I received an offer for new position from company A (senior engineering position), and tried to negotiate a for slightly higher salary. They accepted and gave me 4 days additional to submit final decision in writing.

Two days later, I am getting a second offer from company B (also a senior position) with which I also interview around the same time. They offering slightly larger salary than what I tried to negotiate with company A and longer vacation package.

I kind of prefer company A, but don't want to turn down a better offer from company B. Can I negotiate salary or vacation a second time with company A? Is it ethical or would I better just go with what I was able to negotiate the first time?

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    I am new to this forum. If you down grade my question, please explain why. Mar 23, 2017 at 16:31
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    @SliderBlackrose Care to explain why this question should not be downvoted? All that it is asking for is "should I take job A or job B?". That is a decision only the OP can take based on what he considers important. I don't see how we can provide any useful answers here.
    – Masked Man
    Mar 23, 2017 at 17:17
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    The other part of the question about whether the OP should negotiate again also cannot get any useful answers. The technically correct answer, of course, is yes, which is nothing more than a Mathematician's Answer. The implied question is how would the company respond to it, which we have no way to guess, so we can't give anything useful there either.
    – Masked Man
    Mar 23, 2017 at 17:22
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    The site is directed at a general audience, but that does not mean every question is directed at the general audience. If for every question, we wanted to create a repository of answers from the perspective of all possible industries, locations and experience levels, we could possibly do without the bazillion tags we have created for each.
    – Masked Man
    Mar 23, 2017 at 17:34
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    "I really want to accept your offer, {COMPANY A}, but I was offered a better package by {COMPANY B}. Is there anything you can do to {increase compensation or other benefits}?" is both a valid and effective way to try for a second negotiation. Mar 23, 2017 at 22:18

3 Answers 3


As for ethical...that's a very broad term open to a lot of opinion.

You can always try for negotiations. Nothing prevents you, aside from them saying "no, take our offer or leave it". Until the paperwork is signed you can make any negotiations you feel are warranted, but each time will be a roll of the dice.

The fact that they gave you 4 days for final decision speaks to me like they're almost prepared for you to make some movement in negotiations, but that could be my personal view on it.


Can I negotiate salary or vacation a second time with company A?

You can try. You can negotiate a third time, then a fourth time, and so on.

At some point, company A will decide that you are a high-maintenance type and that they don't want to play games any more. They will either say "take it or leave it" or just say "Offer withdrawn. Go away."

Be ready with your reply when that happens.


Opinion based answer, but this is a very opinion based question:

Is it ethical? Asking for opinion and everyone will have one from their own view. Mine, not really a matter of ethics. You have not signed, you are not yet under contract, so negotiations are still open. Yes, you agreed, but they also gave you time to consider.

Is it reasonable? Different question, different opinion. No, in my opinion, it is not reasonable. Negotiate a salary you want to begin with. If a 2nd company came in with a significantly larger offer, that is different, but you specifically stated that your first negotiation was for slightly more, and this offer is again for slightly more by your own measure, not significantly more. So, you want to re-open off an agreed to salary for a minor bump. IMO, no.

For a significant offer, completely ethical and even reasonable to go and say, hey, I want to come, but B just offered me a bucket of gold. Can you at least come close? To come back again without telling me you have another offer, would stretch in to unethical. And for only slightly more, regardless of if you told me why you wanted to re-open or not, now you are just trying to nickel and dime me. And if you are willing to do that while just trying to get in the door, then your are going to keep doing it, or keep looking to jump ship after you are there. Very bad precedence in my opinion.

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