Recruiter Advice that You Should Ignore

This morning I got sucked into watching Facebook reels. The offspring inform me that these are just old TikToks, and I should go straight to TikTok, but I’m an old lady who likes Facebook and always regrets clicking on reels, and yet I still do it.

Anyway, a lovely woman described herself as an ex-corporate recruiter and would tell you the secrets to job hunting. (Sadly, I couldn’t find it again to share it with you all.)

I’m all over the secrets of job hunting.

She then said never to bring up salary and never turn down an interview even if they won’t tell you the salary because interviewing is a skill and you need practice.

Okay, let’s break this down.

Interviewing is a skill. She’s right. And we all need more practice in it because most of us don’t interview for jobs all that often. Some people are naturally good at it, and others are naturally terrible. Practice is a good thing, and she’s not wrong about that. She said you have nothing to lose, even if it turns out the salary for this job is below what you’ll accept.


Your time is not valueless. She’s only right about needing practice, but you have things to lose if you interview for a job you would never take. If you’re unemployed and were only going to spend that time watching Facebook reels, then yes, it’s more valuable to take the interview–provided it’s not expensive to do so. People who are employed often underestimate the real financial crunch the unemployed are in. Driving, parking, paying for childcare, and sometimes even needing a new interview outfit can all add up.

But, if you are employed, have kids or hobbies, parents or cats you’d rather spend time with, and this is a job you’d never take if the salary is too low, there is a cost to going. If you have to use vacation time or give up some political capital at work to sneak out for an interview, there is a huge cost to interviewing. So while interviewing is a skill, there is a cost to it.

Companies that won’t give you a salary range have something to hide. Yes, if you’re applying to be a CEO  of a Fortune 100 company, the range might be incredibly large, and will be negotiated with lawyers involved. If the job is an HR manager, senior accountant, or QA II specialist, they likely already have a salary approved. They didn’t post the job, not knowing what they wanted to pay.

Yes, some small companies don’t have ranges and may not do compensation analysis before posting a job, but even they have their limits.

So a company that won’t speak up doesn’t want you to know because they are either hiding a small salary or they are hoping to lowball you.

Again if you’re unemployed, you may be willing to take a lowball salary just to get a job again. But if you’re employed and not entirely desperate, you won’t.

So take the interview with the tight-lipped company if you feel like it would be worth your time to find out more. But there is a cost to interviewing, and in today’s environment, salaries should be disclosed upfront. A company that won’t do that has something sketchy going on.


If you’re looking for a job and your resume needs a tune up, join this resume workshop!

Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

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3 thoughts on “Recruiter Advice that You Should Ignore

  1. I agree. The salary range should be disclosed up front, when the job is posted/listed. If you still can’t get that information, even in the interview, be prepared for an insultingly-low amount.

  2. Suzanne,
    Suzanne Baele here. I participated in your resume workshop yesterday. You mentioned you would be sharing the ‘notes’ you created while working with Joseph, Becki, Amanda and myself.
    I was hoping to get those, as I will be writing my new resume this weekend.
    On a side note, I can not tell you how much I enjoyed the workshop, particularly the collaboration among the group, so awesome!

  3. Thank you! For years now I will not interview without knowing a salary range, and people told me I was being difficult.

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