Although this is similar to the "When is the right time to negotiate a salary?" questions, I've found myself in a slightly unusual situation, at least by my own experience.

I've applied to a large company for a job listing which stated the salary as £x,000+. After a screening phone call/phone interview, I was then interviewed along with 4-5 other people: if I'm successful, there will be no further interviews, the job will simply be offered over the phone by HR.

I only discovered the list was so short after the interview, as this company typically uses several rounds of interviews, so wasn't particularly surprised when money wasn't brought up at the interview. Typically my experience (with much smaller firms) is that there are one or more rounds of interviews to choose the prime candidate, followed by one with a more senior manager to ensure he agrees that the candidate is a good fit, and to personally make the job offer and discuss salary etc.

As such, I'm a bit of a loss as to when I would attempt to negotiate on the offer: obviously there are absolutely no guarantees I'm going to be selected, or even that they're open to negotiation, but I'd prefer to be prepared for the best case scenario.

Would it be suitable to discuss salary over the phone, or would it risk misunderstanding? Or should I request a further contact with the hiring manager? The phone call will be from HR, and I'm not 100% sure where the authority to set salary lies, or even if there's any room to negotiate. There are no outwardly declared salary bands, and I suppose the + on the salary mentioned could suggest bonuses/perks etc rather than simply a salary range, but it's hard to tell.

The last thing I want to do is jeopardize the offer, if one arose, but I'd also obviously like to earn a little more money if possible: £x+2,000 would be ideal for me, but every little helps. As a final note, the offered salary is almost exactly the same as my current package (Salary+bonus), but I would save money in travel so would accept their baseline salary if they didn't seem immediately open to negotiation.

So yeah, what would be the least risky, most likely to succeed (in that order of preference) time and way to negotiate the salary?

1 Answer 1


Negotiate after you receive the offer. If they select you over the other applicants, they obviously think you're the best candidate and thus worth more than the rest. They've already invested enough time in evaluating you that they're not just going to walk away if you ask for more, so the absolute worst case is that they don't raise the offer.

For much more on this topic, see Salary Negotiation on Kalzumeus, specifically the "When Does A Salary Negotiation Happen?" bit (but you really should read the whole thing).

And feel free to negotiate over the phone with HR, but get the details of any offers in writing before you accept anything!

  • Thanks: Would HR be the guys to negotiate with, or the hiring manager? (I've only worked in smaller companies where the hiring manager has been the Managing Director, and therefore sets their own budget)
    – Jon Story
    Feb 11, 2015 at 15:08
  • YOu negotiate typically with the person who contacted you with the offer.
    – HLGEM
    Feb 11, 2015 at 20:54
  • So in my previous roles the same person just happens to be both interviewer and HR contact. Either way I don't think I'm going to get it, but it never hurts to be prepared :) thanks
    – Jon Story
    Feb 11, 2015 at 22:32
  • 2
    Let's say it's the final interview. They offer you the job (perhaps even say "please sign here"). Do you start negotiating salary face2face during the meeting, or wait for the offer to appear in writing and then asks for a chat where you talk salary?
    – jacob
    Apr 3, 2015 at 9:14

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