Salary negotiation strategies everyone in tech already knows — but you don’t (2023)

First, a reality check: there's a lot of money in tech. New grads at big tech companies will routinely earn $150k+ starting salary. With a bit of work, you can reliably achieve $500k total comp, even as a frontline individual contributor.

Millions of dollars change hands in salary negotiation — you owe it to yourself to understand compensation.

Understand tech compensation

There’s a lot outside of salary that forms your total compensation package. Your "total comp" includes at least:

  • Base salary — the money you’re paid every pay period.
  • Equity — ownership stake in the company, could easily be half your total comp or more.
  • Benefits — in the US, health insurance alone can easily cost your employer $500-1000/month. Benefit packages also includes things like vacation days, free food and other perks. This is (mostly) not taxed, so you’d rather have these benefits than the equivalent in cash.
  • Annual bonus — percentage bonus on top of your salary based on performance, common only with public companies. The recruiter will likely quote you a "target bonus" (e.g. 15%), which is what you can expect if you meet expectations. Generally also comes with additional equity (a "refresher").
  • Signing bonus — one-time bonus paid out either when you sign or the day you start. Might come with a clause that you must pay it back if you leave after X months. Quite common in large tech companies, can be anywhere from $10k–$100k. Highly negotiable.
  • Other perks — a whole suite of one-time or ongoing cash perks, like relocation package, phone stipend, commuter benefits, car allowance, etc.

The biggest input that controls comp is "level", a number that express your seniority. For example, level E3 at Facebook is new grad, E4 is for hires with a few years experience and so on, up to E9 (after the first few levels, experience becomes less important).

The more expensive/higher level you are, the more complex your comp mix becomes and the more it'll skew towards equity.

Understanding & valuing equity

Womenearn half the equity men do– equity is complex and ripe for bad outcomes.

Equity is an ownership stake in the company. Your stake in the company converts to money only if one of two things happens: the company is purchased or it becomes listed on the stock market (an IPO).

An equity grant is generally for a 4 year period — you’ll get X number of shares over 4 years and you'll progressively earn (or vest) over that period. Vesting will generally be subject to a 1-year “cliff”: you don’t earning anything in the first year, and on your first anniversary, you vest ¼ of the shares. This formula (“4 year vest, 1 year cliff”) is nearly universal in tech.

The company will never give you stock directly, because you'd have to pay taxes on it right away. Instead, companies have designed roundabout mechanisms to delay taxation. The two most common are RSUs and stock options.

If you were offered Restricted Stock Units (RSUs), common with larger companies

An RSU means the company promises to give you shares whenever they IPO or sell (they're not giving it to you right away because you'd pay taxes now). This is good and the lowest risk/complexity to you.

This is a future promise and because of that, it generally comes with a lot of strings attached. For example there often are constraints on when, how and to whom you can sell your equity.

If you were offered stock options (ISOs/NSOs), common with startups

A stock option is the option to buy shares at a discounted price, known as the "strike price".

For example, you might have the option to buy shares at $1. If, based on the current valuation of the company, the shares are worth about $1.50, your equity is worth $0.50 × number of options you have.

You're hoping the shares will be worth $10+ by the time you leave: the wider the gap, the better. The strike price is frozen when you join and you only have to decide whether you want to buy shares when you leave.

To emphasize, you need to spend money to get shares. That can easily cost you 10s or 100s of thousands when you leave — even if you're getting a great deal on the shares, this may or may not be money you have lying around.

Stock options are generally more volatile than RSUs but are considered preferable because if you play your cards just right, they have big tax advantages. The tax implications are intricate and you should absolutely speak to a tech-focused CPA if any meaningful part of your compensation is stock options.

When a company offers you equity, they’ll quote you a value: X,000 shares over 4 years, “which is worth $X00,000.” (if they don't, ask)

That value is based on what investors have paid for the company in the last financing round. If the latest investors paid $1M for 1% of the company, the company's valuation is $100M and therefore a 0.1% stake is "worth" $100,000.

Depending on the stage of the company, that number is anything from “as good as cash” to pie-in-the-sky voodoo.

For a public company listed on the stock market (Facebook, Amazon, etc.)

You’ll be able to sell your shares directly on the stock market. There’s some restrictions (for example, lockout periods: you’ll only be allowed to sell certain weeks of the quarter), but the shares are basically as good as cash.

However, the value of the shares will vary a lot throughout your tenure. It’s as if a good chunk of your salary is forced to be invested in one stock — it’s probably not what you’d do if you had a choice and that lack of diversification is worth something.

At Candor, we value equity in a public company at about 80-90%, depending on how much you believe in the company will do on the stock market in the next few years.

(Video) How to Negotiate a Bigger Salary Even If You've Never Negotiated Before (in tech)

For a growing, successful pre-IPO company (Airbnb, Stripe, etc.)

For a successful, high-growth company with prominent investors, you can reasonably expect your equity will be worth something, at some point.

Regardless, it'll be years before you see any money. Consider the equity as worth 60-90% of the quoted value, depending on how much you believe in the company, how far along they are and your risk tolerance. Also, keep in mind your chances are good, but there's no guarantees.

For a mature company that's clearly on track to IPO (Doordash, Airbnb, etc.): you probably should prefer equity over cash. Being an employee is one of the few ways a mere mortal can get equity. If you believe in the company's prospects and don't need immediate liquidity, consider valuing the equity at 100-130% and negotiating for more equity over salary.

For a young startup

Assume you'll be bad at picking the right company — you’re worse than professional investors in basically every way: they have more experience than you, they have more information and plus they have a chance to diversify. And yet even the professionals do very poorly: easily 50-80% of early VC investments will never exit for anything meaningful.

Treat your equity as a lottery ticket. Disregard any $ value the recruiter might have told you and be ready to live 100% on the base salary. Think hard if you’re ok with that.

You do have one advantage: you’ll get an inside look at the company. If you join an early stage company where a substantial part of your compensation is equity, your job is to figure out whether this company will make it and be ready to leave promptly if you don’t think you can shift the trajectory.

In all cases — congrats! Whether you like it or not, you're now a startup investor. Investor Harj Taggar has sometips on how to pick the right company.

Figure out your worth

Don't accept a lower salary because "you don't really need the money" —what you’re paid has nothing to do with your costs.

Similarly, negotiation arguments around your life costs (mortgage, student debt, etc.) will be unconvincing to recruiters. Your skills have a market value, what you do with that money has no place in the compensation conversation.

Please, please, don't rely on Glassdoor

Payscale,Glassdoor,Comparably —they're all wildly inaccurate for tech. These sites heavily mistreat equity (a major component of tech compensation) and are often very out of date. It routinely causes people to accept less than they deserve.

Your options:

  • H-1B visa filings are authoritative, but only have base salary
  • AngelList is a good reference for both base and equity for startups
  • Triplebyte has high quality data for technical roles at startups (base only)
  • Blind is helpful for big tech companies

Unfortunately, the best and most up to date information is a moving target but common knowledge among HR professionals. The easiest way for you to tap into that is through third-party recruiters — they'll gladly take your call.

Ask the right questions

First, delay the salary conversation until both of you are convinced this is the right job. Never, ever share your previous salary. In Californiaand many other US states, it's illegal from an employer to ask about your current salary.

They can still ask about your salary expectations or salary requirements (and often will early in the interview process), respond politely but firmly that you're not comfortable sharing at this stage.

(Video) How to Negotiate Your Tech Salary Simulation ft.


What salary are you looking for?

I think it's a bit too early in the conversation to discuss that, I need to learn more about the team and would love to discuss when we get closer.

Well Erica, I want to make sure I don't waste your time. Can you give me a range?

I'm certain we'll be able to come to a good agreement if there's a mutual fit, but it's really too early to tell.

Every employer will ask about expected salary and every experienced professional knows to not answer. This is a standard part of the hiring dance, don't be afraid to stand your ground.

At some point later, the recruiter will let you know they would like to extend an offer and they’ll schedule a call. It might not be made explicit, but this is the money conversation. For us, this is going be a fact-finding conversation.


Hi Erica! The team was very excited to meet you and I’d love to share the details of your offer: $125k base, $300k RSUs (over 4 years) and $20k sign on bonus.

Really excited about the team! Thank you for the offer. I’ll need time to review this, can we speak in a few days? In the meantime, I have a few questions for you.

Sure! Go ahead.

That’s it. Share your excitement about the new job, but control every urge to react to the numbers, share your previous salary, argue or try to make your case. If the salary offer is higher than you expected, don’t act surprised or let it come across.

Our goal is to collect information and retreat to a place where we analyze all the details with a cool head. Follow up with these questions:

  • What level is the job offer? What are the requirements for this level vs. the level above it?
  • What is the salary band for this level? This is 100% completely reasonable thing to ask. In California, an employermust legally provide thisif asked.
  • How much is the equity worth currently? You can also ask: what percentage of the company does the equity represent? What is the valuation of the company?
  • What is the vesting schedule? Is there a 1 year cliff? Are there quarterly vesting deadlines I should know about? Confirm whether the equity was quoted to you on a yearly basis or over 4 years.
  • For options: what is the strike price? (the price you'll pay for the shares) How long after leaving do I have to exercise the options?

If you're told the offer has a hard deadline (an “exploding offer”)

Sometimes a tight deadline is legitimate but often it’s a mechanism to prevent you from looking around too much. “Exploding offers” are a bad industry practice and unfortunately very common with new grad offers, where companies are trying to lock down candidates before everyone else.

Here’s a secret: if you renege on a signed job offer, nothing bad will happen. You might get told it’ll ruin your reputation, but especially in a large company, you'll be fine.

You’re going to dedicate years of your productive life to an organisation, it’s perfectly reasonable to make the best decision for you. Don’t sign an offer you intend to renege on, but especially in face of questionable ethical behavior, don’t feel bad if you have to walk it back.

The salary negotiation

Remember: the company just spent 10s of thousand finding you, vetting you, etc. They’ve wasted time wading through a glut of unqualified candidates. The recruiter has quotas to fill. The hiring manager needed the job filled months ago and now, finally, they have you. Everybody wants this deal to happen.

Determine if the level is right

The biggest lever that controls compensation is level. Each level has a salary range and they overlap: if level 4 is $125k-$155k, level 5 might be $145k-$160k. There are seperate bands for base and equity.

However, a higher level isn't just a free higher salary: it comes with higher job expectations. It’s better to be on the high end of lower level band. You should target a level you’re confident you can be promoted within 1 year and target the higher end of the band.

However, if you’re speaking to a major tech company (Facebook, Google), it’ll be quite difficult to move your level, especially for technical hires. Level is generally set independently by a hiring committee based on your "packet".

The committees tend to be very conservative and would rather you join at a lower level and promote later.

For smaller companies and especially non-technical roles, you'll have more leeway: leveling is loosely based on you work experience and your previous level/seniority.

If you want to move your level, master the art of listening carefully and repeating. Earlier you asked the recruiter about the qualifications required for the level, when you ask about about a level change clearly connect it to the requirements laid out by the recruiter.


Love to understand levels a bit more, what distinguishes an L7 over an L6?

L7s are generally people who've led any-wide projects with many cross-functional partners and executive visibility.


Hi Mike — can we revisit the offer level? In my current role, I lead a major company-wide infrastructure redesign with regular checkins with the CTO. It really seems like L7 might be a better fit and would help set me up for success.

Can you tell me more about your responsibilities? I can speak with the hiring manager Monday.

Negotiate for the upper end of the band

Once you’re convinced level is right, you need to negotiate compensation. Target a total compensation number that’s in the upper half of the band for your level.

Once you have your number in mind, be firm and specific. Only negotiate if you mean it: you should be genuinely willing to commit if the other side can get to your number. If you still have reservations about the company, deal with that first: you're not ready to negotiate.

The most reliable way to get more money is through competing offers. Consider interviewing with your 2nd or 3rd tier choices or getting a counter-offer from your current employer.

It’s sometimes even possible for recruiters to make offers above the upper bound of the band, but that generally requires additional level of approval only granted to candidates with strong competing offers.

If you can’t get what you want, offer to shift between compensation components but don’t back down on total compensation. In order of difficulty: base salary, equity, signing bonus. Offer to shift some base to equity first and as a last measure, ask for a larger signing bonus.

Email the recruiter and say you've had a chance to think through the offer and would love to discuss. They'll schedule a phone call.

The playbook

Open by emphasizing just how excited you are about the team and the role: it's very important that you communicate that you're a serious buyer.

Then, set a clear total comp goal. When you get pushback on a particular comp mix, always come back to the total comp number.

Good salary negotiation isn't an adversarial game of counter-offers —make it clear you're a team working together to overcome a common hurdle.

(Video) How to Negotiate Salary After Job Offer

Move downwards from salary, equity, signing bonus until you can put together a comp mix that hits your total comp. If you can't, be ready to walk back, continue interviewing and follow up over the next few days. Time can help you get more leverage.

Mention you have other job interviews lined up, but you'd really love to join the company. Make it clear that if the recruiter can get your total comp number, you're in.


Hi Mike — really excited about the team, loved meeting everyone. In terms of total comp, I'm looking for something closer to 250k. Would you be open to a base of $150k?

Well. This is the most we can do for this position, it's a fairly junior role.

I don't think I can do it at the current level —$250k is what I'd need to be able to sign. Can you be more flexible on equity?


How about $20k more equity, the rest as a signing bonus? That would get us to $250k.

Hmm... That's going to be tough but I can see what I can do.

Ok, I understand. I'm ready to sign if we can get to that number.

Followup with an email.

Next steps

Hi Mike,

Incredibly excited about the role. Summing up our chat: you mentioned you'd look into additional equity and a signing bonus. Would love to be able to get us to $250k total comp.

I have an onsite with Facebook next week but would love to be able to commit to this. Let me know when you hear back.

If you don't hear back, followup after a few days. Make sure to keep the relationship warm. At some point, the recruiter will likely schedule another phone call.


Hi Erica — had a chance to speak to my compensation analyst. We can do $15k extra equity a year.

Amazing! Thank you. Can you do a $50k signing bonus? That would get us to $250k.

(Video) Salary Negotiation: 6 Tips on How to Negotiate a Higher Salary

I think that's doable.

Awesome. I'm in. Can't wait to start! Please send me the offer in writing, I'll sign it immediately.

Just remember: set a clear goal and politely but firmly ask for for what you want.

(Video) How to Negotiate Salary After Job Offer | Insider Salary Negotiation Tips from a Tech Hiring Manager


What to say if you aren't offered enough money in a salary negotiation? ›

If the offer is way below your minimum

Leading with gratitude can make a difficult conversation more palatable: "Thanks for thinking of me for this role and sharing the pay. Unfortunately, that's significantly lower than what I would have expected for this." Next, gauge whether they can be flexible on the offer.

How much can you negotiate a tech salary? ›

(Ariel suggests aiming for a salary that's about 20% more than what you currently make.) For example, if you need to make at least $180k, providing a salary range between $200k and $220k ensures you're above that baseline salary. “Odds are, if you're too high the recruiter will try to level-set with you,” Harmeet says.

How do I negotiate a higher salary after you already gave your range of salary expectation? ›

Here are 3 strategies to renegotiate your salary successfully.
  1. Blame it on the role. Your Strategy to negotiate salary: If you've discovered substantial differences in the role since you quoted a salary, use this new information to justify better pay. ...
  2. Point to new market data. ...
  3. Fess up.

What are 5 tips for negotiating salary? ›

12+ Essential Salary Negotiation Tips
  • #1. Know Your Worth. ...
  • #2. Don't Focus (Too Much) on Yourself. ...
  • #3. Factor in Perks & Benefits. ...
  • #4. Back-Up Your Arguments. ...
  • #5. Leverage Your Situation. ...
  • #6. Practice! ...
  • #7. Know When to Stop or Walk Away. ...
  • #8. Pick a Range (And Pick the Higher Number)

How do you say your salary is not enough? ›

Try to not provide any negative details about the organization or job role. Rather than this, talk about the positive aspects of the company. The pay isn't enough-This is one of the main reasons today why many job seekers reject job offers. Try to make your rejection a general one but don't mention the salary.

How do you professionally say a salary is too low? ›

The first step is to say thank you. Maintain a respectful tone and tell the hiring manager how much you appreciate them for taking the time to interview you. However, make it clear that the salary they're offering is too low for you to accept — that you know your worth and you're willing to stand by it.

How high is too high when negotiating salary? ›

Consider negotiating lower if 10-20% places you above the average. Is the pay in-line with average pay, but still believe you can negotiate based on your skills? Consider a range between 5-7% above. You don't want to risk your chances with a company that is genuinely interested in your financial well-being.

How do you negotiate a Tech offer salary? ›

9 expert-approved secrets to negotiating a higher salary in the tech world
  1. Know when you're in high demand. ...
  2. Always negotiate. ...
  3. Do your research. ...
  4. Don't rush to accept the offer. ...
  5. Offers from other companies give you some negotiating power. ...
  6. Don't show your cards too soon. ...
  7. Know your advantages as a new graduate.
13 May 2021

How do tech recruiters negotiate salary? ›

Here are the steps you should take as you're negotiating your salary with a recruiter:
  1. Do your research. ...
  2. Understand the recruiter's perspective and goals. ...
  3. Show your eagerness. ...
  4. Be straightforward. ...
  5. Consider the whole package. ...
  6. Accept when you're ready.

How do you justify a high salary expectation? ›

How to answer the salary expectation question
  1. Research the average salary. ...
  2. Consider your existing pay. ...
  3. Consider perks and benefits. ...
  4. Make adjustments for cost of living. ...
  5. Ask for additional details (optional) ...
  6. Ask for more time (optional) ...
  7. Provide a range. ...
  8. Justify your salary expectation.
6 Jun 2021

How do I reply when HR says that the expected salary is too high? ›

State one too high — without additional interviews to back up that number — and HR might move on to another candidate expecting lower pay. Instead, you can respond to the question by kicking it back to HR, Lares says.

Can negotiating salary backfire? ›

Negotiating a salary is a crucial part of accepting a new position, but botching this step can cost a candidate the job. And even if the fallout isn't quite as severe, the outcome of salary negotiations can damage the employee's ability to succeed at work.

What is the #1 rule of salary negotiation? ›

One fundamental rule of salary negotiation is to give the employer a slightly higher number than your goal. This way, if they negotiate down, you'll still end up with a salary offer you feel comfortable accepting.

What are the 7 negotiating techniques? ›

Here are effective techniques that can help you become more successful during negotiations:
  • Manage your emotions. ...
  • Consider leading the discussion. ...
  • Use silence effectively. ...
  • Ask for advice. ...
  • Consider involving an arbitrator. ...
  • Know when to compromise. ...
  • Request sufficient time.
6 Nov 2022

How do you negotiate a salary that won't budge? ›

Reduce the amount you are asking for if the employer is still unwilling to budge. For example, if you have asked for $10,000 more than he offered, lower your request to $5, 000 or $7,000. Know how low you are willing to go before the meeting so that you do not walk away with an agreement that is unsatisfactory to you.

What to say when you dont know the salary range? ›

May I ask what the budget is for this position?” Or you can ask, “Can you share the salary range being offered for this position?” The idea is to let them know the salary is negotiable for you and give them the opportunity to take the lead in answering the question.

What do you say when you don't know your salary expectations? ›

Consider giving a salary range, not a number

If a job post asks applicants to state their expected salary when applying for the position, then give a range — not a specific figure — you're comfortable with. Answers like “Negotiable” might work, but they can also make you look evasive.

How do you ask for a slightly higher salary? ›

Salary Negotiation Tips 21-31 Making the Ask
  1. Put Your Number Out First. ...
  2. Ask for More Than What You Want. ...
  3. Don't Use a Range. ...
  4. Be Kind But Firm. ...
  5. Focus on Market Value. ...
  6. Prioritize Your Requests. ...
  7. But Don't Mention Personal Needs. ...
  8. Ask for Advice.
24 Jan 2022

How do you say you are not happy with a salary increase? ›

Thank your boss for the salary bump and recognition they've already given you, and then explain why you believe the number should be reconsidered. Share your big accomplishments, as well as the salary data you've gathered, to back up why you would like your manager to reconsider your raise.

Do companies expect you to negotiate salary? ›

People feel like they can't or shouldn't negotiate, but companies expect you to negotiate. If higher pay isn't in the cards, you can also negotiate for those non-salary items.

Can I lose an offer negotiating salary? ›

You can definitely lose a potential job offer by negotiating your salary during the first interviews. Asking the salary range for the position at the end of the interview is as far as you can go. It would be appropriate if the job posting didn't specify that number already.

Is it okay to negotiate salary 2 times? ›

Countering a job offer multiple times may not be the best approach. Instead, prepare your salary expectations based on the value of your skillset and experience in the current market. Don't drag on the salary negotiation too long. Depending on the situation, two times is the most I would recommend.

How do you know if your worth negotiating salary? ›

  1. Do your own research. One of the best ways to enter your next salary negotiation with confidence is to do some research on what the market typically pays for your position. ...
  2. Establish a budget baseline. ...
  3. Don't negotiate against yourself. ...
  4. Think beyond the paycheck. ...
  5. Enjoy the silence. ...
  6. Walk away with confidence.
13 Apr 2021

What is a good salary in Silicon Valley? ›

While ZipRecruiter is seeing salaries as high as $203,036 and as low as $24,611, the majority of salaries within the Silicon Valley jobs category currently range between $53,695 (25th percentile) to $129,764 (75th percentile) with top earners (90th percentile) making $167,799 annually in San Jose.

How can I convince recruiter for higher salary? ›

Learning to be a negotiator
  1. Do your homework. Just because the salary offer feels like it is enough to cover your expenses doesn't necessarily mean that it is the market average. ...
  2. Know your value. ...
  3. Ignore your previous salary. ...
  4. Think beyond your base salary. ...
  5. Hope for the best, but expect the worst.
16 Dec 2021

Should I accept first salary offer? ›

It really depends. Some people feel you should take the first offer if you're happy with it. Never negotiate just for the sake of negotiating. Other people disagree with that position and believe anytime you're given the chance to negotiate, you should.

How do you deflect a salary question? ›

In an interview …

If you're asked for your salary expectations, you could deflect by saying “What do you usually pay someone in this position?” or “I'd like to learn more about the role before I set my salary expectations. I would hope that my salary would line up with market rates for similar positions in this area.”

How do you say salary expectations politely? ›

Rather than offering a set number of the salary you expect, provide the employer with a range in which you'd like your salary to fall. Try to keep your range tight rather than very wide. For example, if you want to make $75,000 a year, a good range to offer would be $73,000 to $80,000.

How do you answer why do you deserve this salary? ›

“You need to convince them that the work you've done and are capable of doing warrants greater compensation because of its value and your value.” By swaying the conversation away from salary and toward your skills you can show you're a good fit for the company, and by the time they bring up salary again, they may be ...

How do you negotiate salary with HR politely? ›

How to Negotiate Salary With HR
  1. Feel free to talk about your salary.
  2. Always feel confident.
  3. Already prepare what to say & what to avoid.
  4. Stay calm when negotiating your salary.
  5. Decide a salary range that you will talk about.
  6. Practice for the questions you may be asked.
  7. Don't undervalue yourself.
  8. Do some research on your salary.
24 Feb 2022

How do you negotiate salary without sounding greedy? ›

  1. Do your research. ...
  2. Map out your salary range. ...
  3. Anchor high during a salary negotiation. ...
  4. Know your worth. ...
  5. Don't reveal your bottom line too early. ...
  6. Use silence as a tool when negotiating salary. ...
  7. Don't accept the first job offer. ...
  8. Negotiate benefits, not just salary.
2 Jun 2022

Is it OK to negotiate salary over email? ›

Before you accept the offer, you can negotiate the salary. And you can do so over email— yes, email!

Is it rude to ask if a salary is negotiable? ›

Be polite, and be sure to thank the hiring manager for hearing you out before proceeding with your requests. By asking if salary negotiation is possible, you are essentially asking if it's even worth having this conversation.

How do you negotiate a better salary in two simple sentences? ›

How to Negotiate a Better Salary in Just 2 Simple Sentences
  1. It keeps things open-ended. Asking a yes/no question invites closing the door. ...
  2. It displays confidence and honesty. Many salary negotiation experts say you shouldn't be the first to put a number on the table. ...
  3. It shows you're committed to doing the work.
27 Sept 2018

What are the 4 C's of negotiation? ›

Cross-Cultural Business Negotiations identifies the four Cs of negotiation: common interest, conflicting interest, compromise, and conditions.

What are the 4 P's of negotiation? ›

According to Yadvinder Rana, the 4Ps of Preparation, Process, Power Perception and Players' perspective are the cornerstones towards understanding how negotiation and business deals are made. All of the 4Ps are dynamic, over-lapping, and inter-dependent.

What is the golden rule of negotiation? ›

The “Golden Rule” of Negotiating: never let a negotiation come down to one issue… ever! Why? Because, by definition there is a winner and a loser.

How do you handle lowball salary offers? ›

Below are 6 ways to handle a lowball salary offer:
  1. Ask for more time to think about the offer. ...
  2. Negotiate for a higher salary. ...
  3. Consider the company's overall package. ...
  4. Negotiate for more benefits. ...
  5. Create a plan for performance reviews. ...
  6. Don't be afraid to walk away.

How do you negotiate more money after accepting a low salary? ›

Instead of asking for more money, consider negotiating compensation and benefits not addressed in the initial round, such as a signing bonus, more vacation time, tuition reimbursement, professional memberships or a flexible schedule.

How do you counter a job offer without losing it? ›

You can use the following steps as guidance when countering a job offer to negotiate your compensation:
  1. Ask for time to make your decision. ...
  2. Conduct research on industry compensation. ...
  3. Assess your qualifications and experience. ...
  4. Review and evaluate the initial offer. ...
  5. Determine your counteroffer value. ...
  6. Submit your counteroffer.

How do you express disappointment in salary offer? ›

A powerful phrase to use when you are negotiating salary based on an initial amount that strikes you as a bit low is “I'm a little disappointed.” Use it as a transition into asking how the amount can be negotiated to a more acceptable amount.

How do you negotiate when offer is too low? ›

How to Negotiate if Lowballed in a Job Offer
  1. Counter Offering. One of the most effective and oldest ways to renegotiate an offer is to make a counteroffer. ...
  2. Not Very Foolproof. ...
  3. Let the Company Decide on a Better Offer. ...
  4. Telling Them You Don't Like The Offer. ...
  5. The Company's Response. ...
  6. Consider When to Use the Counteroffer.
27 Jan 2022

How do you negotiate salary when they can't pay more? ›

Salary Negotiation Tips 21-31 Making the Ask
  1. Put Your Number Out First. ...
  2. Ask for More Than What You Want. ...
  3. Don't Use a Range. ...
  4. Be Kind But Firm. ...
  5. Focus on Market Value. ...
  6. Prioritize Your Requests. ...
  7. But Don't Mention Personal Needs. ...
  8. Ask for Advice.
24 Jan 2022

How do you bounce back from a failed salary negotiation? ›

Tips to help you get through an unsuccessful negotiation
  1. Don't take it personally. While it is easy to take the rejection straight to your heart, we want to reassure you, 'it's not you, it's them'. ...
  2. Keep yourself calm and professional. Money is a controversial topic. ...
  3. Don't go overboard with your counteroffers.
1 Jan 2022

Should you accept the first salary offer? ›

It really depends. Some people feel you should take the first offer if you're happy with it. Never negotiate just for the sake of negotiating. Other people disagree with that position and believe anytime you're given the chance to negotiate, you should.

How do you deflect salary questions? ›

In an interview …

If you're asked for your salary expectations, you could deflect by saying “What do you usually pay someone in this position?” or “I'd like to learn more about the role before I set my salary expectations. I would hope that my salary would line up with market rates for similar positions in this area.”

How can I convince my HR for a higher salary? ›

Learning to be a negotiator
  1. Do your homework. Just because the salary offer feels like it is enough to cover your expenses doesn't necessarily mean that it is the market average. ...
  2. Know your value. ...
  3. Ignore your previous salary. ...
  4. Think beyond your base salary. ...
  5. Hope for the best, but expect the worst.
16 Dec 2021

How do I make a low offer without insulting? ›

Lowballing 101: How to Avoid Insulting a Home Seller when Making a Low Offer for Their House or Condo
  1. Make a List of Necessary Improvements. ...
  2. Explain Any Issues with the Location. ...
  3. Provide Pricing for Comparable Homes in the Area. ...
  4. Consider the Seller's Reasons for Selling.
20 Aug 2014

Do employers expect you to negotiate offer? ›

People feel like they can't or shouldn't negotiate, but companies expect you to negotiate. If higher pay isn't in the cards, you can also negotiate for those non-salary items.

Should you negotiate salary if its already high? ›

You can almost never go wrong by negotiating salary. Many people are concerned that by asking for more money, they might lose the job offer — but that's almost never the case. After all, most job offers don't disclose the salary range upfront, so recruiters expect that you'll have to talk about it at some point.

How do you negotiate salary without seeming greedy? ›

  1. Do your research. ...
  2. Map out your salary range. ...
  3. Anchor high during a salary negotiation. ...
  4. Know your worth. ...
  5. Don't reveal your bottom line too early. ...
  6. Use silence as a tool when negotiating salary. ...
  7. Don't accept the first job offer. ...
  8. Negotiate benefits, not just salary.
2 Jun 2022

What are good reasons to negotiate a higher salary? ›

If you don't feel the pay aligns with your education, career level, skill set and experience, you may choose to negotiate for more money. You may also suggest another form of compensation, such as equity or stock options, or additional perks such as extra vacation days.

How do you tell a recruiter the salary is too low? ›

If you're sure that you want to decline, consider saying something like this: "I appreciate the offer and your time, but I can't accept this position at the salary you're offering. If the salary range is something that can be negotiated, please let me know."

Can a job offer be rescinded after salary negotiation? ›

In short, yes, this situation can occur. However, typically it is rare. When candidates have a challenging list of changes to the initial offer, hiring managers may rethink their decision. We recommend doing proper research on how to negotiate salary in an interview to avoid any second thoughts.


1. Tips for negotiating your salary (from an ex-FAANG recruiter)
2. Always negotiate your (tech) salary. (Seriously.)
3. How to Negotiate Salary: Asking for More Money After a Job Offer | Indeed
4. How to Negotiate Your Tech Job Offer | NEVER LEAVE MONEY ON THE TABLE
(Amara Anigbo)
5. Salary Negotiation Script - Step-by-Step Template to Get 30% More Money
(John Marty)
6. Automation Business Value Growth
(Insights In Automation)
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