SINGAPORE: A fresh graduate took to an online forum to share her disheartening job interview experience, where an HR representative told her that a starting salary of $4,000 per month would not be possible in her case.

“HR told me that 4k is too high and it’s usually for graduates from the top 3 universities from first class honours,” she wrote on r/askSingapore.

“I hold a private degree in business and currently looking for jobs in Business Development Representative (BDR).”

In her post, she explained that she recently attended an interview at a tech company, where HR asked about her expected salary during the first round.

Confidently, she mentioned a range of $3,500 to $4,000, believing it was reasonable based on her research and discussions with peers.

However, to her disappointment, the HR immediately shot down her expectations, stating that $4,000 was too high. 

This surprised her, as she had consulted a colleague from her internship who held the same role she was interviewing for. According to her colleague, her salary expectations were in line with the market rate in the industry.

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“She said that the starting salary is $4,000. However she’s not from a private uni but it’s not the top 3 local uni too,” she wrote.

“For BDR roles, base should be lower so there is real incentive for BDRs to hunt.”

Under the post, a Singaporean business owner told the fresh grad that a starting salary of $3,500 for an entry-level Business Development Representative (BDR) position is already “quite generous.”

He explained that most companies usually offer a base salary of $3,000 for such roles, with BDRs having the potential to earn between $4,000 and $4,500 if they meet their targets. 

He added, “For BDR roles, base should be lower so there is real incentive for BDRs to hunt. We review salaries on a quarterly basis and will give +10% bumps to base each quarter up until 5k for those that perform.

BDR role can be fast growth if you are self-motivated, competitive, and enjoy the game of sales. It’s not for everyone.”

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Another Redditor shared a useful tip about salary negotiations during job interviews.

He said that candidates should refrain from stating a “specific salary range,” as this could inadvertently signal to HR that they’re willing to settle for the lower end of the range.

A third Redditor, meanwhile, thought that S$3,500 was fair for a private business degree holder.

He also urged the fresh grad to take the offer first and then jump within a year, arguing that if she rejects it now, considering “that the job market is not good, she could remain unemployed for possibly many months.”

He also mentioned that fresh grads usually don’t have much bargaining power unless they bring something special to the table.

Read also: Jobseeker who got rejected in final round asks if everything she went through was necessary

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