I recently had a second job interview via phone and was asked what my salary range was. I had miscalculated the cap, (horribly I might add) and so asked what I "thought" the cap was. I have since spoken with several other people in similar lines of work who told me that I asked for significantly less than my experience demands and also did the math incorrectly. My question is, how do I fix this? I was told they would get back to me in a week after checking my references. Should I just explain what happened then? I don't want to seem incompetent.

Details: I was told the maximum range was $29 an hour. I don't know what I did, but I calculated that to be $41,000 a year salary. So that's what I asked for. And then I spoke to friends and family who told me I had done the math incorrectly. By 'cap' I mean that was the most I could have asked for according to the job posting. I basically asked for $20,000 less than I should have.

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    To be honest, if you make that kind of mistake when it is about your own money, as an employer I would be very afraid what mistakes you would make during your employment. – gnasher729 Feb 5 '17 at 0:21

About the only thing you can do is just to admit that when put on the spot you made a substantial math error in converting an hourly number into a yearly rate and then give them the correct number.


You were originally willing to accept $41k, until you saw that you could have asked for much more. Your best course of action depends on your answer to one simple question:

Are you still willing to accept the position for your original $41k?

Yes I am

I know a missed opportunity hurts, but consider accepting the position for the original $41k. Then after you have been there 6 or 12 months mention that you have seen that the going rate for your skills is now X thousand dollars and try to negotiate a raise. This is not guaranteed to work but at least you haven't passed on what might be an excellent job opportunity apart from the wage.

No I am not

For your best chance at getting closer to the $60k mark you should contact the appropriate person sooner rather than later to explain that you've done more research into the local job market and now cannot realistically accept anything less than X thousand dollars. Delaying this only wastes everyone's time.

Only take this approach if you can afford to pass up on this opportunity, as there is a good chance you may be ruling yourself out of the running by asking for such a significantly higher wage than your opening offer.

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    I would add that if you accept the offer anyway it's very unlikely that you'll be able to get anywhere near the desired figure by asking for a raise in 12 months' time. – Ant P Feb 6 '17 at 14:08
  • Indeed OP is unlikely to get a 50% pay rise all at once, but they might be able to negotiate a gradual rise approaching that over the next year or two. The success of this depends on how much people in similar positions at the company are being paid. This course of action assumes that either the OP is still willing to work for $41k and/or cannot afford for the job opportunity to pass them by. Asking for 50% extra salary now carries its own risks as they might not get the job at all – Trebor Feb 6 '17 at 14:44

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