I have been interviewing with a successful startup. The first interview was a basic screening round, then another round with a senior engineer, and then there was another one with their CTO. The CTO was really impressed with me and said that I'm the perfect guy for the role. The salary negotiation started after that. This was with the COO.

This person asked for my ctc and I made a mistake of sending the salary instead of ctc. The salary component is obviously lower than the ctc. They made an offer before I realized my mistake. The new salary was just 2% more than my current one. This means, they used the ctc I declared to estimate current salary. Moreover, I'm already being underpaid.

I got back to them and explained what happened. I asked for a raise on the current offer, and also told them why I was worth it. To this, they responded that they had had an internal discussion and that they need a week's time to get back to me.

I feel that they might be thinking about interviewing other candidates. The conundrum is that I like the role at this startup, and now, I feel like they might pick someone else over me to keep their costs low. Should I accept the first offer so that I can get the job or wait till next week to hear what they've got to say?

  • Did you give the impression that there is no circumstance you would agree to the initial offer? Mar 5, 2020 at 11:49
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    What does CTC mean? Mar 5, 2020 at 12:10
  • 3
    @John Sorry John. I read it as CTO. CTC = Cost To Company. Basically, salary + perks, etc. Mar 5, 2020 at 12:20
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    Cost to Company is an odd one. Salary < Total Compensation < Cost to Company. The actual real cost of an employee is a lot higher than the sum of compensations, perks and benefits.
    – Hilmar
    Mar 5, 2020 at 14:06
  • 1
    @dpk Best advice I can give is to Read This
    – Kaz
    Mar 5, 2020 at 15:39

2 Answers 2


You've already fired the bullet. Backtracking before they respond will make you look weak, which they will remember and be able to use in any future situations.

My advice is to wait for what they come back with, and keep your options open in the mean time.

Remember: you have no information about what they're using that week to do - it's perfectly possible that they need to make their case to the finance team about why they need to pay more than they wanted to the star they just interviewed.


It doesn't matter what you sent them regarding your current job. It matters what you want for this job.

If they come back to you with a counter-offer that isn't to your liking then you'll need to decide what's more important to you; the job or the money. Make your decision based on that.

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