Salary Negotiation

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed
I went for a job interview on Friday and just found out I got it! Rah rah etc. However, they are offering me a much lower salary than expected, equivalent to what I was on three years ago, even though the salary range quoted in the advertisement came almost up to what I'm on now.

It's with my current employer, so they know that they're offering me a crap salary compared to what I'm on now. I've asked them if they can move a bit and they're going to call me back.

I've been asked back for a second interview for a job in Edinburgh tomorrow and even taking into account the pricey season ticket it's still about 2K more than my current employer are offering me. I also know that I am the only person they're seeing for the job so if they like me it's as good as mine.

Should I lay my cards on the table and tell my current employer about the interview tomorrow/how much money it is/that I'm the only person they're seeing? Should I make them sweat by asking them to hang on until I've had the interview? Can they back out, only having offered me the job over the phone?

This whole business is making me nervous. If my current employer offered me a salary at the upper end of what was quoted in the ad, I wouldn't bother going to the interview in Edinburgh because I'd much rather stay here. Advice please! Have you ever had to negotiate like this before?

Mädchen (Madchen), Monday, 12 December 2005 10:36 (thirteen years ago) link

Other benefits of staying where I am:
- It's a permanent job. I'm on a contract at the moment which expires at the end of December, and I have a mortgage
- Foreign travel, like proper travel, to Shanghai and Kuala Lumpur and Mumbai and a couple of trips to London per year too

Mädchen (Madchen), Monday, 12 December 2005 10:38 (thirteen years ago) link

I am very surprised they feel they can offer you less money for the new job. Either way, yes, you should certainly aske them to match the Edinburgh job, though possibly AFTER you're offered it rather than before if that's at all possible. Indeed, mention to the Edinburgh job that you've been offered the Glasgow job and see how they react! It's an unusual and positive position to be in, having two prospetcive employers who want you.

Oh, and congratulations hon :)

Markelby (Mark C), Monday, 12 December 2005 10:44 (thirteen years ago) link

Wow, well done! I think, if they like you so much that they offered you the job so quickly, it may be worth pushing them for what you can get from them. They have offered you the job, if they can't meet your terms then you don't have to accept their offer. Remember that this is about you, not about them. They need you more than you need them. And you have the other one to consider as well, which means you can afford to be pushy. Oh, xpost, yeah, what Mark said.

(I saw another job in the paper last week that I thought would have been perfect for you but maybe a third job would have been all too much for confused Mädchen)

ailsa (ailsa), Monday, 12 December 2005 10:47 (thirteen years ago) link

I think you should explain your situation, if they don't budge soon

you want to stay there but the only thing stopping you is the lower-than-expected salary (esp. since you may have another job that will pay a bit more like what you were thinking)

that seems completely understandable and fair but, yeah, not totally easy to bring up/explain/etc since they obviously would rather you just accepted

hope they're nice

congrats, too, btw

RJG (RJG), Monday, 12 December 2005 10:50 (thirteen years ago) link

Maybe there's a chance the salary would increase after 3-6 months anyway? The travel aspect really seems like a good 'trade-off' too.

Sororah T Massacre (blueski), Monday, 12 December 2005 10:52 (thirteen years ago) link

The salary will increase, but only within the scale, which is the scale below the one I'm on at the moment. In other words, I'm at the bottom of scale 2, and they're offering me the bottom of scale 1. The top of scale 1 is £500 below the bottom of scale 2, so I wouldn't really notice it. The other thing is it's quite difficult to get up onto the next scale, so I could expect to be stuck with the same salary for quite a while.

The more I think about this, the more offended I feel that they're offering me el crappo pay packet. I really don't want the Edinburgh job unless I have no other option, though, because of the commute.

Mädchen (Madchen), Monday, 12 December 2005 11:09 (thirteen years ago) link

Cor! exciting stuff.

The problem (as HR depts see it) with appointing at the top end of a range is that it leaves the appointee with nowhere to go, if you see what I mean, making them more likely to leave quickly.

Don't be nervous, it doesn't sound to me as though disaster is around the corner.

Tim (Tim), Monday, 12 December 2005 11:12 (thirteen years ago) link

Did you discuss salary expectations within the interview? Thing is, you knew when you were applying that the job was on the scale below, and they will know this and they don't have to go over that. Unless of course they can't find anyone else who will do the job as well as you can for less money than you want.

However, don't trust me on this as I had three potential job offers when I was looking earlier this year and think I totally undersold myself at the time, since I see similar jobs to mine advertised with salaries £3k or £4k above what I'm on. They must have been rubbing their hands with glee when I said I would be looking for £x, then knocked back the other two companies out of hand.

ailsa (ailsa), Monday, 12 December 2005 11:15 (thirteen years ago) link


Mädchen (Madchen), Monday, 12 December 2005 11:16 (thirteen years ago) link

Yeah I'd think if the job was advertised at X dollar maybe you can at least bring that up? :) Anyway good luck!

Trayce (trayce), Monday, 12 December 2005 11:18 (thirteen years ago) link

Is it a totally different job to what you do at the moment? I mean, can you not use your experience working for them as leverage up to the next salary bracket? In my last job, I offered to do a bit of stuff that wasn't in my job description and it meant they could create a new job title especially for me and give me a salary I wouldn't otherwise have been able to get...

ailsa (ailsa), Monday, 12 December 2005 11:22 (thirteen years ago) link

I discussed salary with them before I even applied for the job, so they knew they were pushing it with their crummy offer.

appointing at the top end of a range is that it leaves the appointee with nowhere to go, if you see what I mean, making them more likely to leave quickly.

True, but if I'd been forced to take the job at the lower salary, I'd have been hunting for something else immediately. However, I know that the department is due to double in size over the next couple of years so promotion prospects are pretty good.

Anyway, I have the dosh I was after now!

Mädchen (Madchen), Monday, 12 December 2005 11:28 (thirteen years ago) link


Tim (Tim), Monday, 12 December 2005 11:30 (thirteen years ago) link

Hurrah for Mädchen!!!

ailsa (ailsa), Monday, 12 December 2005 11:31 (thirteen years ago) link

So you've got the money you wanted? Congrats!

But yeah, I've had to negotiate salaries a couple of times now. It always helps to let your (potential) employer know that there's a potential bidding war. However, I've always had an agent to do this for me, as this is their job, to negotiate the best rate for me.

Control your ponies, children! (kate), Monday, 12 December 2005 11:33 (thirteen years ago) link

yay mädchen: congrats etc.

tell them, purely and simply, that you need more cash and that you've got other interviews lined up, and they will almost certainly cough up after a few days' dicking about. stet will no doubt have shared his wisdom on this matter, but here's an experience of my own:

i found myself in a similar position a few years back, having applied for a job that had a salary scale from x (low) to y (a bit higher). i got offered the job ... on salary x.

i got a bit mumpy about this and said that, really, i'd been expecting y, what with all the experience i could bring and blah blah blah. "ah," they said, "you'd have to work here for at least two years to get that."

"fuck that," i said, "the deal's off."

"erk," they said, "bear with us."

more than a week later they rang me back and offered me y. they made a really big deal out of it, as if it was the single greatest humanitarian gesture anybody had ever made. problem was, by this point i'd decided i really didn't want the job anyway, and took great delight in turning them down.

they tried exactly the same trick (offer x, increase to y after much moaning on their part) with the next person they approached. she turned it down too. mwoo-hah!

bottom line: they want you for the job. that puts you in a much stronger position than you might think. a little gentle negotiation can reap vast rewards.

grimly fiendish (grimlord), Monday, 12 December 2005 13:30 (thirteen years ago) link

My sister started a new job today and the agency she got it through sent a box of 12 muffins for her to share with her new colleagues. There are 3 people in her office today. Four each!

Mädchen (Madchen), Monday, 12 December 2005 14:37 (thirteen years ago) link

that's frightening.

unless she has a job as a muffin-taster, right enough.

grimly fiendish (grimlord), Monday, 12 December 2005 15:05 (thirteen years ago) link

I want a job as Mädchen's sister!

ailsa (ailsa), Monday, 12 December 2005 15:06 (thirteen years ago) link

Wouldn't it be bad form to take in a bunch of muffins for your colleagues if you were joining a muffin-tasting outfit? They would surely see a plate full of muffins as additional, unpaid work. What agency would be so short-sighted?

Tim (Tim), Monday, 12 December 2005 15:09 (thirteen years ago) link

(alternatively, I just want muffins. Actually I have muffins. But free muffins > muffins I bought myself. And in fact they aren't muffins, they are chocolate covered flapjack things)

ailsa (ailsa), Monday, 12 December 2005 15:11 (thirteen years ago) link


Why isn't today Krispy Kreme day?

Kate Classic (kate), Monday, 12 December 2005 15:19 (thirteen years ago) link

two years pass...


Ned Raggett, Thursday, 21 August 2008 21:08 (eleven years ago) link

Are you being offered muffins? Congratulations!

StanM, Thursday, 21 August 2008 21:17 (eleven years ago) link

Amazing, really.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 21 August 2008 21:17 (eleven years ago) link

Ooh, I just read about it on your ponderpage - actual congratulations this time!

StanM, Friday, 22 August 2008 21:25 (eleven years ago) link

Too kind, thanks!

Ned Raggett, Friday, 22 August 2008 21:26 (eleven years ago) link

ten years pass...

what's the best strategy when you are facing financial disaster?

lowball em
highball em
"Whatever you can give me."

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 11 June 2019 11:46 (three months ago) link

What's the situation? I hate when this is part of initial interviews.

maffew12, Tuesday, 11 June 2019 12:16 (three months ago) link

the situation as in position? assistant production editor

I am presently in a gig-job where I can't pay both my rent and my onerous medical bills

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 11 June 2019 12:33 (three months ago) link

As in your relationship to them, how this is coming up. Are you renewing or something? I just bump around salaried desk jobs and won't be much help to you. Good luck with it.

maffew12, Tuesday, 11 June 2019 12:43 (three months ago) link

I would be a new hire at an academic institution

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 11 June 2019 12:44 (three months ago) link

Oh. And they want people they are interviewing to tell them salary expectation, with no dollar figures being on their ad? That's the worst. I'm certain I've been screened out of jobs I probably didn't want anyway for answering too high. All I can say is give some reasonable estimate of what that position ought to pay. good luck

maffew12, Tuesday, 11 June 2019 13:31 (three months ago) link

You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.