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I applied for a job and passed multiple interviews that went well.

Last Thursday I had the last interview until now. It was with HR department. I know in some countries salaries are double checked at the very beginning of the hiring process but in the place I am applying to, that is not the custom and is only done at the very end.

So it was a video call (no email) and we both gave our numbers. So they gave a number A and claimed that was the maximum amount they had allocated for this position. I gave a number B = 120% A that was over their numbers.

So they said that they will need to discuss with finances department what they can offer me. I just said OK. So they claimed they will check with the finances department and come back to me. That was on Thursday.

Now, reality is for me I would be ok to accept a salary C = 110% A. So let's say I am ok to accept a salary that is right in the middle between my original expectation and their maximum offer.

My questions here are these:

  • Should I wait passively until they come back to me and tell me their offer? This has for me the disadvantage that I see some risk they will come back and say they cannot come close to my offer so they won't hire me. Or even worse, they won't even answer me again. (That happened to my in previous hiring processes, when the offer did not match my expectation they did not go into any negotiation, just stopped there).
  • Should I proactively contact them and tell them I am cool with a salary right in the middle of their offer and my expectation? That has the advantage in my opinion that they will see I am totally ok with it and might still want to hire me, provided they are also ok with that salary. The only disadvantage I see is that, they might actually have offered what I originally asked, but I think it would be too akward since is 20% above what they offered. So I would feel uncomfortable knowing they feel they are over paying me. And actually I feel comfortable with only 10% more than what they offer.
  • If proactively contacting them... should I use email or should I make a phone call? The whole process went through email + interviews face to face online. The salary negotiation went through face to face interview too.
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Should I wait passively until they come back to me and tell me their offer?

Yes

This has for me the disadvantage that I see some risk they will come back and say they cannot come close to my offer so they won't hire me.

That is the risk.

Should I proactively contact them and tell them I am cool with a salary right in the middle of their offer and my expectation?

Why would you do that? Why would you proactively tell them that you'll accept less than you desire? Why would you let them know that you're not willing to hold firm to what you believe you're worth? Any future salary/raise negotiations if you were to be hired would be impacted because they know that you'll cave in to whatever they offer.

If you believe that you're worth what you asked for, then hold firm to that. If they don't come back with an offer that is acceptable to you then walk away. You hold the power here, unless you're so desperate for a job that you'll take whatever is offered.

If their offer doesn't "feel right in your gut" then walk away. If you accept an offer that doesn't feel right then you'll regret it, and that will surely poison your employment there as you'll be starting off with resentment and disappointment, which will only increase over time.

  • Thank you for your answer. Indeed, that is the point. a) I requested a salary but I think mid point between what they offer and what I requested is a fair value and I am confortable with it. I.e. I would not feel underpaid. Just ok. And b) Yes I am really desperated for this job as other than this salary discussions it looks great and wanna leave my current one. – Worker Oct 27 at 6:14
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Calling and saying you're comfortable with a lower salary will have 2 outcomes

  1. They will offer you the job at the lower salary
  2. They will not offer you the job because they will be concerned that you will leave for a higher offer if it comes along.

There is very little chance of them offering the original salary you requested. It feels like you're risking a lot by calling up and saying you're happy with the lower salary and it doesn't really feel like there is much to gain.

If they think you're good enough for the job, but you're out of their price range, they are unlikely to not give you the job, they are more likely to offer you the lower salary.

If you really insist on contacting them about this, I would suggest you email them (give it a week at least from when you last spoke) and mention that you are flexible on the number you gave as you are very keen on the company.

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As you outlined, by waiting passively you risk either not being contacted back or being contacted back without a counter-offer.

If you take action and contact them again you will in fact lose leverage and will, for sure, have no chance of being offered what you asked.

My advice is to wait for a definite amount of time (say a week up to 10 days) and if they have not come back to you, contact them requesting the feedback, maybe mentioning that you are open to discuss the numbers.

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  • Should I wait passively until they come back to me and tell me their offer? This has for me the disadvantage that I see some risk they will come back and say they cannot come close to my offer so they won't hire me. Or even worse, they won't even answer me again. (That happened to my in previous hiring processes, when the offer did not match my expectation they did not go into any negotiation, just stopped there).

You can, but as said by the other answers, you might never get called.

  • Should I proactively contact them and tell them I am cool with a salary right in the middle of their offer and my expectation? That has the advantage in my opinion that they will see I am totally ok with it and might still want to hire me, provided they are also ok with that salary. The only disadvantage I see is that, they might actually have offered what I originally asked, but I think it would be too akward since is 20% above what they offered. So I would feel uncomfortable knowing they feel they are over paying me. And actually I feel comfortable with only 10% more than what they offer.

I'd advise not to do this. If you do, there is a strong risk they'll offer less than 110%A and you will have the same problem later.


My advice: wait a little (5-7 days after your last contact) and if you have no news, contact them, but do not mention another figure. I'd do this with a phone call, but you can do it by e-mail, keeping in mind that an e-mail can be misunderstood.

Tell them you are checking if they have news on your offer and that you really look forward working with them. If they tell you they can match your expectations (or they offer you an amount you're willing to accept), you won. If they tell you they can't match your expectations (or offer an amount you're not willing to accept), then tell them you can make an effort if they make one too. They'll get the hint and maybe they'll offer something in between. If they can't, they'll tell you and at least you know it. But if they can, be aware it might be their final offer so if you decline it, you may not receive another offer.

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