I know there are similar questions, but they are not exactly what I'm looking for. When applying for a job and asked about compensation, I told them the minimum salary I would work for. Later I was offered that exact salary, but I was hoping for more.

Should I ask for more, or is that just greedy?

  • 18
    If you won't work for the "minimal salary I would work for" then you probably should have labelled it differently...
    – Telastyn
    Aug 21, 2013 at 20:59
  • 2
    Did they ask you for the salary you wanted, or the minimum salary you'd accept?
    – jcmeloni
    Aug 21, 2013 at 20:59
  • 1
    How did you state that minimum salary? "I would be happy to have salary >= X" and "I would not even consider anything < X" would lead to quite different negotiation approaches. Also, is the risk of "breaking the deal" (ie not being hired) acceptable for you or not? This, again, can lead to very different tactics. Without knowing these details your question is rather hard to answer
    – gnat
    Aug 21, 2013 at 22:58
  • 3
    What bothers me is that you asked for that amount of salary, be it minimum or not. It's what you asked for. You got what you asked for and now you don't want it because you want more? Make up your mind.
    – cYn
    Aug 21, 2013 at 23:31
  • This is why I usually provide a range to remove any ambiguity between my minimum and what I really would like. I also like to mention this depends on other benefits and job requirements.
    – user8365
    Aug 22, 2013 at 15:49

5 Answers 5


When applying for a job and asked about compensation, I told them the minimum salary I would work for. Later I was offered that exact salary, but I was hoping for more.

Should I ask for more, or is that just greedy?

If I understand you correctly, you were asked what you wanted for a salary, and you were offered what you asked.

Most potential employers would think that if they offered what you asked for, it would be accepted. I know that's always the way I have felt, and I've been hiring people for over 30 years.

It's as if you asked your children "How many cookies would you like?", your children answered "Two.", but then cried when you gave them two. You would surely be puzzled.

Of course you can always ask for more, but the risk here is that you might be considered either greedy, flighty, immature, or just someone who doesn't really know what they want.

As long as you are ready and willing to walk away from this job offer, you can always attempt to negotiate for more. The worst they can say is "No, and we withdraw our offer". On the other hand if they really want you, they are more likely to say either "No, we cannot offer you more. Will you accept our original offer?" or "We can offer x more."

Good luck!

  • The key point here is that the amount of money you need to do a job depends on the job, and you don't know exactly what the job is before the interviews. There are also benefits to take into account. Aug 22, 2013 at 13:34
  • You make a good point. If he gave the minimum salary value after knowing what the benefit package was, then rejecting an offer within his range is a bit petty. Aug 23, 2013 at 0:00
  • I guess the employer asked, "what's the least we can offer you and you'll accept it?", and the questioner heard "what's the least you would seriously consider, albeit at that pay you'd think we're substantially undervaluing you and keep looking for higher-paying roles elsewhere?". They might both be right. Literally the least someone will accept is the point at which they're equally happy in this job or unemployed. Plus $1. Which is not where you want your employees to be, so that's not what the employer intended to ask ;-) Nov 26, 2014 at 22:04

Let's assume you gave your minimum salary before you did the interviews. When you did that you should have said "it depends on what the job is like". If you didn't it's not too late now. Jobs are not all the same, and its reasonable to say that the minimum you would accept for doing a job depends on the job - how hard it is, how much you enjoy it, and most importantly what else is in the compensation package.

It's very important to remember to look at the whole compensation package. Is there an annual bonus? Profit sharing? Pension contribution matching? What's the health benefits like? How much vacation do you get? If you ignore those and look only at base salary you fill cause yourself a lot of trouble. If those are all really good, and you really want the job, then take that minimum offer (if you didn't mean it you shouldn't have said it).

However at this stage of the came you can certainly say "Your pension scheme isn't as good as I hoped and you don't have a profit sharing scheme, so I'd like a bit more base salary to compensate". Even "I think the job has more responsibility than I expected, so I'd like more money".

If, on the other hand, you gave them a salary range after the interviews and after they had told you all about the benefits package, then things will be a bit more difficult. You can ask for more money for no reason if you want. However this comes over as "I just changed my mind for no reason", and isn't going to help you much.


You realize that when you told them what you wanted in terms of salary they expected that it would be enough. You are now in a difficult spot because you now want more. If you are going to ask for more they will want to know why? You might be able to convince them that their benefits aren't as good as you expected, or the commute will be more expensive, but they don't have to change their offer.

Imagine the following scenario. The jobs with that title pay 40K to 50K. They asked how much you wanted you said 45K. They were pleased to hear that number. It is in the middle of the range, it saves them some money, and gives them room to give you a raise next year. Therefore your application moves to the next round of the hiring process. Now you tell them the truth, you want 55K. There is now an issue. They can't meet your request, it is more than they can pay somebody in that position. But even if they offered you the top of the scale (50K) they don't have room to give you a raise next year. Employees never want to be at the top of the scale, it reduces the chances of a raise. Employers don't want employees at the top of scale, because they aren't motivated.

They now worry that they have wasted their time regarding your application and offer, you were never a serious candidate. They also worry that even if you accept either the current offer, or their improved offer, you will be unhappy, and not be with the company for very long.

It comes down to how much are you willing to risk. You can accept the current offer, and don't plan on staying for very long. Or you can try and ask for a better deal, and realize they now are concerned about you. You might or might not get it. Or they can reject your bid for a better deal and never hire you.

If the question describes the situation accurately, you aren't being greedy. You just did a poor job of answering their question.


In negotiation always say you want more. The ship hasn't sailed yet, they have made you a salary offer.

Tactics in this stage are difficult, depending on your current relationship to the company there are a number of things you can do:

  1. Ask for more - it can put you in a difficult situation as @gnat says above.
  2. Negotiate other benefits - payed holidays, performance bonus, better parking, whatever benefit you feel would offset the cash.
  3. Ask for a performance based raise - be upfront and tell them that you would like to negotiate salary increase if you have shown your worth within X months.
  4. Use this as a cushion while you find a better job.

I don't know whether you have other options, are currently employed, or how much you really want this job so it's difficult to give you too many details. I wouldn't consider asking for more money to be greedy or committing a Deadly Sin: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_deadly_sins

They offered you the bare minimum (I thought of the movie Office Space when I read your question). Your employer is unlikely to be thrilled if you are focused on doing the bare minimum at work.

So you can feel free to:

  1. Ask for more
  2. Accept the offer as given
  3. Say I was hoping for more, and ask them if they were okay with you waiting to answer because you were going to continue looking for a higher paying job

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