Originally the position I applied to was a Manager position. Normally on an interview I don't reveal my salary expectations and wait to hear the best offer, however, on the phone the interviewer pressed hard and I threw out a number that I wasn't totally happy with.

They brought me in, and during the interview they revealed that they were having a hard time filling the position, but also that the position would in fact be a Director position, which could command almost 30% more than the original salary number I had given them. They mentioned my original number fit into the budget and are preparing an offer for me, but I feel as if I have undersold myself, especially because the position is not what I originally thought.

With that, I am definitely going to ask for more, but not sure how to go about doing it, and also how much more should I ask for from my original salary expectation. I feel if I say I want an extra 30% from my original offer they will tell me to get lost. What might be a good way to approach this, and how much more would be reasonable to ask for?

  • 1
    @JoeStrazzere they did not say that, but based on my experience in the field a director could command much more than 30% higher, depending on the institution. But I obviously don't want to seem crazy
    – Adjit
    Jan 22, 2019 at 11:55

2 Answers 2


You applied for a Manager position, and they're offering you a Director position. That means the salary number you said at the beginning is completely irrelevant to this offer.

Say that explicitly: "After finding out more about the position and responsibilities, I see now that my initial salary number was completely off base. I'm looking for something closer to $[25-35% higher than what you said originally] as a salary for this type of position".

As a side note, you're in a pretty good negotiating spot. You know they want you, and you know that they are having a hard time filling the position. Focus on the value that this job is actually worth, and definitely don't take the job if you'll feel you're getting underpaid.

  • 3
    @JoeStrazzere if they have manager-level budget for director-level position, isn't it a red flag?
    – Mołot
    Jan 22, 2019 at 13:04

You did this,

on the phone the interviewer pressed hard and I threw out a number that I wasn't totally happy with

And now you want to say a higher number.

Of course, the answer is "just say the higher number" but you don't want to be too brassy, and you don't want to jinx the deal.

Not to fear, the answer to this negotiation dilemma is simple:

  1. Simply state the new figure you want for position P

  2. If the other party says:

    • "Wait .. on Thursday's phone call you mentioned X.."

simply reply

"Let's talk now about the P role..."


"let's figure out a number based on what we are now talking about"


"Now we understand the details and challenges of P, we can discuss numbers"

Note that you don't even say something such as: "That call was about a different situation, let's talk about role P" - you just say - "Let's talk about role P".

Don't be in an "argument" about it, it is a fait accompli: the discussion now is new and fresh. The old discussion is irrelevant.

Don't forget, all of life is just word combinations. Have the right word combinations in your head, and external reality shifts to your internal reality.

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