I received an offer from a company recently. The application had an expected salary field (it was required). I knew the range I was expecting, but the field didn't allow a range. I put in the middle of the range as the value. The company came back with an offer; the salary is exactly what I asked for.

Can I negotiate the salary at this point? If not, would it be wise to negotiate other perks?

  • 1
    In the future, leave such fields blank. If the forms don't allow that, try obviously incorrect values like 0. Oct 23, 2018 at 13:48
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    When you say "The application had an expected-salary field, it didn't allow a range", it sounds like you mean a webform that forced a certain input. Yes. These things are just a contrivance to mess with you. You could write 0, the mean, median, top-quartile, 10% higher than the max, 15% higher than your existing salary, whatever. Ultimately (if you get an offer) you will be negotiating your salary with the hiring mgr, not HR, and certainly not a webform's JS validation. "I asked for the middle of the range as the value, and they offered me that". Lesson learned: in future, slightly higher.
    – smci
    Oct 24, 2018 at 1:23
  • Thanks for the wonderful feedback! One thing that a lot of you didn't answer was whether I can negotiate other benefits (bonus, stock options etc.) with the company since those were never discussed. That should be fine right? Since those weren't a part of the form?
    – user93736
    Oct 24, 2018 at 3:59
  • Your question seems to contradict itself. You say that you were asked for an expected salary. And then you say you got what you "asked for". Were you asked what salary you wanted? Did you ever make an offer? An expected salary is nothing like a desired salary and it's perfectly reasonable to turn down an offer even if it's exactly what you expected. Oct 25, 2018 at 21:40

6 Answers 6


They gave you exactly what you wanted. Asking for more at this point would be counter-productive and probably not be a good way to start a working relationship.

  • This is my first real job, so I'm a total noob at this. People always say "negotiate the offer". Does this not apply to this case?
    – user93736
    Oct 23, 2018 at 4:13
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    Yes, but in your case the negotiation is over. You asked and they gave. You cant ask again. If they lowballed you then you could negotiate but if they gave you what you asked then that means the negotiation is complete. If you ask for more it will look like you're taking them for chumps.
    – solarflare
    Oct 23, 2018 at 4:35
  • An expected salary is not necessarily what you want. If the field said "desired salary", the certainly it would be unreasonable to try to negotiate if they gave that to you. But an expected salary is not a desired salary. Oct 25, 2018 at 21:37

I don't think a negotiation has taken place. You can say that you put a middle-of-the-road number in the box and, now that you know more about the position, you think that $X is a more appropriate amount.

Also, check out the chart below. It can help you decide how much risk you're willing to take — job offers do get pulled sometimes. Here's the article the chart comes from.

Good luck!

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  • Nice line chart...
    – Jim Horn
    Oct 23, 2018 at 13:27
  • what about if you are in high demand but you really need the job? Do you just say yes?
    – coder4fun
    Jan 22, 2020 at 1:37

You can negotiate salary at this point - but I wouldn't recommend it.

They asked you for a number, gave it to you and unless there's been a significant change in the circumstances (either because you now know more about the job or something outside your control has changed) then going right back and asking for more will look bad.

Negotiating for salary is exactly like any other negotiation - usually the two sides state their preferred result at the outset and then meet somewhere in the middle. You don't go to a car dealer and offer them 5k off the list price, then immediately turn around and offer them another 5k less because they agreed to the first offer.


The company came back with an offer, the salary is exactly what I asked for. Can I negotiate the salary at this point? If not, would it be wise to negotiate other perks?

When you get exactly what you asked for, then asking for more may make you appear greedy. That's not a great way to start a new job.

If you do decide to negotiate for additional salary, be ready to answer the inevitable question "Why are you asking for more when we are offering you exactly what you asked for?"

You could try for more perks. But decide ahead of time what you want, what you will do if they meet your offer and what you will do if they decline.


I tend to agree with what @solarflare said.

It won't come off nicely for sure if you want to push for more after they already provided what you wanted.

Moreover, consider it a lesson learned. If you 're not in a dire need of a job and you think you 're in demand next time aim at the higher range (or exceed it if it's not that realistic!) and then you have leeway to play the counter game or who knows they might really like you/need you and even give you the higher range salary from the get-go. If there's something you should keep from this, is to not be afraid to lose agreeableness, you won't receive something unless you ask for it and no company will turn down a good candidate just because they price themselves highly(but still competitively for the market).


They gave you what you asked for, which means they probably have a good impression of you. Don't dent that impression by trying to negotiate now.

However, if you love the job and you've been in it 9 months or so (and you still think they have a good impression of you) then try to negotiate for a raise at that point based on your added value to the company.