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As is common these days, many job applications require you to list a minimum salary. I take that as the amount base salary I would need in order to meet my job level.

I have a PhD degree in science, and I clearly listed $90,000 as my minimum salary.

I went through the interview process 5 or 6 days; and lo and behold, 5 weeks later I finally get an offer, but at a baffling $60,000.

I'm at the offer stage, but it's likely that they would not match my salary request.

Why bother interviewing me knowing what I specifically stated in the pre employment application? Isn't that the point?

closed as primarily opinion-based by jcmeloni, Jim G., IDrinkandIKnowThings, jmort253 Oct 18 '13 at 3:54

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 9
    They may offer you several other things. More vacations, a better work environnement, stock-options, etc. Wait for them to tell you what they can offer you. Plus I don't know which PhD in science you have, but $90k may be a bit much. – Fabinout Oct 16 '13 at 12:04
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    This has become infuriatingly common. – Morons Oct 16 '13 at 13:00
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    @JimG. It's irrelevant whether it's an appropriate salary or not. – DJClayworth Oct 16 '13 at 15:07
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    Don't worry about why. They have made you an offer. Now (1) decide if you want to make a counter-offer; and (2) how much. Free clue: Your counter-offer should be much greater than 90K to give them room to negotiate down. – emory Oct 16 '13 at 19:12
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    I just defended my PhD in a strong engineering field. When I finished my MS I was offered 70K for a job out of the gate, but decided that a PhD was something I wanted. When you spend 5 years on something, I definitely think it counts as experience. – John D. Oct 17 '13 at 19:02
35

Possibilities:

  • They made a mistake.
  • They think that you will be willing to settle for a lower figure.
  • You were interviewed because they needed to do X interviews, but you accidentally won. Now after you reject their offer they will take the 2nd place candidate.
  • You were interviewed because they needed to do X interviews, the number one candidate turned them down.
  • They thought they could pay more, but the new budget limits what they can pay.
  • You were the only candidate that passed the initial screen.
  • They will be offering you non-salary items that they haven't disclosed yet.
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    They want you to reject the offer so they can hire a foreign worker on a particular type of visa that requires them to prove that they tried to hire and couldn't find a candidate who will accept their offer. – HLGEM Oct 16 '13 at 12:50
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    Another possibility is that they might have paid 90k, but now they have interviewed you they think your skill level is only worth 60k. – DJClayworth Oct 16 '13 at 14:00
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    I'm going to bet that @HLGEM is correct, but another possibility is that they would prefer you, but they need to reset the pay for the opening with their HR Department. They need to show HR that qualified people cost more than they wish were the case. Still, HLGEM is (sadly) probably right. – Wesley Long Oct 19 '13 at 20:43

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