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I had been interviewing at a local software firm,cleared first 2 rounds of HR and a technical interview with technical director. Got the invitation for next round of technical interview with team's lead after 2 weeks wait.

Once I got to that interview, everything for inital 40 mins went as expected. Technical questions were asked, code samples and other algorithms were given to be solved. Lastly, the interviewer asked for my current salary and expected salary. This question caught me off guard as it is purely HR related question and I had already told HR my current and expected salary. Anyhow, I answered the interviewer with the figures.

Yesterday while talking to the friend who referred me for that job, I came to know that the team lead might reject me due to salary. I and interviewer have almost same years of experience. He is interviewing candidates for first time in his career.

Should I email HR regarding this situation, as company is one of the promising firms in my city and I was really looking forward to join them. If so, what should be the wording of the email because I also don't want to bad mouth the interviewer? Or should I let it go and hunt for another job?

  • Why do you (or your friend) think he might reject you due to salary? You phrased this as if there's a personal bias from the interviewer's side against your expected salary, while the company as a whole doesn't have a problem with it - is this what you believe? What do you hope to achieve by sending an email to HR? – Dukeling Aug 31 '17 at 18:12
  • If your issue is simply that he asked your salary during the interview, you might want to clarify that in your question, because as it stands it sounds like you simply don't think he's experienced enough to make this decision, which is disrespectful to all involved. In fact, if that's your issue, I might recommend you instead focus on asking about the appropriateness of being asked this during a technical interview (or it being asked multiple times). – Dukeling Aug 31 '17 at 18:47
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Should I email HR regarding this situation, as company is one of the promising firms in my city and I was really looking forward to join them.

If you are expecting that the team lead makes a "No" decision and talking with HR would somehow override that, I suspect you are mistaken. In my experience, HR would never try to sway a hiring manager to accept a candidate. (They might try to sway a hiring manager to reject a candidate for reasons they see, but that's a different case).

Hearing that he "might reject [you] due to salary" almost certainly means that either you are out of the range for the position, or the hiring manager doesn't feel that you are worth what you are seeking. HR isn't going to override that.

I think you need to let this one play out without contacting HR. Meanwhile you should always continue your job search until you have a definitive acceptance.

  • You're right about HR not going to override the decision and if its a "No" decision, I also don't want to create a fuss about it. But my intention is to bring the issue into HR's attention so that in future they can ask the interviewer to ask only the technical questions. As salary is mostly considered confidential and known to only HR or employee only. Is it still a bad idea? – rollo Aug 31 '17 at 17:59
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    @rollo You should also be aware that salary not being known to a hiring manager is purely a company-specific policy, and is in no way universal or required. Many hiring managers are required to manage their own personnel budgets, and this can include input or decisions about how much to offer a potential employee, and more. Only some companies chose to restrict any of those responsibilities strictly on HR. – BrianH Sep 1 '17 at 1:09
  • @rollo Why on earth would you think it's your place to help train employees at this company you're probably not going to be working for? – Joe Sep 1 '17 at 21:13
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I would continue hunting for a job until you have signed a contract. I would not send an email. The reason being is I do not think it would do much good. On the contrary it may come across as desperate. Also hr is the ones that decide on salary

  • It has always been the case for me. Perhaps it is a cultural thing – Ed Heal Aug 31 '17 at 17:57
  • @JoeStrazzere If the interviewer is going to fail one in technical interview due to candidate's asking salary and report a "No" for the candidate then HR will most probably won't go for next phase of salary negotiation. – rollo Aug 31 '17 at 18:03
  • @EdHeal, What if I wait for their refusal email and then send a reply thanking them and suggesting improvement in their interviewing practice? I myself had interviewed a lot of candidates and we are given proper training regarding what to ask and what not to ask. – rollo Aug 31 '17 at 18:07
  • Just thank them in that eventually. Do not mention anything else. Nothing can be gained – Ed Heal Aug 31 '17 at 18:15
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This is software engineering, so we can expect the team leader to be rational and someone you can reason with using logic and arguments.

Lastly, the interviewer asked for my current salary and expected salary. This question caught me off guard as it is purely HR related question

This does not strike me as odd, when I was in IT managing developers, we would talk about this during interviews. It is not strictly a HR matter. Also this depends on the company size, if it is a small company then maybe there is no HR, or HR is just one person. Don't presume you know the inner workings of a company just because you walked in. Maybe the IT manager is the HR lady's boyfriend. This was the case in a company I worked in. So, obviously, they would both talk together! No issue about that.

Yesterday while talking to the friend who referred me for that job, I came to know that the team lead might reject me due to salary.

OK, you have inside help. Good.

I and interviewer have almost same years of experience. He is interviewing candidates for first time in his career.

Yeah, my first interviews from the other side of the desk were kinda "fly off by the seat of the pants, no idea what I'm doing." Factor this in.

Should I email HR regarding this situation

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

The first thing you do to your next manager, while not being hired yet, is go over their head and talk to their boss or HR...

Just think about the image you are presenting here: "If there is any problem in the future, I will not talk about it with you dear manager, instead I will go directly to HR."

Nope, nope, nope.

If you write an email, then put everyone who should read it in the address line. Both your future manager and HR. Simple.

If so, what should be the wording of the email because I also don't want to bad mouth the interviewer?

I suggest emailing your next boss, tell them something like that:

The salary I asked for was my default estimate. While walking on the way home, I realized I can just walk to your offices and not use my car, so I will revise my own price down (sorry, I have no idea how to properly word this in English, but you will know).

Also emphasize the reason why you want to work with them is not only convenience: mention you talked with some team member while there, or how much the project interests you. Try to strike a balance between brown-nosing and genuinely interested.

Of course your insider friend will tell you how much you should ask, so you will ask a wee bit less.

I quickly found out that working with amazing people on interesting projects mattered more than a +/- 10% difference on the paycheck.

50% difference, maybe not.

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