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So I went through the interview process and I received a verbal offer via voicemail. The hr manager asked me what my current salary is and what my expectations are.. as well as other benefits, vacation and etc. I did right away and for the sake of this post I said my previous salary was $100 and i wanted $110. Previously in the interview I stated I wanted to come in between 105 - 110.

The offer came today and it's over the midpoint at 108.50.

Since they came in just below my asking, is it worth negotiating with them? Or should I take it to mean this was a firm offer? I've never had to negotiate a salary before so I would appreciate some advice on this one and what the rules are here.

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    I'd just like to point out that 107.50 is exactly middle of 105 and 110. Their offer of 108.50 is leaning towards the high end of the range. Also "just below my asking" would be below your range, e.g. 104.50. They met your request IMO. – Sopuli Oct 3 at 0:45
  • Yeah true, slightly over half – Poly23 Oct 3 at 0:48
  • What you should do personally is really up to you. There have been posts here were people have had their role withdrawn and others suggesting more negotiation and getting higher pay. Can you afford the risk of having the offer withdrawn? – Shadowzee Oct 3 at 0:56
  • If you think you will like the position, take it. If not, then don't. A small salary decrease or increase will not materially change how much you can tolerate the working conditions. – Pete B. Oct 3 at 18:37
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You told them you were looking for a salary between $105 and $110. They offered you $108.50, which is $3.50 above what you indicated to them was your minimum.

You could try and bump it up a bit, by couching the response in terms of extra commute or some other reconsidered "negative" to justify the extra money. You could even try for more than your original $110 upper value.

However, rightly or wrongly, they're very likely to be confused - "we offered them more than their midpoint", or even a bit upset - "now they're asking for more than first indicated".

Depending on the quality of the other candidates, they could very well end up offering job to one of them.

Even if you try for more, receive a "no, that $108.50 is final", and you say okay - they may still pass you over now, as they'll worry you'll just move on to a better paid role elsewhere.

On the other hand, they may think you're worth the extra money... but then, why didn't they offer $110 (or more) already?

  • I agree, you got what you asked for and changing you mind and asking for more might make them think that it's never going to be enough to stop you moving on – Bee Oct 3 at 10:01
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I said my previous salary was $100 and i wanted $110. Previously in the interview I stated I wanted to come in between 105 - 110.

The offer came today and it's over the midpoint at 108.50.

Since they came in just below my asking, is it worth negotiating with them?

Well, they didn't come in below your asking. Regardless of your last number of $110, you did say you wanted it to come in between $105 and $110. $108.50 is in that range, so that is not below asking. They actually probably thing they're being generous: you gave them a range, and instead of picking the low end, or even the midpoint, they gave you a little more than that!

Unfortunately you anchored your expectations by giving them a salary range, and they went ahead and fulfilled your request. It's better to avoid giving numbers at all (let their first offer to you be the first time a concrete number is uttered), but if you must, don't give a range. Give a number that you actually want. If they fail to meet it, and you decide to negotiate, they shouldn't be surprised.

Regardless, you can always negotiate. It's exceedingly rare for a company to rescind an offer simply because you decided to negotiate. (Consider that they've likely spent tens of thousands of dollars of their time and resources interviewing you and others for this position; they don't want to repeat it.) They'll likely be a bit confused, since you gave them a range, and they met it, but it likely can't hurt to try.

"Thank you for putting together a great offer, but I was really hoping for that $110 figure I mentioned. That would really help me because X. Is there anything we can do here?" While you don't technically need to provide a reason, doing so will often make the recruiter want to help you more. Acknowledging the work they put into the offer shows respect for their time.

If they respond in the negative, you can also suggest that a higher signing bonus, or some other form of compensation (be specific as to what), would also work for you if it's a possibility.

You can also sweeten the pot by giving them your commitment: after saying the above, finish with, "If you can meet my $110 figure, I'd sign on the spot". This gives them a concrete way for them to "win" you. Of course, only do that if you'll actually sign if they meet your terms. Giving them a commitment and then backing out on it might actually cause them to rescind the offer, or at least to cease trying to meet your needs.

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    On the whole, I agree. However: Give a number that you actually want - Personally I add around 5% on top, knowing that if I'm a good candidate they will either go with that, or offer me just under my asking, they're never going to go more than asking. Obviously it depends on your situation and other offers though – Bee Oct 3 at 10:03

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