Jobseeker rejected for 'ludicrous' reason after asking 'basic' interview question

She asked about pay and benefits and the employer thought she was too 'financially oriented'.

A woman has been rejected from a job after asking a few "basic" questions during the interview process. While the spotlight is usually on you and your skills during an interview, there's always a chance for an applicant to quiz the prospective employer about the role and the company.

For many people, especially in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis, this would be the perfect time to ask about the salary and the benefits attached to the position. Indeed’s former head of career insights, Jay Munro told Yahoo Finance discussions around pay need to be timed right and one person found this out the hard way.

Entrepreneur Ben Askins posted the messages between a woman named Katherine and a recruiter after she finished the interview process.

insert of entrepreneur Ben Askins next to woman in job interview
Entrepreneur Ben Askins has ripped into an employer for rejecting a candidate because she asked about pay. (Source: Instagram/Getty)

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She was told she didn't get the job, which she said was a "shame" because she thought she did really well.


Katherine asked if she did anything wrong, and the recruiter revealed that while the employer loved her, her "questions were too financially oriented".

The jobseeker hit back and said the majority of her questions in the interview were about the role and at the end she only wanted to "clarify something around what was included in the benefits package".

Sadly for Katherine, this was what caused her to miss out on the job.

But Askins was furious about what happened to Katherine and put the employer on blast.

"Of course people are going to be interested in the price and the benefits and the package that comes with it," he said.

"That's the sole reason why they're in that room.

"Of course, it's nice to have a place where you want to work...of course that's a pro and something you should aim for. But ultimately, the reason people go to work is to get money to support themselves.

"This idea that you can't ask basic questions in an interview is so frustrating and the fact they've denied her based on that as well is absolutely ludicrous."

Katherine was told the company was looking for someone who was "more interested in the role than the money".

Indeed's Jay Munro explained it's most "respectful" if the conversation around salary is done right at the very beginning.

And by that, he means your screening call before the interview.

“If you’re applying for the job and it’s got the salary listed on the job ad, then the employers have told you what it is, so you wouldn’t go through the entire process and then say at the last minute that you want more money,” he told Yahoo Finance.

If the salary was listed on the job ad but you’re looking for a bit more, then it’s still acceptable to ask.

“You can still express interest,” Munro said. “You can say, ‘look, this is my salary and this is what I’m looking for,’ and just see if they’re flexible.”

If you’re contacted by a recruiter, the game changes again.

“It seems to be more common practice now amongst recruiters to state what the salary is in the very first conversation,” Munro said. “They don’t want to waste people’s time.”

The screening call is usually with an HR staff member or a recruiter, however, if you progress to the next round and you're being interviewed by your prospective boss then pay might not be a great topic, according to Munro.

“That doesn't reflect on you in a positive way for future transactions if you were to apply again,” Munro told Yahoo Finance

“That could be a risk that the candidate might not stick around or might not be focused on actual productivity or being a top performer.”

If you don’t have a screening call and are put straight into an interview, then a discussion around salary would be more appropriate, but Munro said you have to do your research.

“With any job, regardless, you should be aware of what the industry rate is for the job that you do,” he said.

“Do your research and find out - if you have an expectation which is way outside the industry average, then you need to readjust your expectations beforehand. If it’s within that industry average, then just say, ‘This is what I’m expecting of the role’.”

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