Dear J.T. & Dale: I’ve noticed that job postings with false salaries are pretty frequent. For example, a job might be posted at $50,000 a year, but you go to the interview and it’s really $36,000.
If contacted about an interview, is it appropriate to ask the salary range before going? When a person is employed while looking for another job, it is difficult to take off for interviews and I must be selective. – Ross
J.T.: The salary bait-and-switch happens a lot. Companies want the best talent to apply, then, once they have someone eager for the job, they offer a lower salary as a way to save money.
DALE: Which sounds slimy, but we live in a bait-and-switch world, with a carnival barker’s sense of propriety – just think of all those commercials with “up to” or “as little as” lurking around.
In job situations, the truth usually is hidden within the salary range, and no company wants to start someone at the top – not merely to save money, but also to allow for future raises.
However, if they give you a range, that’s to your advantage, because it gives you a “peg” for your eventual negotiations.
J.T.: The key word being “eventual.” Yes, you could question them on salary before going in, but honestly, if you do, they most likely will either remove you from the running or repeat the information in the job ad.
My advice is to get the interview, wow them with your skills, get the job offer, then try to negotiate the higher salary. At that point, you are their first choice, and they are more likely to go up in salary to get their first pick and end the search.
Fake salaries job image from Bigstock