I'm in a bit of a dilemma. Today I had a job interview and me and the employer agreed verbally on a salary.

Later today he sent me an email with the actual contract, and the salary written there was higher than what we verbally agreed upon.

Tomorrow I am calling him to negotiate something else about the contract (unrelated to the salary) - should I tell him about the salary? Is it possible this is some sort of test? Could have there been a mistake? And if there was - should I say it?

Edit: The improved salary is not substantially higher. It's not one extra digit or anything like that. It's about $500 higher.

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    It might be that HR have interceded with a standard rate - in Australia, for example, all jobs have minimum awards (different minimums for different jobs) - or the company has their own policies - the hiring manager may not be aware of the actual company rate (he should). Still, honesty is best, as indicated below – HorusKol Sep 19 '17 at 22:02
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    $500 on a salary is nothing.. that $1.37 a day. They probably just rounded for an internal payscale. – Matthew Whited Sep 19 '17 at 22:30

I think you know the answer, the two of you verbally agreed on a number. Now it is just the paperwork is incorrect. Is you honor worth $X more than what you agreed on?

If you point it out and they correct it, then you will get points for being honorable, if they say it is accurate, then you get points and cash.

As for the unrelated-to-salary negotiation, mention it and renegotiate.

Is it possible this is some sort of test? Could have there been a mistake? And if there was - should I say it?

Think of Occam's Razor, the simplest reason is more likely the most truthful one.


Maybe you got mixed up with another candidate or that is their regular salary for that position, maybe it is including tax, maybe vacation or xmas pay, maybe they really want you and increased it as a bonus, maybe something totally different.

Unless there is really a mistake, like one extra digit, I would just let it go, nitpicking on others mistakes, even if you mean well, might make you look pedantic.

Would be a little alerted by the mistake, it might also go another way next time, so watch out for more typos.


It is better to sign it, then possibly notify - if your conscience demands it. It is not like it is in breach of some sort of trust, when accepting his verbal offer, you certainly also accepted any higher offers given the same terms - now the deal is in front of you. It has changed, but to the better. Sign it. If this is some sort of startup company I'd reconsider - days worth of burn money has saved many startups. If it is a solid company, I wouldn't hesitate to sign the improved offer.

  • Problem is I don't want to sign it as it currently stands, as something unrelated to the salary (the number of vacation days) is unacceptable to me. I am calling him tomorrow to negotiate it. – Oria Gruber Sep 19 '17 at 21:08
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    @RickJoker: maybe he is paying you the vacation days he is not giving you? – smith Sep 19 '17 at 21:49

This is a negotiation, anything beneficial to you is not your problem to fix. So I would let them mention if they made a mistake. Focus on the other issues with the contract and deal with this only if it is bought up. Acknowledging they have any sort of leverage weakens your position, so don't even acknowledge it as an issue worth anything to the negotiation.


I once negotiated someone up to 25k (local currency), they told me "Let's make it 26k, since I like even numbers". This was much more than $1000 USD difference. But it worked out since they increase wages by even numbers every year.

It's up to both of you whether or not you accept/change what's on the table.

I would just take it, but it might be nicer to remind them what you agreed upon if you don't want the money.

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