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?

  • 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, 2013 at 12:04
  • 1
    This has become infuriatingly common.
    – Morons
    Oct 16, 2013 at 13:00
  • 8
    @JimG. It's irrelevant whether it's an appropriate salary or not. Oct 16, 2013 at 15:07
  • 1
    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, 2013 at 19:12
  • 2
    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, 2013 at 19:02

1 Answer 1



  • 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.
  • 41
    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, 2013 at 12:50
  • 14
    Another possibility is that they might have paid 90k, but now they have interviewed you they think your skill level is only worth 60k. Oct 16, 2013 at 14:00
  • 2
    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. Oct 19, 2013 at 20:43

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