A little background to give you some context.
I have been searching for a job in UK for a while. Things haven't been favorable for the last 6 months due to my visa situation which was about to expire. But recently the visa is getting renewed and I have aggressively started searching for a job in UK.
Recently a recruiter contacted be and reffered me to company for an open position which seems to pay a little below the market in my opinion but still went for the interview since it was reasonably near to my home and the take home assignment was not too diffcult.
The company send out a reasonable sample problem, which I did well. The onsite was scheduled very soon. The senior dev who interviewed me seemed to like the code that was written. The manager (hiring Manager i think) also seemed to like me and things were looking good. No offer was made and we were about to wind up.
That's were the pleasantness ends and the awkwardness began.
Hiring Manager : I will get back to you within 2 days. Me : Ok cool Hm : Could I know your salary expectation ? Me : I am not looking for anything unreasonable, just something around the market value Hm : I need to write down a figure, before I approach the HR Me : See if I quote a high figure, I might get rejected out right. I HM : You must have googled the market, how much would you be happy with? I don't want to have discussion later during the yearly review that you are unhappy with the salary. Me : I really can't give you a number right now. Hm : ... bla.. bla.. (cites 10k lower than what recruiter told me) Me : ... dodge dodge.. Hm : I will send this without a salary range and evaluate other candidates. I will get back to you with a number and I won't budge from that. (he starts getting serious, but still polite I guess.) Me : You are really not leaving me any options. (bad move I guess) Senior dev: I am leaving, you guys have a good discussion. Hm : (closes the door) HM : So what will it be ? Me : ok 50
We exchange pleasantries and I leave the building.
So my questions are
Is this really normal this early in the process ? Or did I just get strong armed / he pulled a quick one on me ? I know I really can't negotiate unless I can walk away, but wanted to make the most of what they could offer me.
Should I have not quoted a salary then and there?
The strong arming that I sensed, could be an indication of a bad future there?
The recruitment seem company have posted 2 adverts for the same job with 5K difference, ie 55K. Am i just being too suspicious that the recruiter really doesn't have my best interest.