I'm interviewing at a certain programming job. I've passed everything, the people doing the interview say they really like my skills and want me to join the team, everything's looking great, the manager even said directly that he was going to have HR make me an offer, which I've never had anyone actually come out and say as part of the interview process before.
Then I got the call from the in-house recruiter, and everything was completely different. The guy was extremely aggressive and pushy, condescending, and came across more like a used car salesman than a professional recruiter at a software company.
- He repeatedly asked about my current salary, even after I told him flat-out that that has no relevance whatsoever to the current discussion. At one point he started asking several questions about "is it more than X? Is it more than Y?" Because apparently to him "I don't want to answer that" means "please play 20 Questions and try to trick me into answering it"!
- When he asked about salary requirements, I told him I never really know what to say to that question, so I'd go to StackOverflow's salary calculator and look up the fair market value for someone with my qualifications. He immediately dismissed the number I gave him as "too high, probably deal-breaker high", and said he really hopes I'm not too "married to" some figure I pulled off of "some random website." (Pointing out that it's actually the biggest, most trusted programming community in the world just got a dismissive remark.)
- He kept saying things that felt calculated to keep me off balance, like asking what my current job title is after saying that job titles are meaningless, and then telling me about several job titles at the workplace that don't match any of the titles I saw on people's name placards while interviewing there.
- He said straight-up that he's "not trying to lowball you" while giving every appearance of doing exactly that, even to the point of remarking how there are plenty of other developers who would work for a lot less. (As if we were a fungible commodity!)
If I were dating someone who treated me this way, constantly demeaning me and playing mind games, I'd call it an abusive relationship and kick them to the curb. But this is a job, and it's a job I really do want to get. I really like the people I'd actually be working with, and the work they'd have me doing seems interesting and challenging. I just don't want to have to deal with this jerk as a part of it.
Any suggestions on how to handle a situation like this?