I have recently completed a series of interviews with a company, and now they have scheduled a call to discuss an offer. Because this company is huge and rich, and the team I will join is working on things crucial to the company's future success, I believe that they can afford to pay a very good salary. However, between Glassdoor, Indeed, etc. I have not been able to find concrete salary information.

I intend to deflect questions about my current salary/what I aim to make, for as long as possible, and instead ask "what is the best you can do?" to get them to name a number first.

But when they do name a number, if it's really good, should I accept or try to push it even higher? On the one hand, it may make me seem greedy. But on the other, I doubt that they will give their real maximum salary when first asked.

  • 1
    This is basically the same as workplace.stackexchange.com/q/3335/2322 right?
    – enderland
    Feb 20 '17 at 22:41
  • @enderland It's similar. I have several reasons I can come up with to raise it (graduate degree, high responsibility vs similar roles, work experience that's basically tailor-made for this role), I just don't know how hard I should push.
    – SPavel
    Feb 20 '17 at 22:48

How hard you should push us related to how much you are willing to risk their giving up on you and hiring someone else instead.

It sounds like you really don't want to lose the current offer. And remember, they know this is already a good offer.

I know what my answer would be. You need to pick your own risk threshold.


Short Answer: If you feel that the salary they are offering is great and you are happy to work for that package, then accept it.

While it's important to have an idea of what the local market is, and the size of the company, the primary thing that must drive you is what you are prepared to work for. It really is that simple. If you feel you are being undervalued or underpaid by what they offer, then counter with a higher offer. Otherwise, then there is little point pushing for more if you are satisfied with the offered salary.

Mind games with salaries is really a psychological minefield. Instead, go in with a clear idea of what you are prepared to work for, and if that's met (of course assuming all other conditions of the role is a good fit), then accept it. No doubt you already have a figure in mind or you wouldn't have a frame of reference to say "...a salary offer that I consider great". Work from your preferred salary as the baseline as to whether you want to accept an offer.

  • 1
    The top answer to the similar question linked by @enderland says you should always ask for more. I appreciate your perspective, but is there more you can add to can you substantiate it?
    – SPavel
    Feb 20 '17 at 22:54
  • 1
    @SPavel Whether or not you accept an offer always comes down to your own comfort level. If you think to yourself "Wow, what a great offer, that's more than I expected!", then what value is there is second guessing yourself? If the reasons you want to ask for more is for perception rather than requirement, then you need to question if it's the right thing to do. As keshlam states in his answer, it comes down to risk versus reward. If you're already happy with the reward, why add risk?
    – Jane S
    Feb 20 '17 at 23:23

But when they do name a number, if it's really good, should I accept or try to push it even higher?

How much in demand do you feel you are? If you are uniquely qualified for this position (remembering that very. very few are), then you will have the leverage to ask for more no matter what they are offering. On the other hand, if others are equally (or almost equally) qualified, then you have less leverage.

How lucky do you feel? Sometimes turning down a really good offer in pursuit of an even better offer can backfire. In my experience, hiring managers don't want to hire high-maintenance types.

How much do you know about their tolerance for dragged-out negotiations? Some hiring managers won't negotiate at all. Others might be willing to negotiate some, but not much. Still others enjoy many rounds of back and forth. Perhaps you have gotten a sense of that during your interviews.

I like to go into an negotiation having a number in mind. If they meet or exceed that number I will be happy. I will never look back and will never waste energy wondering if I could have gotten more. Not everyone is mature enough to do it, but I advise everyone to try.

As they say "Perfect is the enemy of good".

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