I recently had an interview that I thought went very well. The manager that I interviewed with asked me to email him the following day with my salary requirements. We had not discussed salary or benefits at all, other than a passing mention of health coverage (he told me it was excellent). I was not offered the job at this time.

I carefully researched the position in question (one which I have previously held), considered my experience and skills, and presented an offer that I felt was a good starting point for negotiations. I expected that it was higher than they would be prepared to pay me, but I assumed they would be prepared to counter-offer if they were interested in hiring me. I also made sure to mention that we hadn't fully discussed benefits, to suggest that I was amenable to reducing the salary based on the benefits offered. I received an immediate reply saying that they were still interviewing and that they would get back to me.

It's been about a week with no reply (this is a small company, and the person I spoke to is directly responsible for this decision). I'm starting to question whether I inadvertently priced myself out of the job. All the questions I can find related to this subject say "Don't give salary range before interviewing" and "Give a higher number than what you're looking for once you've received an offer." I was unable to find best practices for a situation where I've already had the opportunity to sell myself, but haven't actually been offered the position.

In short: is it likely that I sabotaged myself either by supplying a hard salary number prior to any kind of job offer, or by deliberately offering a number higher than what I would consider acceptable?

I recognize that they still may not be done interviewing yet, and that they may choose someone else for entirely unrelated reasons; I'm only asking whether or not what I did would generally be considered appropriate for the situation.

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    So, you jumped the gun? It's up to them whether they want to play your negotiation game. Having said that, one or two weeks is nothing to worry about. You'll have to follow up at the beginning of next week, though. Apr 14, 2015 at 9:43

3 Answers 3


You did well, nothing to worry about! It's very rare to be rejected because of a salary requirement being too high (as long as it's within reasonable range, i.e. not 200% more than they are willing to pay). And what you did (you added a little bit extra) is what any experienced manager would expect.

A week is totally reasonable, especially if they have only 1 job opening and several candidates. Interviewing process might span over a few weeks and they might want to interview all the candidates before sending someone an offer.

Even if you don't get an offer, chances are that it's not because of the salary requirement :)


Don't sweat it. Waiting a week or two for a response is totally normal. If you haven't done so already, it's appropriate to send them a short email asking if there has any progress in their decision making.

The general rule of thumb for negotiating is "never be the first party to say a number." You want the other person to make the first move, because it gives you the advantage in making a counter-offer. In fact, it's best to avoid talking about salary entirely until after they've expressed a desire to hire you. Of course, it's not always possible to do that, especially if they're pressing you for an answer. But I guarantee you that you didn't "scare them away" with a high number. If they're serious about hiring you, they will always ALWAYS counter-offer. If they don't, it's not about the money - they simply weren't interested in the first place.


When they ask you for the salary you want, you can give a range. If they company has half a brain, then they know what that means:

If they make an offer at the high end, or close to it, or even above your range, then you sign immediately.

If they make an offer in the middle, you will look around for a better offer. There is a good chance that you sign eventually, or that you sign somewhere else with someone offering more.

If they make you an offer at the low end, you will look around for a better offer, and since theirs is low, you will most likely find one. In other words, you won't sign with them.

So a low offer can mean that they didn't like you too much, or that they have a stupid money pincher making that offer, who thinks they can get you for cheap.


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