"I asked for the minimum wage during an interview, but they refused: I thanked them and left"

Mark Bennett

May 15, 2022


These days, it seems increasingly difficult to find a stable and well-paid job, even after getting a good education. The factors that determine this state of affairs are numerous, but a worker cannot always put aside their dignity and be satisfied with accepting a poorly-paid job. Of course, when there is a strong need, everything possible should be done to make ends meet, but this must not, and cannot, become a habit or become normalized. Speaking of this topic, TikToker Jayla made headlines by turning down a job after asking to be paid $ 21 dollars an hour and receiving a negative response.

via TikTok / kewljai



The Family Dollar chain store had organized an careers day event which was open to all. On the day, there were interviews and a selection of candidates for a managerial position - including the position as an assistant store manager. Tiktoker Jayla immediately stepped forward, looking to secure a job. Job interviews are always a little scary, especially since you never know what questions the company interview will ask, but Jayla went to the interview prepared and confident.

During her interview, everything seemed to go smoothly and even the typical questions Jayla usually got asked in interviews received favorable responses from the recruiting officer. In short, all was going well until the interviewer asked Jayla what, in her opinion, would be the appropriate salary for the type of work she was going to do. Jayla laid out her reasoning, pointing out how she would have to deal with inflation due to the pandemic (and other factors), eventually stating that $ 21 an hour would be fair. Unfortunately, her request was denied: "$ 21 dollars an hour is not possible".

Flickr / Not the actual photo / Paul SablemanSegui

At this point, Jayla turned down the lower offer and walked away: "Okay, thanks for your time and good luck finding someone willing to do this job for so little money," were her parting words. It should be noted that $ 21 an hour is not that much for a job of that type: according to data updated as of April 2022, the average hourly wage for a retail store manager in the United States is $ 32, but generally the wage ranges between $ 27 and $ 41 an hour. In short, $ 21 would still have been low, but accepting less than that would have been humiliating and would also be exploitative.

The decision of this Tiktoker has, however, opened a debate on these sensitive issues of work and unemployment, in which many users have taken her side. What do you think about this story?