Negotiating the Job Offer

You've met with a potential employer not once, but most likely 2 or 3 times. The stage is set for a job offer followed by negotiations.

The negotiating phase can be initiated by either the interviewer or you, the interviewee. Questions or comments an employer might ask include:

  • How do you think you would like working here?
  • People with your background always fit in well with us.
  • You could make a real contribution here. What do you think?
  • Well, you certainly seem to have what it takes. What questions are lingering in your mind?

Your questions might be similarly phrased:

  • How do you think I would fit in with the group?
  • I feel my background and experience would definitely complement the work group, don't you?
  • I think I could make a real contribution here. Do you agree?
  • I have what it takes to do this job. What questions are lingering in your mind?

Once you've received an offer:

  1. Evaluate it. Remember, you've done your homework and have a good idea about salary and compensation packages. Determine if the offer is fair and equitable. You can respond with, "It seems we are close. I was hoping for something more in the range of $___ to $___. How much room do we have for negotiation?"
  2. Not quite what you expected? Accept or reject? "I like the job and I know I have what it takes to be successful in it. But quite honestly I cannot justify it with your initial salary offer. I hope we have some room for negotiation."
  3. You might be asked, "What is your minimum?" Respond with your range again and talk about how something can be done. "Even though the offer isn't quite what I hoped for, can we talk about the future?" Some factors may include:
  •  signing bonus, which is usually exclusive of your salary & future raises
  •  specific time performance review with a raise attached
  •  year-end bonus
  •  title promotion and raise after a specified period of time (the shorter the better but be reasonable)
  •  things other than cash: company car, gas, maintenance, insurance