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I was negotiating an offer recently, and having read the relevant advice, refused to name my current salary and my expected salary. The hiring manager was happy enough with the explanation that my current salary does not reflect my value to his company. However, he insisted that he needed to know my desired salary so he could tell the primary decision-maker (the head of the department) what amount would make me happy.
I attempted to counter by asking for the budget, and he said that there is no set budget, that the position was posted with a broad range of experience/skill requirements (I do not have the n years of experience that were listed, but that didn't stop them from giving me the offer!) and the offered salary would be based on the chosen candidate's skills. He didn't seem to give any weight to my argument that he's in a better position than me to know what I'm worth to his company, and returned to his original stance - he needed a number to take back to the department head.
I ended up giving a number first (as advised - so high it made me a little embarrassed) and received a good offer that I ended up accepting. The hiring manager even told me that they do not normally give candidates with my experience so much salary (which is probably a lie).
But for the future - what is the best strategy to hold my own against this line of reasoning, and force the company to name a salary first?
This is not a duplicate of "how do I respond to questions about salary and expectations" because I already know that, and I described my responses above. I want to know how to negotiate after responding.