Career Advice
November 30, 2021

Negotiate job offers like a pro

Negotiate job offers like a pro

Negotiating job offers is a skill that can be learned and practiced to ensure that the company understands our needs, knows our worth, and for us to gain a better understanding of the requirements for the job we will be working for. It is a good step to take before starting the job or signing a contract. In this topic, 5 of our mentors:

are sharing tips on how to negotiate job offers. 

Ann Criqui:

  • If you are asked the salary question directly during an interview;

    Try to clarify that salary is only one aspect of compensation, and let them know that you will be considering the position based upon the total compensation package in addition to the expected responsibilities of the role itself.
  • Spend a decent amount of time understanding and  discussing non-salary benefits.

    The total number of days off should be included in your compensation evaluation, so consider the number of days allotted for vacation, holidays, PTO, sick time, and maternity/paternity. Do they offer equity? If so, what kind of shares are they, and if they give you a total number of shares, what's the valuation? How does the health care compare to what you and your family need, are the medications you need covered?

    Consider the bonus structure, whether or not raises are common, and if it's important to you, whether or not they have an education budget for occasional field-specific training courses, conferences, or speakers. Understand, clearly, what would make the role a success for the company.

I once had an interviewer give me a very thorough outline of every part of their benefits package, perks, equity, bonus and raise structure, and then ask “So, are we within your range?". I responded, at that point with confidence, that yes, we were aligned, and it sounded like a great fit for both of us. If after considering all of the aspects of the position, company, and total compensation package, the salary range overlaps a salary I wouldn’t be attracted to, I may say that we’re aligned at the upper end of their range.- Ann.

  • Don't give the first number

        If you're applying for a managerial or exec position, don't talk about yourself, talk about your
       teams and give strategic examples of how you can help the teams excel and help them shine

  • Don't show up underprepared.

    Do your research on the company, it's products and its competitors. Find what you can on the potential team by searching LinkedIn and the company's website. If the position is within an industry you haven't worked with before, spend a considerable amount of time researching common jargon and acronyms, and get a better picture of what your position within that space might look like before the interview.
  • Don't discuss salary in the first interview.

    If they really push, you can ask for their range.

  • Don't discuss personal reasons that you need a specific salary.

    Keep the discussion focused on the value that you bring, and attribute any gaps in the non-salary areas of the compensation package with a reasonable bump in monetary value in the salary itself. Likewise, if they offer incredible benefits and a stellar equity package but the salary is a bit lower, understand how that compares for you.

  • Do expect that applying for a position within a different region may yield lower or higher competitive salaries with respect to that area.

  • Do consider tax implications and any additional deductions you'll need to account for if you are working remotely within the U.S. and are considering a position out of your residential state. You may need to pay income tax in both states.

  • Do research competitive salaries for someone with your experience.

    If you have specialized experience within the specific field of the position you're applying for, that should be valued a bit higher, because there will be a much lower learning curve, and you'll be able to become proficient in the company's capabilities and offerings faster.

  • Do expect a bit of back and forth.

    You may not arrive at an agreement with regards to joining the company until 7 emails, 6 zoom calls, and a few phone calls later. This should make as much sense for you as it does for them, and vice versa. It may take them some time to get their hiring and leadership teams on board with approving your discussed terms.

  • Highly recommend reading Never Split the Difference by Voss and Raz.

Mel Sweet

The part I and 2 of Haseeb’s negotiations posts are my bible, and they seem based on the also incredible Never Split the Difference.- Mel. 

Jake Nunez:

  • Do’s - Thanking the company for sending the job offer and asking politely if they can bump up the offer.

  • Don’ts - Make your email sound like you’re demanding a higher pay/benefits.

          In email writing, there will be cases that your message might be misinterpreted. Make sure your
         content has a respectful and appreciative tone.

Evelina Deleanu:

  • Show strong interest in the role while negotiating until you come to a point where you don’t want to proceed, then politely say thank you.

  • Be flexible to the offer options — not all companies will be able to up your base but they could offer you some other benefits instead.

  • Be realistic in your expectation - the company size, market, and other factors determine the economic realities of what the company can and cannot pay their employees. Point in fact, my 50 person employer will never match offers from Google and Facebook - it’s just unsustainable.

  • Back out of a position as soon as you realize it is not what you want - removing yourself makes another candidate move up.

Colleen Carroll 

If I put myself in the shoes of the hiring team, this can help them understand why you're worth what you might ask for. Just like Evelina mentioned above, having a realistic take on what the company might be able to offer can help your expectations, too. This gives you space to ask for what you deserve while showing respect for the employer and their constraints. - Colleen. 

Visit our blogs for more career advice or book a session with our mentors! Thanks again to Anna, Mel, Jake, Evelina, and Colleen on the input towards this topic 🙌🏻.

Get in touch with the mentors on LinkedIn:

  1. Ann Criqui:
  2. Mel Sweet:
  3. Jake Nunez:
  4. Evelina Deleanu:
  5. Colleen Carroll: