I got a return offer from a large tech company after I did my internship. I accepted the offer.

My friends, who finished their internship two months later than me, got a higher salary and more benefits than I did.

We did the internship in the same city, we will graduate on the same date and we will start working full time at the same entry-level position in the same city and almost same time.

Is it possible to negotiate with the company?

Is there anything I should be aware of when I negotiate.

What should I say to make the conversation not so awkward?

update: successfully re-negotiated with HR. got higher salary.

  • I agree that if it's drastically different that I'd be discouraged too, but their interview questions could have been cleaner or they have more background experience.
    – Xrylite
    Oct 22, 2014 at 0:51
  • thanks. @Xrylite we were interns and we got return offers, not through interviews. two of my friends and i are actually in the same university. and one of my friends and i are in the same team during the internship we know exactly each other did. so, I will think about it. thanks anyway
    – mabeiyi
    Oct 22, 2014 at 0:57
  • If the difference is egregious, just take it as a lesson to negotiate a bit more on your next job. Also NEVER a good idea to share salary info with coworkers !
    – teego1967
    Oct 22, 2014 at 12:40
  • @JoeStrazzere It's exactly like a regular offer. the company offers me a full-time offer after my internship instead of interviewing me.
    – mabeiyi
    Oct 22, 2014 at 13:51

3 Answers 3


This is how it works I'm afraid. Salaries are set by negotiation, and market rates. This is usually the reason why employers want salaries kept secret.

I had a team a couple of years ago, 3 senior developers doing basically the same role, one made nearly 50% more than the lowest paid.

Now you may say that you didn't negotiate, as you and your friend were both working internships on the same team, you say it was later on they got the better offer, so this is likely down to changes in the market.

As to what you can do, probably not much. You may have signed a contract as you say you have accepted, renegotiating now means breaking that. If not you could request to renegotiate, but there are risks, you could either cause resentment (which may lead to problems later on), or worst case could mean your job offer was rescinded (as you want more than they are willing to pay), so the question is are you prepared to miss out to try for more? How much of a difference between you and your friend(s), unless it's thousands it's probably not worth taking the risk.

As regards what to say, there's not much to say other than asking to speak to your boss and asking to renegotiate the permanent role. You need to do this before you transition, and the best words to back you are are the pieces of evidence that justify more money, you need to demonstrate why you are worth more (which may seem strange given your friends got offered more, but you'll need to justify), merely stating that someone else got more and you want the same only works when you're seven.

If you don't renegotiate, use the time once you start as a real employee to impress, and work to getting a raise at end-of-year.

It can seem annoying, but think like this: If someone sold you a house for a price, they couldn't come back to you after the deal is completed and say "oh the house is now worth x more, I want more money", timing is always a factor.


If you want to negotiate for a raise, you can better use this information to your advantage by not disclosing you know about it. You may want to wait until your first evaluation. Hopefully it is sooner rather than later and is very positive.

Timing could be a factor. You may have to wait until a time when the company gives out bonuses and raises. This may take longer than you like, but if you want to keep this job and have a better chance of getting the raise, wait until then and ask for the additional increase based on what you know. Do the research you should have done in the first place. Find out what the going wages are in your area for this type of position. Interview at other jobs if necessary. If you can show you are qualified for positions that typically pay more, then that's what you ask for. All the time, you know what this company is willing to pay.

You may get some feedback on why you're paid at this level and why they don't think you're worth more.

I would not indicate you're applying for other jobs (It's assumed most people are.) nor would I give any type of ultimatum i.e. Give me a raise or I quit.


First question is where did you hear from about the higher salary and is it legal in your country to share such information?

If your friends are okay with being disclosed as the source and it's not illegal, you should of course ask about the discrepancy and if the contract can be adjusted.

Maybe the rules have changed in between, maybe your friends are considered more valuable because they finish a task XY in 20 instead of 30 minutes. Maybe they throw dice. Nobody except them knows why, you have to ask if you want to know.

Oh, first make sure your friends are not joking with you, otherwise this could end embarrassing for everyone.

  • thanks for your comments. I will take your comments into consideration. i am in US. I am sure my friends are not joking with me and i am sure the salary is not based on what we have done. i don't think i want to disclose my friends'. I am considering bring it up as a rumor and get a confirmation from HR and then try to further negotiate.
    – mabeiyi
    Oct 22, 2014 at 0:52
  • 3
    As far as I'm aware, no country prohibits sharing such information. The employment contract of your friends may prescribe some consequences to disclosing this information, but it's not illegal per se. The only thing that depends on country is that in some places those restrictions on sharing salary info can be illegal and punishable by gov't as an unfair restriction on laborers.
    – Peteris
    Oct 22, 2014 at 11:26
  • 1
    In the US, the bans on discussing salary is actually in violation of the National Labor Relations Act, and no, it's not just applicable to unionized employees. twc.state.tx.us/news/efte/salary_discussions.html
    – Shauna
    Oct 22, 2014 at 17:09

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