    #19
    I never share my prior pay with a company I'm interviewing with. I usually have a set rate in mind and if they press I'll just let them know that my prior salaries don't matter and only what matters is the job that I'm interviewing for. If they toss me a ridiculously low offer back when they've stated what the range was to me prior I'd take it as an insult and let them know that they are wasting my time as I would never consider leaving a job that I liked for the same or less money. And even if they'd come back with a full offer at the max of their range I'd likely still turn it down as it sounds like a **** place to work.
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    #20
    Of course companies don’t want to cause problems by offering you way more than seasoned employees. They have to be fair to how others are paid given somebody’s qualifications.

    You should have stuck to your guns...in general you never should go for a lateral in pay, and a pay cut is basically out of the question for normal FTE jobs. If that happened to be and somebody was so rude, I would say I was told the range of the job and if you cannot even meet the minimum this interview is over. Always take the high road and don’t get snippy back.
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  22. Are we having fun yet? UnixGuy's Avatar
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    #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Azt7 View Post
    Can you expand on that a bit ? how do you approach it ?

    I'm usually quite open to negotiations in terms of if I don't get the amount I want, I get an extra week of paid vacations or training budget....

    Just looking to improve my negotiations skills
    So if their job ad says 80k-105K range, in the interview if they say what is my expected salary I'll say 105K. I follow it up with this is the market rate

    Just be willing to lose that job. When your current job is great, you will have power to move only on your own terms. Another way is to be interviewing for multiple jobs at the same time...there are many ways to do it, and they're free to choose you or choose someone else
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