I've been offered a job with a starting salary lower than what I was expecting, so I countered their offer with a starting salary that was about 10k higher. They ended up meeting me half way countering my counteroffer with a new offer that was in the middle, but I am not fully satisfied and want a bit more.

How do I go back asking them for to just bump it up a bit? I am willing to take a signing bonus as opposed to the additional salary increase. How do I go about going from their counter offer to asking for a signing bonus?

  • 5
    How did they "ended up meeting me half way" work? Was it just an email response with a new offer? Or was it in person? etc
    – enderland
    May 27, 2015 at 20:57
  • 3
    Did you agree to the meeting halfway? If not you are still in negotiations, so just make a counter to their counter offer. If you are getting cold feet after the fact, you need to stand by the agreements that you made.
    – Myles
    May 27, 2015 at 21:20
  • @enderland They responded with an offer that was half of what I proposed in my counteroffer. It was by email, but does that matter?
    – dalawh
    May 27, 2015 at 21:23
  • 1
    @DJClayworth I did not agree yet. Sorry for the poor choice of words.
    – dalawh
    May 27, 2015 at 21:25
  • 2
    Then this is really simple. You say "I will accept your offer if you add a signing bonus of $X". There is no magic spell for doing these things. May 27, 2015 at 21:27

2 Answers 2


@Myles How would you suggest I phrase the ongoing negotiation?

The root of the question from the comments. "We are close to a deal here but that is still a little less than I would be able to accept. I could accept X salary or Y salary and Z signing bonus. Would either of those options be acceptable from your side?"

  • Is there a specific ratio from the X salary to the Y salary and Z signing bonus? Like if X is just N much more than Y (X - N = Y), what should Z be? I don't want to put something too outrageous while taking less.
    – dalawh
    May 27, 2015 at 21:36
  • @dalawh: No, there is no standard for this. It depends on the exact details of how that company, at that moment, evaluates the tradeoff. (For exactly the same reasons that we as prospective employees would trade these off differently depending on who was asked and when.)
    – keshlam
    May 28, 2015 at 0:56
  • @dalawh Keshlam is correct. What you are willing to accept is entirely up to you.
    – Myles
    May 28, 2015 at 14:16
  • 1
    I agree that this might be the time to bring in some one time deals to help out. Maybe ask for some extra time off, a sign on bonus, better office setup. There may be several intangibles that they can do to finish the deal. Also, ask yourself, 'am I willing to walk over $5k' May 29, 2015 at 14:15

One approach is to say "Is this a take-it-or-leave-it offer, or are you open to further negotiation?" (As you may already know, when you counteroffer, you are defacto rejecting their offer and they have the right to walk away.) By asking if they are still open to negotiation or if it is their best and final, you don't give them incentive to walk away.

Keep in mind that a signing bonus may be more/less desirable to them than a salary increase depending on if it is the norm for them.

  • 1
    Wouldn't asking them if that is a final offer inform them that I'm just trying to squeeze as much as possible?
    – dalawh
    May 28, 2015 at 11:52
  • I think if the asker was to say that, then it gives them the chance to respond with "yes, it is take-it-or-leave-it" and then he has no opening for further negotiations. I think the asker should stick to his guns and give them a final offer himself, maybe in the middle of the gap between the two standing offers by saying "the minimum I would be willing would be X. Anything less would make me reconsider working for you" or something.
    – bpromas
    May 29, 2015 at 15:22

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