I recently attended an interview with a company's​ Managing Director. It seemed to go well until the salary discussion. They already had my salary expectations on file before asking me to attend an interview, but at the interview they said they would not be offering what I'd asked for regardless of experience.

I'm confused as to why someone would request an interview when they already knew they weren't going to hire that applicant. Just seems like it served no purpose. Anyone else experienced this?

  • 5
    Hoping you were desperate? Or possibly for a sales position hoping you could sell yourself into the position? Commented Apr 19, 2017 at 6:45
  • How did you say your salary range and how was it discussed? E.g. You: "I am asking for a salary range of $x - $y." Him: "We can't possibly offer $x."
    – Brandin
    Commented Apr 19, 2017 at 6:52
  • 1
    Your question is unclear. In the title, you said "salary range". In the question, you said "salary expectations". They are different things. "Expectation" means how much you are hoping to get if you're hired. So, they said you are not going to get that. Now, it's your turn.
    – Nobody
    Commented Apr 19, 2017 at 7:00
  • Back question: A lot of people apply for jobs, although the do not fit all of the requirements. Because they think they have a chance (and they do) if everything else matches just fine.
    – skymningen
    Commented Apr 19, 2017 at 8:16
  • When doing the employer/employee dance, I always ask before attending a F2F what the salary range is so that I don't waste my time. If I am low on prospects, I might attend the interview for practice, but otherwise why bother at all if you are two far apart on one ( if not the one ) of the main reason you work?
    – Neo
    Commented Apr 19, 2017 at 11:11

2 Answers 2


There's a couple of reasons they might have wanted to do this and realistically you'll probably never find out exactly why. However there are a couple of reasons as to why they might have done this;

  1. Wanted to try and get you on board if you were the right fit with a lower salary.
  2. Wanted to use you as a bench mark for other candidates with similar experience/salary expectations.
  3. Wanted to see if you are worth the expected salary requested after meeting with you.

You could always ask them however I'd advise against it simply because they've told you already they won't meet your expected salary so trying to continue the discussion may not end in the way you're after. If that salary is important and you think it's a fair reasonable amount for the role, just move on and look for another position elsewhere.

Those reasons are pure speculation because unless the person interviewing tells you, there's no way to know. They may have needed to fill a quota of interviewees perhaps.

  • 6
    On the other hand, knowing you won't be a match anyway makes this the ideal opportunity to ask nearly risk-free feedback. Whether they'll reply is another matter, but you can ask.
    – Weckar E.
    Commented Apr 19, 2017 at 9:00
  • @WeckarE. Very true.
    – user66194
    Commented Apr 19, 2017 at 9:01
  • A lot of companies have goals in regards to the number of candidates being interviewed. Nice catch.
    – Neo
    Commented Apr 19, 2017 at 11:12

They already had my salary expectations on file

I have met two reasons why they would still interview candidates so far:

  • The interviewer thought the candidate was good and hoped that he could sell the company so well that the candidate would ignore his salary expectations and work for them.

  • The interviewer had hoped the candidate was really good, but in the interview found out it's not the perfect match he had hoped for. So he offered a white lie and said "we don't pay more". Conveniently forgetting to add "for you".

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