I did an internship at company XXX and got a job offer from them; I accepted it. But I haven't started my work yet.

I now received another job offer from company YYY which pays $15K more. The work is almost the same, both are full time. I like the higher salary, but I prefer company XXX.

How do I approach company XXX and ask them if they can match YYY's offer?

  • 2
    There really isn't a good way to get a counter offer. It has to be made naturally.
    – Donald
    May 5, 2014 at 18:18

4 Answers 4


How do I approach company XXX about my new job offer with YYY and ask them if they can match YYY's offer.

Once you accept, negotiation is complete. You could "unaccept" I suppose, and see if you could re-open the bidding war. I'm not sure if that's a healthy thing to do in your locale or not. Where I work, it wouldn't be considered very professional.

You could go to company XXX and say "Even though I already accepted your offer of Z, I got an offer for more from another company. And unless you match their offer, I won't show up when I promised."

They might make a counter-offer. But be prepared to hear them say "goodbye".

As a hiring manager, once I have an acceptance, I consider the negotiation period closed. And if the new employee tried to get more, I'd almost certainly withdraw the job offer and move on. I don't want to have people on my team who are happy to go back on their word. And I don't want to have people on my team who will jump ship for a few dollars more.

I almost never make counter-offers to people who go find themselves another offer but indicate that they are willing to stay if I will match the other offer. My experience tells me that it will only be a short period of time until they either leave for yet another slightly-higher offer anyway, or until they come back with yet another try for a counter-offer. As a manager, that's not a game I'm willing to play.

I would certainly not make a counter-offer to someone who hadn't even started work, yet has already decided to ask for more.


You have accepted their offer, negotiation is over. Accept this. Now, you have a decision to make -- do you want the 15k or do you want the company? Either is a reasonable choice.

If you want the money, politely inform the company that another opportunity has arisen and you can't pass it up. Thank them for the offer, apologize for any inconvenience, be upbeat -- they aren't bad, you simply have something better. Do this as soon as possible.

Don't go into the details about how this offer is better unless they explicitly ask. Do NOT hint that you want to renegotiate.

If you want the company, simply decline the offer.

If you're wondering about my emphasis or how this differs from the other answers: In work, you trade time for money and the company trades money for time...

So, when you accepted the offer, you said "this is the price you have to pay for my time", renegotiating is unprofessional and dishonest because without any change in what you are offering, you are trying to change the price.

But while you don't have any more to offer them, you have (depending upon what you find more desirable) found someone else that values your time more. This is a change not in what you have to offer, but in your circumstances -- and it iscompletely independent of the original company, it has nothing to do with them. But it does impact your life, just as it would if your spouse was transferred, or your child was accepted into a really good school.

It's entirely reasonable (and should be expected) for you to reconsider your situation based on your circumstances, and then to decide in a manner that you believe is best for you.


The way you state your questions indicates your priorities and in any decision making process it's all about weighing your priorities.

If money is your first priority and don't mind ruffling some feathers or pissing some people off, it can't hurt to ask. The worst thing that can happen is they stick to their guns and say "no". Your question is "how". Just be up front with them and let them know that $ is your priority. Maybe you have a mountain of school debt or just had a kid. It helps to provide context to why you're asking.

The other important thing is to not make it an ultimatum unless you really want to push hard and risk losing the opportunity. You have to be mentally ready to accept the other offer and you also have to ask yourself if you're willing to give up on the offer if they only offer you 5K or 10K. Negotiations are all about leverage and what you and the other side are willing to give up.

In India this is common. In the US, this is quite rare and would probably be frowned upon. However again, it's all about leverage. How badly do they want/need you? Have you proven yourself? Since you interned there, they have an idea of what you're capable of so they may be more willing to negotiate with you.

Best of luck!

  • 1
    this post is rather hard to read (wall of text). Would you mind editing it into a better shape?
    – gnat
    May 6, 2014 at 15:22

It looks very good on your CV to have worked post university for a company you interned with, as it shows they must have liked you. Also you will need a reference from them for your next job move, so it is important to keep them on side. So be nice to them whatever you decide to do.

On the other hand 15K is a lot of money!

Personally I would go with company XXX and tell them about the other offer when you have your first salary review. If XXX is not willing to pay you what you think you are worth once you have 18 months experience, then consider other companies.

Explain to company YYY that you have decided to take the offer from XXX as they provided you with an internship, but that it was a very hard to decide as you greatly respect company YYY. Email this to the person that interviewed you as well as the HR person. You want to be able to go back to company YYY in 18 months time if needed.

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