Going to recruiter interview this afternoon

ScottFernScottFern Posts: 75Member ■■□□□□□□□□
Well guys, I am gainfully employed as a help desk rep but I have a good Net Admin who tries to throw me lots of junior administration work my way. I live 10 minutes from work and I have pretty good benefits.

They also pay for one training class a year. (boot camp)

Now, last week I was just going about my day when a recruiter called me to get some more info from me about my work history as well as experience. He said he has a client who is looking for a net/sys admin for a e-commerce company in downtown Chicago. So, I am meeting with him for a face to face interview today.

I am excited and a little suspicious at the same time. He told me I would be working by myself and this company just got a lot of funding, whatever that means. I am excited to get real world experience doing network administration stuff full time, but at the same time I am in a comfy spot where I do sys admin work 25% of the time and when **** hits the fan I escalate to my Net admin.

But on the other hand, its nice to get that experience and at the same time command another 15k in salary. I was hoping to ask for either 65k or 70k. Not sure what they will say to that, but either way I have a good job.

Just wanted to hear some feedback or advice for the interview this afternoon!!!
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Comments

  • blargoeblargoe Self-Described Huguenot NC, USAPosts: 4,171Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    I think you'll be able to tell whether this is a legit opportunity or not once you sit down with the recruiter. It doesn't sound shady to me based on what you have said...

    Best advice I can give... if they're willing to take a chance on you, you have to look inside yourself and see if you're willing to step outside your comfort zone. That is how you move up in this line of work.

    Ask about stuff like paid training and resources. If you're the main guy, but they don't provide for professional development or have some kind of support relationship with their software vendors like Microsoft, I might be more leery of stepping into that job.

    Money? It may or may not come up... don't bring it up this time if he doesn't bring it up.
    IT guy since 12/00

    Recent: 11/2019 - RHCSA (RHEL 7); 2/2019 - Updated VCP to 6.5 (just a few days before VMware discontinued the re-cert policy...)
    Working on: RHCE/Ansible
    Future: Probably continued Red Hat Immersion, Possibly VCAP Design, or maybe a completely different path. Depends on job demands...
  • AshenweltAshenwelt Posts: 260Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    If it feels right, I would bring up training benefits. Most of the time companies need to fit that into their offer, so they need the info.

    Only thing is... don't get too ecited. These guys are looking for people to sell in essence. They often don't actually have the job lined up, but instead are working on speculation.
    Ashenwelt
    -Always working on something...
    -The RepAdmin Active Directory Blog
  • ScottFernScottFern Posts: 75Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    blargoe wrote: »
    I think you'll be able to tell whether this is a legit opportunity or not once you sit down with the recruiter. It doesn't sound shady to me based on what you have said...

    Best advice I can give... if they're willing to take a chance on you, you have to look inside yourself and see if you're willing to step outside your comfort zone. That is how you move up in this line of work.

    Ask about stuff like paid training and resources. If you're the main guy, but they don't provide for professional development or have some kind of support relationship with their software vendors like Microsoft, I might be more leery of stepping into that job.

    Money? It may or may not come up... don't bring it up this time if he doesn't bring it up.

    You really hit the nail on the head. I always complain to myself how I want to handle the harder more interesting jobs, and here is my chance, but at the same time I am very comfortable having a net admin above me to take care of things when I run out of ideas. Am I prepared enough to take on a IT job independently and not have any other co-workers who can help in that arena?

    But you bring up a great point. I need to know what resources I would have at my disposal? Vendor support contracts and such.....Definitely something I will bring up.

    Thanks!
  • ScottFernScottFern Posts: 75Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Well, I am finally back from the city. That was an interesting interview. I put down I was looking for 70k on the application and that was one of the first things he commented on saying that it was unrealistic with my job experience especially in this market. I merely put it there as a negotiation point and he did not see it that way.

    I have a feeling most of his "clients" are smaller, and new companies looking for just a net admin with little experience so they can pay less than a seasoned vet with 10 years experience. So he said asking for a 15k raise is silly in essence.

    I explained to him I was comfortable where I was, and he kept pointing out that I had certifications of a net admin, but the experience of a 3 year help desk rep and that any lateral move in salary while gaining net admin experience is worthwhile. Not to come off as lazy, but I see this as a way to pay me low and work me like a dog. Most net admins I have worked with had people under them (me) to tackle the menial jobs, but I wouldn't in this scenario and as such I should be compensated for it.

    He is going to get back with me in a couple days and present me with a job description he said.....so we shall see.
  • JavonRJavonR Posts: 245Member
    I'm all about taking risks and salary cuts to advance, but that doesn't really seem like a good job imo. If you were to take a salary cut (or remain at the same pay) and get an opportunity to work on a team... then sure thing, but you're just gonna get worked like a dog as you said.

    Edit: One more thing, how hard are you willing to work? After you put some time in is there going to be opportunities for advancement? It would sure suck knowing that you will remain in that position no matter how much time or effort you put in. Although that could give you an opportunity to transfer to another company.. just depends on how you see things.
  • remyforbes777remyforbes777 Posts: 499Member
    So you are going from being a Help Desk person to a sys admin and you are expecting 70K. I don't know you and I don't mean this in a bad way but that is kind of ridiculous. You have no experience in being a full time admin and even you yourself admitted to handing bigger problems up to your Network Admin. How can you ask for that much but not be willing or able to tackle the bigger problems? He was correct in saying that it is an unrealistic salary. Just my opinion. Real world experience means more than a bunch of certs.
  • ScottFernScottFern Posts: 75Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    So you are going from being a Help Desk person to a sys admin and you are expecting 70K. I don't know you and I don't mean this in a bad way but that is kind of ridiculous. You have no experience in being a full time admin and even you yourself admitted to handing bigger problems up to your Network Admin. How can you ask for that much but not be willing or able to tackle the bigger problems? He was correct in saying that it is an unrealistic salary. Just my opinion. Real world experience means more than a bunch of certs.

    If you actually read all my posts I said it was a starting negotiation point. I am no idiot and it clear what this company is trying to do. They want someone who 3-4 years experience to jump in as a network admin and then to handle all daily network admin duties along with the additional job of doing daily support help desk issues at a low price. No other net admin I have worked with had to do this, and if they do then they should be compensated appropriately. Not saying 70k is perfectly acceptable based on my experience, but somewhere in the neighborhood of 60-65k is reasonable for taking on this dual role.
  • remyforbes777remyforbes777 Posts: 499Member
    Ok. I did read your posts and its still ridiculous. I know experienced Net Admins that live in Chicago that are just now getting that much. But if you think its acceptable then that's all that matters. Good luck.
  • blargoeblargoe Self-Described Huguenot NC, USAPosts: 4,171Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    Maybe they're looking for someone with less experience so they can pay less?.. trying to get a bargain and fishing for someone who wants admin experience? Who knows.

    There is value in taking on a more challenging job, if only as a stepping stone to the next job. I wouldn't use the "working like a dog" analogy unless they were making unreasonable requests like making you work 50-60 hours a week or having to take calls several nights a week or something. If it's 40 hours vs 40 hours, what's the difference.

    I'd say the job is worth a good bit more than you're making now... but it might be questionable to expect that you should be able to command a 25-30% raise... yet.
    IT guy since 12/00

    Recent: 11/2019 - RHCSA (RHEL 7); 2/2019 - Updated VCP to 6.5 (just a few days before VMware discontinued the re-cert policy...)
    Working on: RHCE/Ansible
    Future: Probably continued Red Hat Immersion, Possibly VCAP Design, or maybe a completely different path. Depends on job demands...
  • ScottFernScottFern Posts: 75Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    blargoe wrote: »
    Maybe they're looking for someone with less experience so they can pay less?.. trying to get a bargain and fishing for someone who wants admin experience? Who knows.

    There is value in taking on a more challenging job, if only as a stepping stone to the next job. I wouldn't use the "working like a dog" analogy unless they were making unreasonable requests like making you work 50-60 hours a week or having to take calls several nights a week or something. If it's 40 hours vs 40 hours, what's the difference.

    I'd say the job is worth a good bit more than you're making now... but it might be questionable to expect that you should be able to command a 25-30% raise... yet.

    Absolutely. Thank you for seeing my point. At no point in this entire thread did I say I deserve 70k. I merely mention this HIGH number as a way to protect myself from being low balled. He can believe whatever he wants, but I am just trying to not undersell myself. They were the ones who contacted me to for an interview. Honestly, I think its worth probably 62k which is only 7k more than what I am making currently. But if I were to say that then they would try hard to knock that down.

    Who knows, we shall see when he emails me the actual job description. I think this whole ordeal has been pretty hilarious considering I have never been given the actual job description.
  • blargoeblargoe Self-Described Huguenot NC, USAPosts: 4,171Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    That's another point, I never put on the initial job application how much money I'm looking for if I can help it. If they ask I'll say that I won't give an exact number until I know more about what the job entails. If they press the issue, if it's a "lateral" job from what I'm working currently I'll put 10-15% higher than current salary, if the job is a step up I'll ask for more.
    IT guy since 12/00

    Recent: 11/2019 - RHCSA (RHEL 7); 2/2019 - Updated VCP to 6.5 (just a few days before VMware discontinued the re-cert policy...)
    Working on: RHCE/Ansible
    Future: Probably continued Red Hat Immersion, Possibly VCAP Design, or maybe a completely different path. Depends on job demands...
  • ScottFernScottFern Posts: 75Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    blargoe wrote: »
    That's another point, I never put on the initial job application how much money I'm looking for if I can help it. If they ask I'll say that I won't give an exact number until I know more about what the job entails. If they press the issue, if it's a "lateral" job from what I'm working currently I'll put 10-15% higher than current salary, if the job is a step up I'll ask for more.

    Yeah, it was a real dumb realization I had after I got home. Why were we talking about money for a job I had no specifics on? I still see his strategy was make me feel dumb for working a menial help desk job and try and get me to take on a net admin job for little or no bump.
  • blargoeblargoe Self-Described Huguenot NC, USAPosts: 4,171Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    ScottFern wrote: »
    Yeah, it was a real dumb realization I had after I got home. Why were we talking about money for a job I had no specifics on? I still see his strategy was make me feel dumb for working a menial help desk job and try and get me to take on a net admin job for little or no bump.
    They put that space on the application on purpose. The fact that they still called you in... either they're interested, but not at 70K, or maybe they just wanted to get you into their recruiting system.
    IT guy since 12/00

    Recent: 11/2019 - RHCSA (RHEL 7); 2/2019 - Updated VCP to 6.5 (just a few days before VMware discontinued the re-cert policy...)
    Working on: RHCE/Ansible
    Future: Probably continued Red Hat Immersion, Possibly VCAP Design, or maybe a completely different path. Depends on job demands...
  • itdaddyitdaddy Senior Member Posts: 2,088Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Yeah, it was a real dumb realization I had after I got home. Why were we talking about money for a job I had no specifics on? I still see his strategy was make me feel dumb for working a menial help desk job and try and get me to take on a net admin job for little or no bump.

    Scottfern

    You are correct...they are working you over. You did right for asking 70k They are looking for you. When a headhunter asks about pay first, they are looking to lowball you! They are scared that you can command close to that salary range even without experience...just because other Chicago IT guys are barely getting that kind of pay doesn't mean you cannot ask for it. People have the right to ask for the pay they want it doesnt depend on trends or what others are getting. Many times I have been screwed over when asked for my pay range and then I was given a job description..They want you to work like dog obviously do help desk/system admin. That is what I do and get paid crap! So you go for it. You don't have anything to lose....But if it is around 60k I would take it unless you have kids and family and you are on salary. Then they own your soul and you would never see your family!
    It depends on your goals. Do you want more experience and are you single? Then go for it! But only use it as a stepping stone.. But you did right to ask for that price! If they had the balls to ask you your price then so what! I hate headhunters and people like that...tell me what the job entails first then ask what my price is....jerks!

    use it to your advantage they are!
  • ScottFernScottFern Posts: 75Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    itdaddy wrote: »
    Scottfern

    You are correct...they are working you over. You did right for asking 70k They are looking for you. When a headhunter asks about pay first, they are looking to lowball you! They are scared that you can command close to that salary range even without experience...just because other Chicago IT guys are barely getting that kind of pay doesn't mean you cannot ask for it. People have the right to ask for the pay they want it doesnt depend on trends or what others are getting. Many times I have been screwed over when asked for my pay range and then I was given a job description..They want you to work like dog obviously do help desk/system admin. That is what I do and get paid crap! So you go for it. You don't have anything to lose....But if it is around 60k I would take it unless you have kids and family and you are on salary. Then they own your soul and you would never see your family!
    It depends on your goals. Do you want more experience and are you single? Then go for it! But only use it as a stepping stone.. But you did right to ask for that price! If they had the balls to ask you your price then so what! I hate headhunters and people like that...tell me what the job entails first then ask what my price is....jerks!

    use it to your advantage they are!

    Thank you! Someone else see's what they were trying to do. Get me to agree on a low balled salary, then get the job description, and then have me work as the net admin, help desk, and network manager for one low price.

    I really wonder if they are going to get back to me with a job description or blow me off cause I asked for too much in their eyes.
  • sambuca69sambuca69 Posts: 262Member
    ScottFern wrote: »
    I really wonder if they are going to get back to me

    Doubt it. They want a schmuck with no idea of his/her self-worth.

    Don't forget.. the head hunter isn't your friend and could care less about what's best for you. They're in it for the $$$ they will/can make.
  • undomielundomiel Posts: 2,818Member
    Wait, a recruiter brought you in for an interview for a job with no job description? This wouldn't be Robert Half would it? My guess is never expect to hear from the recruiter again. They're just getting quota.
    Jumping on the IT blogging band wagon -- http://www.jefferyland.com/
  • itdaddyitdaddy Senior Member Posts: 2,088Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Wait, a recruiter brought you in for an interview for a job with no job description? This wouldn't be Robert Half would it? My guess is never expect to hear from the recruiter again. They're just getting quota.

    hahahahahahhaaahah that is what I am hearing that Robert Half sucks!

    and Scottfern, yeah I have been there and done that crap! I dont think they will call you back . They are can i say it D i c k s!
    really you are better of learning from your cool boss. To find a cool boss
    is like finding gold in yur back yard? it doest happen. what I would give for a cool boss who gives a rats a s s about my IT future! play the field but jump only when you get it in writing and wow tell your boss he is a cool guy and buy him lunch! cause man! you have no idea what you have when you have a cool boss who helps in your IT development.

    good call dude..but there will many more opportunities but again you called it right watch out for those "do everything for 45K kind of thing!"

    I have been low balled a few times and well not again! Yeah i have issues with people like that who want your soul for peanuts!

    again good call!
    icon_thumright.gif
  • ScottFernScottFern Posts: 75Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    undomiel wrote: »
    Wait, a recruiter brought you in for an interview for a job with no job description? This wouldn't be Robert Half would it? My guess is never expect to hear from the recruiter again. They're just getting quota.

    No, it was a local small recruiting firm downtown. There are tons of these firms all over the city specializing in hiring for IT positions. If they don't get back to me by tomorrow this whole experiment is over and done.
  • remyforbes777remyforbes777 Posts: 499Member
    Ummm, everyone is assuming this low ball theory is in effect but what no one is saying is, what if this was legit. What if it was just a regular network admin job they wanted to offer him and he may have possibly took himself out of the picture because he tried to high ball the recruiter with a high start point for negotiating. So what if he is MCSE, no real world experience means you get no real world experience pay. It's funny how this site always talks about real world experience being a key but then shy's away from it all because a recruiter is involved that everyone assumes is trying to low ball him. The fact of the matter is, this guy has very little experience as an admin and his starting asking salary was a bit much despite the unknown intentions of the recruiter. You can/could/might have/ cost yourself a job doing that. Don't get me wrong, I want you to get the job and I want you to earn money till it bleeds out your pores but you came to the site looking for opinions/advice and this is mine.

    Good luck
  • networker050184networker050184 Posts: 11,962Mod Mod
    Ummm, everyone is assuming this low ball theory is in effect but what no one is saying is, what if this was legit. What if it was just a regular network admin job they wanted to offer him and he may have possibly took himself out of the picture because he tried to high ball the recruiter with a high start point for negotiating. So what if he is MCSE, no real world experience means you get no real world experience pay. It's funny how this site always talks about real world experience being a key but then shy's away from it all because a recruiter is involved that everyone assumes is trying to low ball him. The fact of the matter is, this guy has very little experience as an admin and his starting asking salary was a bit much despite the unknown intentions of the recruiter. You can/could/might have/ cost yourself a job doing that. Don't get me wrong, I want you to get the job and I want you to earn money till it bleeds out your pores but you came to the site looking for opinions/advice and this is mine.

    Good luck

    I agree 100%. Just remember there are probably hundreds of experienced admins out there that have been doing the job for less.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • ScottFernScottFern Posts: 75Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Ummm, everyone is assuming this low ball theory is in effect but what no one is saying is, what if this was legit. What if it was just a regular network admin job they wanted to offer him and he may have possibly took himself out of the picture because he tried to high ball the recruiter with a high start point for negotiating. So what if he is MCSE, no real world experience means you get no real world experience pay. It's funny how this site always talks about real world experience being a key but then shy's away from it all because a recruiter is involved that everyone assumes is trying to low ball him. The fact of the matter is, this guy has very little experience as an admin and his starting asking salary was a bit much despite the unknown intentions of the recruiter. You can/could/might have/ cost yourself a job doing that. Don't get me wrong, I want you to get the job and I want you to earn money till it bleeds out your pores but you came to the site looking for opinions/advice and this is mine.

    Good luck

    The fact of the matter is that was what my gut was telling me and I am going with my instincts on this one. To be totally honest, I enjoy the admin aspects of my current job and to say I have no real world experience is at best a joke because I work in this kind of environment everyday. I have unlimited access to our datacenter and as mentioned previously I tackle admin tasks everyday thanks to my net admin being busy with meetings all day I get to take on a lot of smaller admin jobs.

    We can try to pinpoint exactly my "level of experience" but thats almost impossible and to be quite honest, if I scared them away with my 70k price it was partly my fault for not asking for a job description up front and partly theirs if they think I am going to commute all the way downtown for 55k to be a jack of all trades net admin, and help desk tech in one. I much rather stay where I am at now and build on my experiences and either get promoted or leave after I get some more certifications.

    All this experience cost me was $6 for parking. And it was a good learning experience.
  • astorrsastorrs Posts: 3,139Member ■■■■■■□□□□
    Just a comment about how recruiters work here in Canada (may be different in the US), for a full time position they are paid a commission based on the 1st year salary of ~20% (negotiated with the client beforehand) so it's not in their best interest to low ball you, obviously they want to make sure you get the position (so they may suggest you lower your salary range so you're a shoe in and they get their commission) but at the same time they want you to get the most you possibly can (so their cut is higher).

    My 2¢.
  • skrpuneskrpune Posts: 1,409Member
    astorrs wrote: »
    Just a comment about how recruiters work here in Canada (may be different in the US), for a full time position they are paid a commission based on the 1st year salary of ~20% (negotiated with the client beforehand) so it's not in their best interest to low ball you, obviously they want to make sure you get the position (so they may suggest you lower your salary range so you're a shoe in and they get their commission) but at the same time they want you to get the most you possibly can (so their cut is higher).

    My 2¢.
    It depends on the company & the setup/agreement, and the cut can be more hidden if the payroll is done directly from the recruiter/staffing company. Some places will be given a flat rate to provide services. For example, let's use some nice round numbers - if a recruiter/staffing company is given $XX to fill a position, it's in their best interest to pay out as little as possible to whomever they hire so they can pocket more of the leftovers.

    Some companies work like temp agencies, where they are paid an hourly rate to provide services and they take a cut of that rate and give the rest to the person doing the work. I've worked administratively before for temp agencies, and the cut there can be as high as 50%...or more. Highway robbery, I say.

    And others serve as placement providers - some getting a cut of the person's salary, while others get a flat placement rate.

    So, long story short (I know, too late!) - if at all possible, it's really important to figure out the logistics of how you will be paid, by whom, and what the deal is in general so you know where the money is coming from & who is profiting how from you getting hired on.
    Currently Studying For: Nothing (cert-wise, anyway)
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    Enrolled in Masters program: CS 2011 expected completion
  • laidbackfreaklaidbackfreak Posts: 991Member
    Scott I think you did the right thing in going to see the guy and sometimes it can be beneficial to do so, but imo most of the times I dont need to meet with the agency I can deal with them via email\phone etc.
    I appreciate that they are supposedly out to get me a "good deal\role" etc but most of the time they dont care who get's placed in a role as long as it's one of there clients.

    Pretty much first thing I ask for when looking at any new role is a job spec, without that I can't be sure that I'm even going to be interested in the role so it saves wasting my time and theirs. I find most recruiters are happy with this approach and even understand it. Occasionally they want my CV in return, and given that if i'm interested in the sound of the role I'm happy to swap.

    If a recruiter wants to see me that much they can come to me, luckily enough it doesnt happen that often. It also helps to remember that if a job's on one agencies books chances are it's on anothers sooner or later one of them will deal with you without the need for lunch.
    At least on this side of the pond it works icon_smile.gif
    if I say something that can be taken one of two ways and one of them offends, I usually mean the other one :-)
  • bellheadbellhead Posts: 120Member
    ScottFern wrote: »
    The fact of the matter is that was what my gut was telling me and I am going with my instincts on this one. To be totally honest, I enjoy the admin aspects of my current job and to say I have no real world experience is at best a joke because I work in this kind of environment everyday. I have unlimited access to our datacenter and as mentioned previously I tackle admin tasks everyday thanks to my net admin being busy with meetings all day I get to take on a lot of smaller admin jobs.

    We can try to pinpoint exactly my "level of experience" but thats almost impossible and to be quite honest, if I scared them away with my 70k price it was partly my fault for not asking for a job description up front and partly theirs if they think I am going to commute all the way downtown for 55k to be a jack of all trades net admin, and help desk tech in one. I much rather stay where I am at now and build on my experiences and either get promoted or leave after I get some more certifications.

    All this experience cost me was $6 for parking. And it was a good learning experience.


    Many companies just don't understand about the taking less money for quality of life issues. For you it isn't entirely about the money. It's a combination of factors one of which is the commute and it takes a certain $$$ figure to overcome this. Personally having lived in Chicago and done training there unless they was paying me big $$$ there is almost no way I would commute from the burbs to downtown.
  • JockVSJockJockVSJock Posts: 1,118Member
    This is a great thread, the major lesson I learned from it was...always ask for a job description up front.

    thanks
    ***Freedom of Speech, Just Watch What You Say*** Example, Beware of CompTIA Certs (Deleted From Google Cached)

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  • ScottFernScottFern Posts: 75Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    JockVSJock wrote: »
    This is a great thread, the major lesson I learned from it was...always ask for a job description up front.

    thanks

    Glad I could help! :P
  • draineydrainey Posts: 261Member
    Just a thought but my first real IT job was posted as a PC tech and it reality was a jack of all trades sys/net admin job. Great boss, and lots of good experience but the pay started at 14/hr. After a year or so I was talking to the director about pay and mentioned I didn't ask for more when hired due to having little real world experience. She point blank told me to never be afraid to ask for what I think the job is really worth. That the company (recruiter in some cases) will always low ball me and that it's my job to ask for more.
    The irony truly is strange that you're the only one you can change. -- Anthony Gomes
  • ScottFernScottFern Posts: 75Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    UPDATE: The original recruiter said the company he was representing filled the position internally but said he wanted to keep in contact with me to find a position that fills what I am looking for, and it was good sign he even called me to update me on the status of the opening.

    Just this week however, I updated my resume with some tweaks and I got two more calls about positions. One was contract to hire for less than I am making now, and the other was for a quasi-help desk-sys admin role with a consulting firm in Schaumburg. I went on a morning interview today.

    They would again hire me on as the single go to guy for infrastructure issues, and other help desk related tasks. It sounded like they mostly dealt with programming solutions, not infrastructure and their on-site infrastructure was limited. They did mention I would be eligible for training courses, and boot camps which are encouraged.

    They gave me the lip service that its more challenging and I would grow, but who knows until you are actually in the job. I told them 62k but we shall see what they say.....
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