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“The Problem Is, You Already Gave Your Number”: Candidate Furious With Company’s Interview Process
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“The Problem Is, You Already Gave Your Number”: Candidate Furious With Company’s Interview Process

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Anyone who’s ever had to go through countless job interviews knows just how tiring and stressful the process can be. But some companies make it needlessly more troublesome.

Take this redditor’s story, for instance. After acing the initial interviews, they wanted to discuss the matter of remuneration, but instead of being given a salary range, they were presented with what they called ‘the salary number guessing game from hell’.

Bored Panda has reached out to the OP and they were kind enough to answer a few of our questions. You will find their thoughts in the text below.

Interviewing for a job can be quite a stressful experience

Image credits: cottonbro studio (not the actual photo)

This redditor was furious about having to play the “’Guess the Number’ game from the pits of Tartarus” during an interview

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Image credits: Mizuno K (not the actual photo)

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Image credits: symphonicstrings

Employers not being forthcoming with important information is what annoys the OP the most about job interviews

In a recent interview with Bored Panda, the OP shared that the thing that upset them the most was the unmet expectations regarding their degree. “I spent four years getting my bachelor’s in finance, only to realize it doesn’t offer me the leverage I thought it would. I graduated with a 3.93 GPA and have never gotten an offer of even $60K/yr. I just want a job at this point.”

They added that the thing they find the most annoying about job interviews—not only the one in their story, but about all of them in general—are employers not being forthcoming with important information, such as salary and benefits, even on a 2nd or a 3rd interview.

Be that as it may, they still try their best not only during, but also before the interview. “The rules I follow are to know the company beforehand and tailor how I sell myself based on what skills I know the company uses and needs. There is never going to be a one definite strategy, as all employers and interviewers have different needs and wants, and you need to play to that,” they pointed out, sharing how they prepare themselves for a job interview.

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Hopefully, after pouring their heart out to the ‘Anti Work’ community, the OP will have more interviews to prepare for, thanks to the support they received from fellow netizens. “The response was amazing, I felt so supported. People even reached out to me in my DMs telling me about certain job opportunities. I’ve applied to them and hope they bear fruit.”

Image credits: Nicola Barts (not the actual photo)

It’s no surprise that a job interview can be stressful or in other ways emotionally charged, as the way it goes can quite significantly change the interviewee’s future. Even if one only thinks of the positive prospects, like getting the job and starting a new chapter, it can still make their palms sweat and hands tremble. That’s because psychophysiologically, stress is stress, even if evoked by positive driving forces.

In a piece for Psychology Today, expert in stress management and burnout, doctor of psychology Jeff Comer, explained that job interviews often evoke physiological responses that produce stress, be it the negative kind known as distress or eustress—the type stemming from positive stimuli.

He added that it might be a mix of emotions and circumstances that lead to stress, though, which often entails the possibility of having a perceived fear of rejection and feeling a loss of control or discomfort of talking about—or selling—yourself to strangers.

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According to Everest College’s National Study, as much as 92% of US adults are stressed over at least one thing regarding the job interview process. The survey spokesman, John Swartz, emphasized that “For so many, the job interview can be a high-pressure, make-or-break event when searching for a job, so it’s only natural that anxiety can play a major factor.”

Image credits: Sora Shimazaki (not the actual photo)

Swartz pointed out that the interview is undeniably the most important part of getting the job you want. But, according to him, hiring managers have recently noticed a lack of basic interviewing skills in a great number of college graduates. The OP didn’t seem to face such a problem, as they revealed that every interviewer acknowledged that they would be the ideal candidate.

Unfortunately, even being the ideal candidate, they couldn’t guess the right number when it came to the salary; they lost the “guessing game from hell” deemed by both the redditor themselves and the online community. Even though the format where the negotiation begins and ends with the interviewee’s first given number might not be common, the matter of remuneration can become a slippery slope during an interview.

CNBC pointed out that when it comes to the timing of posing the salary question, experts seem to be split into camps about it. Some suggest clearing things up in the very beginning in order for both sides not to waste time if the expectations don’t match. Others believe that it’s better to take things slow and wait until the second or third interview, as by that point, the company is already quite invested and arguably interested in the candidate, which gives the latter more leverage.

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Image credits: Tima Miroshnichenko (not the actual photo)

The OP waited until the third interview—after having aced the first two—to bring up the salary question, but instead of being given a number or even a range, they were told that the information is confidential. In order to avoid similar situations and other remuneration-related issues, some of the US states and cities have been rolling out salary transparency laws, CNBC reports.

With the start of the year—January 1st, 2023—three more states have reportedly joined the ones that have already passed said transparency laws. Established to provide workers with more leverage to negotiate their salaries and close wage gaps, such laws might require employees to provide salary ranges on job advertisements or at some point during the hiring process.

In the comments under their post, the OP revealed that they’re located in rural Michigan—a state which, as of January this year, reportedly had two pay transparency bills pending. They also pointed out that they don’t enjoy living there, while fellow redditors in the comments mostly focused on criticizing the company.

Fellow redditors shared their views in the comments, the OP replied to some of them

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Some netizens discussed similar experiences

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happyhirts avatar
Mad Dragon
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

My state has made it illegal to post a position without posting the salary range. A monetary fine is imposed to companies that break that law, and the damages are paid to the person who turns them in.

c_o_shea avatar
C.O. Shea
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Easy answer... I'm sorry, I'm sure you understand I can't give you my expected salary range... that would hurt my chances with other employer interviews!

oldmanfl01 avatar
Steve Hall
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

There was no job there. The interview process shouldn't take two months and yes the salary should be discussed at the first meeting. At most, they are looking for an uninformed, underpaid beginner that can be used to fill the position of someone who is due a raise.

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happyhirts avatar
Mad Dragon
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

My state has made it illegal to post a position without posting the salary range. A monetary fine is imposed to companies that break that law, and the damages are paid to the person who turns them in.

c_o_shea avatar
C.O. Shea
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Easy answer... I'm sorry, I'm sure you understand I can't give you my expected salary range... that would hurt my chances with other employer interviews!

oldmanfl01 avatar
Steve Hall
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

There was no job there. The interview process shouldn't take two months and yes the salary should be discussed at the first meeting. At most, they are looking for an uninformed, underpaid beginner that can be used to fill the position of someone who is due a raise.

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