I am about to get an offer from a company, and they asked me to tell them first if I have any requirements, like a minimum salary, or any other requirements regarding the whole compensation package.
The thing is, I know the salary of a friend who was hired by this company, and his whole compensation package. In game-theoretic terms, I know private information about the other player.
How should I negotiate then? Do the classic negotiation rules -like asking for more than what you want- apply here? Should I simply ask the same as my friend?

Two more things, that might be relevant to the question: 1. This is my first job. 2. The offer is following a speculative application.

  • 1
    Did your friend negotiate his salary, or was he just given an offer and took it? You know what they gave him, but do your skills, experience, etc match up to his, so you know you're worth at least that much?
    – New-To-IT
    Jul 12, 2016 at 19:02
  • I know that he negotiated his salary, but not how or the details. When he got the job he was in the same position as me, and my skills and experience match up to his.
    – anonguest
    Jul 12, 2016 at 19:06
  • 2
    Possible duplicate of How can I determine a reasonable salary to ask for?
    – gnat
    Jul 12, 2016 at 22:01
  • Would someone please explain the down votes?
    – anonguest
    Jul 12, 2016 at 22:07
  • If your skills are comparable to your friend's, I would give it a shot with a slightly higher salary range. To not give away that you know his exact salary, you might suggest a number that is about 5-10% above his (use a round number). They will know you are not selling yourself short, so they will be more likely to counter with at least what your friend got, or who knows maybe 1-2% more.
    – A.S
    Aug 1, 2016 at 13:19

4 Answers 4


I have always negotiated for better salaries. I have never taken the offer 'as-it-stands'. That being said, I'm now self-employed!

Rules I apply:

  1. Know compensation for similar positions. Use salary surveys, private information, ... whatever you can get your hands on. Pay attention to regional differences throughout the U.S. Also keep in mind sectors are different (healthcare, semiconductor, ...)
  2. Estimate what you are worth to your potential employer. If you expect to make $100,000 then bear in mind that the employer is spending $130k - $200k in salary and benefits (sometimes more). In addition, the first 6 - 12 mos. a new employee is not really at 100% efficiency. So, investing in a new employee is expensive regardless of your expertise. Understand how money flows in the company from customers to you. Can you really produce $200k of revenue each year? Are you going to produce (by virtue of your work and your subordinates' work) more than $200k per year. If so, how are you going to do that?
  3. Never use 'he or she got that, so I should too'. No employer I know is going to listen to that. You just sound like a little kid complaining. I don't want to hire a complainer.
  4. It is not negotiating if you can't walk away. If you think that you must take whatever offer you're provided, you can't negotiate. Unless you can walk away and say 'no thanks', you're not really negotiating.
  5. Be reasonable. I already lived through (x1) Dot.com boom / bust. Friends were getting (x2) the 'standard' consulting rate to take ridiculous work. Be ethical and reasonable and you'll get respect - that is worth a lot more than an extra $100/week.
  6. Give something to get something. Offer to take on specific job functions, management, documentation, training of others - offer something your employer values to get something you value.
  7. Don't negotiate for future raises. It never happened for me - all the promises of promotions or salary adjustments or bonuses never materialized. Negotiate for the here and now, not some promise of a 'review in six months'.
  8. Use the job as a learning experience for the next negotiation. If you don't think you can truly negotiate for more money or if you don't get what you've asked, decide if the organization can 'teach' you something intangible. Face it. If you're asking StackExchange for advice, you may lack the experience to negotiate strongly. Look at the advice you've been given and try to figure out in your existing job or in this new opportunity what you learn to negotiate better the next time.

Nothing in life is for free. Don't expect a raise or a better offer unless they really need you and you're worth the money. If you're worth the money, they'll give it to you and you should perform well. If they don't give it to you and you are truly worth the money, keep looking for somebody that appreciates you. Don't take it personally. Recognize that you may be worth more to somebody else - it is not their fault or your fault. Not all employers value the same person the same way - just like not all people value the same car / house / stocks the same way.


I'm not sure it really changes things much unless it is fairly outside the norm. You have one data point that probably just reinforces what you would have found out by doing basic research for going rates on that type of position in your area. Your considerations are still going to be the same. You still have to decide what you think you are worth. What your minimum is and how important this specific job is to you.


I think that the best possible scenario is to go to the interview and start 10% more than the salary you expect. On the negotiation process, the HR will try to drop-off the price you said. This is the moment that you need to be sure that you'll be solid, and you'll not accept less.

Note - first you need to be sure that you like the offer proposed. Then you must be strong and don't allow lower prices that the HR will propose. I know it's your first job, but you need to know that you sell your intelligence for money so try to be as much as you can.


I'm going to argue against negotiation strategies. You want to find how much value added you provide. You can estimate by asking questions about what kind of project you will be working and whether they are mission critical projects. As this being your first job, I would start low and included an offer to renegotiate after so many months. Durning, this time, you should build relationships with your direct line managers.

If they have an internal messaging of community platform you want to be an active user and establish yourself as a source of some type of organization knowledge.

This will really set you apart from other employees and can be used in future negotiations to really get the best comprehensive compensation plan.

  • 2
    If you start low, it could take years to catch up unless you plan to leave the company in a year or two. Jul 29, 2016 at 15:12

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