Asking HR about pay range before formal interview process

Intel jBNs80
Jun 29, 2018 20 Comments

Is it a bad practice to ask about the compensation range during the first chat with the recruiter? I like the job I am at. But when I joined the company, I was very naive to accept a lowball offer. I do not want to make the same mistake again. And I do not wanting to be wasting their time or mine if the compensation is not what I am expecting.

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TOP 20 Comments
  • Evernote Eevee23
    Ask for the salary range. As of this year, recruiters have to provide it if you ask. Just say that you want to be considerate of everyone’s time and make sure your expectations are in alignment with what they can provide.
    Jun 29, 2018 0
  • Uber gatopan
    Use glass door for an estimate until you actually feel comfortable to ask

    Don’t use the average though , found out it’s usually 10 to 20k lower than the actual salaries
    Jun 29, 2018 2
    • Intel jBNs80
      OP
      This where I went wrong the last time. Glassdoor for my current position shows 68k - 150k. Average around 100k. Which is what all my peers started off with after negotiating. I started off at 70k with a masters degree thinking it would get better from there. I was wrong.
      Jun 29, 2018
    • Uber gatopan
      I always do 20k on top of the average , have found out that I usually sit on the average ( meaning that actual salaries are usually 30 or 40k more )
      Jun 29, 2018
  • Starbucks / Eng GotEm🤙🏽
    Yeah it’s ok. Saves everyone from wasting time. I usually only ask for small companies where the answer could really be anything. Or if it’s a unique position or hybrid job

    If a company needs to be secretive about salary it’s a warning flag and I wouldn’t want to work there anyway.
    Jun 29, 2018 0
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield / Product
    blah2008

    Blue Cross Blue Shield Product

    BIO
    SF-based PM health tech space; former VC/PE analyst
    blah2008more
    That’s a typical early question from recruiters...what’s your salary expectation? So you asking what the typical range is for this role at their company is just good anticipation. If they’re unwilling to answer, you don’t want the job anyway. Politely decline to continue the process.
    Jun 29, 2018 1
    • Intel jBNs80
      OP
      I am definitely willing to answer. Because compensation would be a major deciding factor in taking up the offer
      Jun 29, 2018
  • Apple AppleEPM
    As of this year, recruiters are obligated to give a range when asked. I read the new law myself. Use it!!!!
    Jun 29, 2018 3
    • GE / Eng
      Ermahgerd

      GE Eng

      PRE
      CarMax
      Ermahgerdmore
      Yea, law or not, it's a black mark on you when making a first impression.
      Jun 29, 2018
    • Intel SpoW74
      There is literally no reason you can't ask before you have to give a range. Dont be silly about this based on opinions. Or do and find out you are underpaid and cant fix it.
      Jun 29, 2018
    • Google / Eng
      LeetNope

      Google Eng

      PRE
      Apple
      LeetNopemore
      It's not a black mark. You can ask them what the pay band is for the position they are targeting you for. In addition the new law states that they cannot ask you your current compensation or even use it if you disclose it voluntarily. In California that is.
      Jun 29, 2018
  • GE / Eng
    Ermahgerd

    GE Eng

    PRE
    CarMax
    Ermahgerdmore
    It's a touchy subject.. I have never asked, as between my knowledge of the industry, market and duties of the role I have been able to get close to where I was expecting.
    Jun 29, 2018 2
    • Intel jBNs80
      OP
      I know. That was my fear with the first job. I dint want to lose the opportunity for something like this. I grabbed what I got.
      Jun 29, 2018
    • GE / Eng
      Ermahgerd

      GE Eng

      PRE
      CarMax
      Ermahgerdmore
      First job is different.. take what you get if it's fair and reasonable. But, as you work your way up, in today's market, companies pay top dollar for top talent. I never have and never will ask about pay until offer letter comes along, then we can talk. Otherwise it's tacky and can insinuate you are only in it for you. I would reject someone right away if they asked about pay during an interview.
      Jun 29, 2018
  • Spotify noobtella
    Press as hard as you can to find out where you are in the range and in the band
    Jun 29, 2018 1
    • Intel jBNs80
      OP
      I will certainly will!
      Jun 29, 2018
  • Autodesk / Mgmt urangi
    I usually ask the recruiter to gauge salary expectations in the initial prescreen call. No point in wasting everyone's time if you are miles apart.
    Jun 29, 2018 0
  • Amazon / Eng Pen Island
    I used to think it is rude.

    Now after I have interviewed and hired people myself, I think it is best to be up front and not waste everyone's time.

    You are allowed to ask for less than what you currently make if you want.
    Jun 29, 2018 0
  • Intel JJ85
    just ask what pay/grade level they are trying hire for the position. that way you indirectly have some idea on what the range might be.
    you can then talk to current employee of the company and figure out what to expect ?
    Jun 29, 2018 0
  • Intel SpoW74
    If you are interviewing in CA they have to tell you if you ask. Don't ignore the law that makes it easy to learn
    Jun 29, 2018 0

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