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I am interning at a startup; my internship ends in a month. I was recently called in by my manager and offered a full time position as I have already graduated. In addition, he gave me a range of the salary offered, which was $65K-$80K. He also mentioned benefits such as dental and health insurance and stock options, but did not go into details. My question is do managers state the range of the salary they will offer as I can just say $80K for my desired salary? And what else should I ask my manager before I make my decision?

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    I don’t understand your question. Are you asking if giving a range is a common practice or are you looking for advice on how to negotiate? – AffableAmbler Jul 16 at 3:29
  • @AffableAmbler The OP is asking if an job offer with a range is usual. – Gregory Currie Jul 16 at 3:33
  • Sorry about that. I am asking if giving a range is a common practice since then the candidates can just pick the max of the given range. – user9933484 Jul 16 at 3:34
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do managers state the range of the salary they will offer

Yes it did happen with me as in a big MNC. Your actual salary is decided by HR. Your manager may just have got approval to hire you and he must be aware that at this position, salary varies in this range. Once you say yes (verbally), they may request HR to roll-out a formal offer letter with final salary calculated as per their norms.

And what else should I ask my manager before I make my decision?

If 65K is a deal breaker for you, you can request if HR can give a more specific number for your salary before you make a decision. This should not be very difficult for your manager to find out since HR would anyway calculate that number later.

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This does not sound like an offer.

It sounds like you were invited to partake in candidate assessment for a regular role. They are saying: "Now your internship is over, would you like to apply to transition across?". Internships do not always flow into regular employment, and not every intern will be invited.

An actual offer will contain an exact figure and a list of benefits.

It's likely there will be an interview, maybe multiple. They will take into consideration a wide range of factors, including your performance as an intern, when deciding on the salary they will offer.

In you are interested in continuing to work there, the next step is to ask your boss what the next steps are. You should look at the job market and get a feel for what is appropriate for your qualifications and experience.

  • That's what confused me. He told me that they would like me to join the team, and gave me a couple of days to decide to accept and ask questions. However, I cannot really decide without specific numbers. – user9933484 Jul 16 at 3:32
  • @user9933484 You are right. You shouldn't decide without knowing what the figure is and benefits. This is not normal. You should ask you boss if there will be an interview or anything like that where salary will be discussed. Let them know you need a bit more clarity. Just reiterating, giving a range is not normal and doesn't make sense. – Gregory Currie Jul 16 at 3:36
  • Great, thanks. Is there a way I can ask him for the exact numbers in a way that is not daunting? – user9933484 Jul 16 at 3:49
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    "Hey boss. I'm keen to take a look at the <WHATEVER> role. What's the next step in the process? Is there an interview?" If they say there is no interview, you can then ask for the employment contract to look over. – Gregory Currie Jul 16 at 4:00
  • Perfect! Thanks Gregory – user9933484 Jul 16 at 4:03
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It's a little strange to offer a range, unless he's also offering a tradeoff between stock options / RSUs and money. If he is offering you a tradeoff, please ask another question with more details if you want our help.

If it's not a tradeoff:

Mentioning a range is probably your would-be boss's clumsy way of starting a salary negotiation. At this point in your career, you and your would-be boss sit opposite each other at the dealmaking table. It's a win-lose game until you accept an offer from them. You may as well play to win!

So negotiate. You can say "I really want to work here. $80K (the top of the range) sounds good. What does it take for me to get a formal offer?"

Your boss, or somebody, may offer a lower amount either in the moment or later. If they offer less than $65K (the low end of the range) they're not respectful negotiators. That probably isn't intentional, but it means you should ask "how do we get to yes?" rather than making a counteroffer.

When they make an offer, respond with a number somewhere between your $80K position and their position. Or if their offer is high enough, say "OK, it's a deal".

If they insist on a low offer, you might try saying "OK, if you can promise me a salary review after six months." That kind of promise should be in your offer letter.

As long as you're respectful, you won't p*ss anybody off sticking up for yourself in this negotiation. Always start with "I really want to work with you."

There's an excellent book on negotiating by Roger Fisher: Getting to Yes:negotiating an agreement without giving in. If your boss proposed a salary range, I bet you he hasn't read it.

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