Rant: apply for job online. Job emails me with 7 questions as "next steps", one of which is salary. I email back. They email back (at 9pm mind you) "we can't meet your salary expectations"...

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Never get into salary until after the first interview. It's a good rule of thumb for you and for the agency. You don't want 10k to keep you from going to a great place you might love and they don't want to lose a great candidate to save 10k. Or however much it is. That's why it's good to talk first then get into money. And no its not wasting anyone's time it's giving the relationship a chance before money potentially breaks it off at the knees. Trust me.

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...If you know a salary is a deal breaker for your very small agency, wouldn't you lead with that question rather than making your candidates answer 6 other questions you actually don't care the answer to?

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Ok. So you saved some time. Move on

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You have a point and ive never come across a what are you salary expectations question before. Sounds like poor practice. Plus the older I get the more tired I am of farting out HR nonsense. They should prescreen and call a brother to ask at the very least. If the process isn't effecicient and doesn't factor in the cost to my own time then i have low expectations to begin with.

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I disagree with VP. Salary is just as important as "opportunity". Don't waste my time or yours if you're not going to pay me what I want. On a side note, jealous you're interviewing. No more poo for you!

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Only if price is the most important thing. They may have a budget, but smart employers will work to identify the best candidates first, rather than the cheapest.

@VP so you would just say "let's meet first"?

Judging by the size and age of this "agency," it was probably more like 20k.

^let's hope

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