Question for the RJ'ers applying/looking for a job.

  • citypartyboy

    Posts: 187

    Dec 02, 2011 1:25 AM GMT
    Hey guys,

    So lately I have been applying for new jobs as I am ready to take that next step in my career. I do well for only being in my mid-twenties but I am looking forward to advancing my pay as well. Lately, during interviews, recruiters have asked "What is your current pay? Is it salary, plus bonus/commission?" I always cringe when that comes up because I don't want to sell myself short for what the position could potentially pay and I don't want to overprice myself to be excluded from consideration. What do you guys think of this question and how have you answered it? My friend said one company he interviewed with asked for his W-2! I think that's crazy!

    Thanks!
  • citypartyboy

    Posts: 187

    Dec 02, 2011 2:27 AM GMT
    Buller... Buller..




    lol
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    Dec 02, 2011 6:15 AM GMT
    you probably dont have to worry about telling them your current salary. recruiters have a low and high range for every position. i dont think they'll put you below the low range unless its some shady company. they hire with the intention of retaining happy employees so they won't try to cheat you. they ask to get an understanding of where you stand on their range. if you are already over their range then they probably won't try to get you and will let you know. if you are under than they will proceed with the hiring process. you should probably get a better understanding of your position's salary range. plus if you get an offer you can always negotiate.
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    Dec 02, 2011 6:17 AM GMT
    It's because of the bad economy they want to get away with paying you as little as possible. But asking for W-2s is ridiculous.
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    Dec 02, 2011 6:20 AM GMT
    I'd never give them the W2, that's sketchy.

    Tell them the truth with a 5% lying margin.
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    Dec 02, 2011 6:28 AM GMT
    Haha, this thread totally just convinced me to drop out of college.
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    Dec 02, 2011 6:31 AM GMT
    Tell them the truth. They can easily call your old employer to verify. If they don't offer the salary you think you deserve, you don't have to take the job.
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    Dec 02, 2011 6:33 AM GMT
    Tazo995 saidI'd never give them the W2, that's sketchy.

    Tell them the truth with a 5% lying margin.


    Don't lie to them. When I was applying for my current job the recruiter told me that I was going to get an offer but he needed to finish my background check and see a recent pay stub. If I had lied they probably wouldn't had given me an offer.

    Also, my best friend's wife is a recruiter for the tech industry, she said when a candidate is caught lying they get blacklisted by all the companies in the industry within the area. I believe her because when I was looking for a new job she would forward me emails with openings she received from other recruiters. When I checked to see who else received the emails I saw the email addresses of over 50 recruiters from dozens of different tech companies in the bay area. They are a very close knit group of people. You don't want to be caught lying by any of them or you're fucked.
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    Dec 02, 2011 6:36 AM GMT
    Salary should be discussed after an offer is made. Not before. Ever. You can ask them what the salary range of the job being offered, during the initial application/interview process.
  • trl_

    Posts: 994

    Dec 02, 2011 6:42 AM GMT
    Well this isn't a problem for me because I don't get interviews. If one certain question about your salary is your biggest problem in your job search, you're doing well lol


    Sorry if I sound bitter, I've just been unemployed and broke for about seven months now icon_lol.gif
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    Dec 02, 2011 6:45 AM GMT
    DudeInNOVA saidTell them the truth. They can easily call your old employer to verify. If they don't offer the salary you think you deserve, you don't have to take the job.


    Not true.

    But they can find out in other ways.
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    Dec 02, 2011 6:53 AM GMT
    ThePenIsMyTier said
    DudeInNOVA saidTell them the truth. They can easily call your old employer to verify. If they don't offer the salary you think you deserve, you don't have to take the job.


    Not true.

    But they can find out in other ways.


    Sure they can. I've had it done before. There's no employee/employer confidentiality law.
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    Dec 02, 2011 6:56 AM GMT
    More and more employers are running credit checks on their prospective employees. So if they can't find out your previous salary, they can at least guess based on your credit/debt history.
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    Dec 02, 2011 6:57 AM GMT
    xrichx saidSalary should be discussed after an offer is made. Not before. Ever. You can ask them what the salary range of the job being offered, during the initial application/interview process.


    Don't do this either. I asked my best friend's wife the same question and she said that if someone doesn't answer her question during the screening process she just moves on to the next candidate. I mean with unemployment so high I am sure there are tons of candidates to choose from. Unless the OP has some very high demand skills or experience. He is only 26 years old. I have a feeling that he is still at a level where there are tons of competition.

    Think about it. A recruiter pushes a candidate through several rounds of interviews with hiring managers and they love the candidiate. The recruiter passes an offer to the candidiate and he turns it down because its way too low. If any of my recruiters sent me a candidate and this happens I would make sure the recruiter will be in deep shit for wasting my time.
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    Dec 02, 2011 7:14 AM GMT
    AvadaKedavra said
    xrichx saidSalary should be discussed after an offer is made. Not before. Ever. You can ask them what the salary range of the job being offered, during the initial application/interview process.
    Don't do this either. I asked my best friend's wife the same question and she said that if someone doesn't answer her question during the screening process she just moves on to the next candidate. I mean with unemployment so high I am sure there are tons of candidates to choose from. Unless the OP has some very high demand skills or experience. He is only 26 years old. I have a feeling that he is still at a level where there are tons of competition.
    It works both ways. If a company is reluctant to reveal what the ballpark salary range is, then move on. They're gonna lowball you. It would be a total waste of your time to go through all those interviews, and end up getting offered the same pay as a fast food worker.

    Maybe my perspective is different, since I've been in the work force longer. But I've never had any reluctance when I ask what the salary range is during the initial phases of the interview. And I've never been asked what my current/previous salary was. Instead, they make their offer, and I accept or counter.
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    Dec 02, 2011 11:12 AM GMT
    xrichx saidSalary should be discussed after an offer is made. Not before. Ever. You can ask them what the salary range of the job being offered, during the initial application/interview process.


    What he said.

  • citypartyboy

    Posts: 187

    Dec 02, 2011 3:41 PM GMT
    Thanks for the input everyone! This is a lot to figure out how to navigate this whole interview process haha. I appreciate you help though icon_smile.gif

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    Dec 02, 2011 3:44 PM GMT
    dekiruman saidHaha, this thread totally just convinced me to drop out of college.
    It took less than that for me. I dropped college cause I figured I could do better without it.

    I was right. icon_cool.gif
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    Dec 02, 2011 3:46 PM GMT
    What's an interview...?
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    Dec 02, 2011 4:35 PM GMT
    I kind of side with xrichx.

    I think that an interview is also a chance for *you* to interview the employer. Sure there are formalities, but really there are very few rules set in stone for an interview. Each side of the table is trying to get to know the other. Desirable personality traits and the substance of your formal presentation can greatly depend on the people involved or the field of work you are applying for. It is your responsibility to understand the interpersonal formalities of your field.

    When they ask you questions, how you respond, (e.g. how willing you are to be candid with their requests,) is really a function of how badly you need the job. If you are in a position where you think you have more leverage to bargain, you might take more brazen moves like asking about salary on the first interview. If you don't want to risk raising their ire because you really need the job and your situation is more critical, then just do your best to go along with them, and use your responses and verbal skills to put the interviewer at ease. This usually means that you must reveal more personal information. If you are looking for better pay and feel you have some leverage, go for it. Say that "you are looking for a position with more responsibility and higher pay than your current position." This is a candid way to start the conversation and a good employer will appreciate your direct response. But be willing to offer them good reasons to explain why you are qualified for higher pay.

    If someone asked me what my salary was at my last job, I would tell them what it was exactly. That's not too out of the ordinary, and this question is pretty standard on most applications and it is helpful to the hiring process. If they asked me for a w-2 on the first interview, I would personally be concerned. To me it could show a level of distrust or dishonesty on their part, and reveal an important nuance about how they operate their business environment internally. In my opinion, W-2 information is personal and confidential, just like a credit report, and should only be released if you formally agree in writing to a background check. To finish that thought, signed agreements to process background checks are standard these days. On one hand you should recognize the validity of an employer's need for a background check. On the other hand, you have every right to expect this to be a signed agreement that clearly outlines the nature of the investigation, in addition to what documents and records will be searched. You have every right to object to an employer who tries to fudge and make fuzzy any part of the background check process (e.g. by asking for a w-2 prior to gaining your written consent.) You have every right to state your salary verbally, while maintaining that the actual w-2 is a formal document to be released only under your signed consent.

    So for example, if you feel you have some leverage and they ask you for a w-2 on the first interview, you might remark that you feel it's personal information because it reveals more about your financial situation than just your salary. Tell them your salary verbally, but remark that you would like to sign a consent form to a background check that includes access to your w-2. If you are simply desperate for the job, smile and say "sure I'll get you a copy." But remember, the more comfortable an employer is in expecting you to divulge sensitive information, that is a sign of how they operate internally and what their "corporate environment" is like. This goes back to you interviewing them.

    I think the number one thing in an interview, though, is to be honest. A lot of employers will ask you targeted questions that they can verify in a background check. These are basically traps set to see if you are a character that is willing to lie. ALWAYS BE HONEST, and if you really can't answer the question for a personal reason, say you can't answer for personal reasons. A good employer will respect that response because a good employer understands that the personal and the professional sometimes do cross paths. But as someone here noted, a blatant lie will really hurt you.
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    Dec 02, 2011 8:38 PM GMT
    I feel like talking to recruiters, participating in these long drawn out interview processes for companies, negotiating salary etc. is just a big game anyway where you have to project an unrealistic, idealized version of yourself. I realize you have to play it if you want to be in the business world, but it would stress me out hardcore icon_neutral.gif. Good luck to you man.