I was reached by one of the recruiters on LinkedIn for a senior position to one of the top financial firm, and had 6 interviews. 1 over the phone, and 5 in person. All 5 of the interviewers liked me and were very excited to have me start in their team. Each of them told me at the end that they really hope I get hired and cant wait for me to start. After the in person interview they sent me an online coding exam, and the next day the HR contacted me to inform me I was selected for the job.

They were offering me a 100k base salary, which I was expecting and is something I can live with. Then today I got a call from the HR saying that they just noticed I graduated last year, and my experience working before graduation does not count. I have been working 40 hours (full time) for last 3 years, and have written many production applications. I have also worked on the technology stack for 1.5 years and the stack has only been out for that long so I am sure everyone else probably only has same experience as me if they are applying for this position. I am not sure if I should accept the offer if its slightly better than my current salary. The HR said they definitely want to hire me and I have the position secured, but they are working out the details as to they will lower the position by 1 level or if they will keep this offer. If they lower the position I am not sure if I want to accept it because when they did interview me, it was for a senior position. The interviewers went through my resume and saw that I had graduated last year. The HR said that the team is trying to keep the position at this level as well, but the compensation team is causing issues now. I want to be ready to accept or reject the position.

About my current job:

I was screwed at my current job for same reason (experience before graduation does not count) when I started, but I proved myself and was promoted within 6 months and my new salary is near 80k. I also do not like working at my current job because the environment has become very toxic. Three really good developers quit in the last 1-month, and I know for sure another one is going to put his 2 week notice in a week. The team structure is changing and we got some new lead developers like 4 months ago that have no experience in the technology stack or the concepts behind why are application is architected as it is currently. They are also not wiling to listen to new ideas and are pretty much ruining a perfectly good application, and are also going backwards on all the progress we have made in the last 1.5 years.

I am not sure if it’s worth working for the new company if they are coming back after the entire process is over and giving a reason like this. So now I am turning here for some advise since many of you guys have been in the field long enough.

  • Did they say why your experience before graduation "doesn't count"? – Brandin Aug 23 '17 at 6:14

Short answer: Take the job offer, I would.

First off, congratulations on a successful interview process with it being so lengthy, most would be put off after having two interviews and being asked to attend a third.

The lack of proof reading on your part reflects badly in my view, if you were to send e-mails with the same lack of attention to detail your colleagues would start to get concerned. Also, by not spacing out your content, others will find it hard to skim over what you have put and you won't last long in the role you've applied for because nobody will do what you ask of them.

I also looked at the questions you posted on your Stack Overflow account and if they are anything to go by your lack of experience shows.

For a 100k job experience is everything, if you are being offered the position with less than 5 years experience count your blessings. Most professionals will need at least 5 to 10 years to progress to a senior role.

The number of interviews is an indication to me that this is a very important role with a substantial amount of responsibility.

Another thing you have to consider is that many companies put out jobs advertising a higher role and salary, hoping to attract better talent, it is quite common for a company to offer a lower salary or a more junior position because that is really the salary they intended on offering or because the role really available isn't as advertised.

Your current salary of 80k isn't a huge step to 100k but some companies don't even offer a higher salary than what you are currently paid. If you want to go to 150k for example, you will find it a lot harder to convince someone that you are worth so much more than what you are currently paid.

If you make the rookie mistake of telling the interviewer how much you are currently paid, this is just another telltale sign of inexperience.

You are not coming from a good position and in my view your attitude is wrong, if you want to bring in an income and your current employment has turned sour you should be happy you've been offered a role elsewhere so that you can see if things work out better in the new role.

So in my experience, if I was in your boots, I would accept the job offer.


First of all, consider your options. Negotiating can only be taken so far when you re not ready to walk away. Now, going through 5 interviews seems to me they re pretty invested in the idea of having you as a team member so judging from the fact you also want to work there (salary increase and better working environment) you can make some suggestions to reach an agreeable solution without taking it too far, always with the mindset of accepting their offer in the end.

For that purpose I would start off by giving their HR rep a written reasoning(likewise what you did here) why you think a senior title is deserved so they can make the counter-argument to the compensation team while also stating that such a development in accordance with all your previous talk would be of great importance for you and enough to seal t the deal. Furthermore, to my understanding, there's no talk of change in the role responsibilities, just the title so if that not works, I would try getting a clue in my contract or otherwise assurance that within a specific time frame of having in essence a senior role I would get an evaluation for the official senior title to follow.

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