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‘This was like the second or third question’: Job-hunter says recruiter asked them what the lowest pay they would accept was

‘Standard practice by recruiters.’


Jack Alban


Posted on Aug 9, 2023

A worker went viral on Reddit after sharing the off-the-wall question a recruiter asked him during a job interview. 

User @DrillingShale posted the question to the site’s r/antiwork subreddit. He said he worried that the unnamed company was purposefully trying to low-ball him. As of Tuesday morning, his post had over 4,100 upvotes. 

Recruiter Asked Me What the Lowest Amount I’d Be Willing to Take
by u/DrillingShale in antiwork

“They asked me word for word ‘what is the lowest pay you would be willing to take for this position,’” the redditor wrote. “I said a number and then they told me that it was perfect because that number is their starting base pay.” The worker added that “this was like the second or third question” they were given.

Then, seeking input, they asked: “Did the recruiter purposefully try to low ball me?”

A number of viewers said that this was standard. 

“Everyone will always try to lowball you,” one viewer wrote. “Now I go with a fixed number I have worked out beforehand.”

“Sames. I’ve had recruiters tell me it was higher than the role and I’ve had to say that it doesn’t sound like a good fit,” another added. “Have a number you’re happy with and stick to it.”

“Standard practice by recruiters,” a third person said. “What you do is think of the number that would make you dance if you got it. Tell them that is the minimum you would accept.”

In a related Quora post, one worker said that they’ve never seen a candidate that a company really wanted lose out on a job for requesting “too high” of a salary. One commenter, Chris Bolte, who is the CEO and founder of Paysa, said that the amount of money a prospective employee requests doesn’t exactly result in them losing out on the job. Instead, he said, the manner in which they broached the topic did.

“Those people that negotiate professionally, with respect, with data supporting their position… those that ask nicely will have a much better chance [of] being successful,” he wrote.

Indeed, meanwhile, encouraged job seekers to have evidence backing up why they deserve their desired salary. They recommended demonstrating value to the business, chronicling on-the-job accomplishments, and pulling research from other companies about salary industry standards.

The Daily Dot has reached out to @DillingShale via Reddit direct message.

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*First Published: Aug 9, 2023, 7:26 am CDT