Evaluate the Job & Negotiate the Job Offer You Deserve

Career Coaching


Editor’s note: this is Part 3 in our series with our partner, Makers, “Build Confidence and Take Control of your Job Search Series.”

After a successful interview, a job offer often comes next. The offer stage sometimes creates discomfort and uncertainty for job seekers. When do you bring up compensation? How do you negotiate a salary? What should you ask for? Is the offer a good fit for you?

These are all questions Hired and Makers answer in this chapter. Learn how to check offers and negotiate the salary you deserve! If an interview ends in rejection, learn how to tackle that, too.

Get Started with Salary Negotiations

Most of the time, the sourcer or recruiter will ask what you’re looking for in base salary or total compensation. Don’t feel put on the spot! Instead, if a screener asks for your expected salary range, ask about the salary band, or budget for the role.

Pro Tip: It’s illegal in a growing list of areas to ask candidates for a salary history, or about their current compensation. Doing so promotes bias. These laws are known as a salary ban, not to be confused with a salary band, as mentioned above.

If this doesn’t come up in initial phone screens, you can start the salary conversation early in the interview process. Be polite, don’t make it your first question, but don’t wait for an offer, either. Waiting to bring up salary until the end of the process doesn’t do you any favors. The early discussion helps you get in front of salary negotiations. 

You could choose to say, “I’m sure you value alignment as much as I do. Can you share the salary band budgeted for the role?” You may have follow up questions to qualify that number. Is it base plus bonus? Is that a total compensation number, including benefits? Nobody wants to make a false assumption.

Make sure you are clear about your personal priorities during the interview process. Determine your value in the marketplace before setting foot in an interview. This is very important for women. Female job seekers sometimes undervalue their contributions to the marketplace. This is known as an expectation gap.

Hired’s salary calculator helps you with this task. We  recommend a starting point for you using data from the marketplace. The Hired platform alerts you to the discrepancy so you are able to make changes if you set expectations too high or too low.

Remember, this number is just a starting point. Keep your priorities in mind as you negotiate. Some job seekers choose flexibility in exchange for entering a high-demand industry. Don’t share minimum expectations as they can result in low offers. Think about the salary offer that makes you excited to take the job and pursue this number.

How to Negotiate Your Salary & Benefits

Ask if you and the company are on the same page regarding salary after stating your expectations. The salary offer isn’t always what you expect or a number that satisfies your needs, and that’s ok. Communicate your desire to negotiate salary quickly so the company can respond.

State your passion and motivation to join the company. Then, explain that the current offer doesn’t work for you. Be direct and be very clear if you intend to give a counteroffer for your salary. Let the company know that you plan to accept the role if they meet that number. Companies ready to move forward quickly respond when candidates are ready to start.

Tech jobs and sales jobs have differing salary components. Base salary, target bonus, and equity are common for tech role offers. Fixed compensation and variable compensation or base salary plus commission are components of a sales job salary offer. Benefits and perks are usually included in both.

Consider negotiating other benefits beyond salary. Getting creative can help you get what you want when there is no wiggle room in the base salary. Some possibilities include:

  • Sign-on bonus
  • Guaranteed annual bonus
  • Expedited raise
  • Moving stipend
  • Stocks or RSUs
  • Paid time off
  • Health benefits
  • Learning stipends

Examine the Offer

Once you lock in salary negotiations, it’s time to take a hard look at the offer. Look at all elements and decide which are the most important in your eyes. Write down your priorities – this trick helps you hold yourself to them.

Consider these areas when checking your job offer:

  • People element – your manager, team culture, and company culture
  • Place element – location of the office, company size, industry
  • Things element – compensation, benefits, perks
  • Timing element – do you need to find a new job right away, or is there time to be choosy?

Rejection is Just Redirection

Sometimes it just doesn’t work out, despite a great interview. Don’t take this personally! Rejection doesn’t always mean you did something wrong or weren’t qualified.

Stay solution-oriented to keep future doors open. The way you handle rejection can make or break this relationship. Ask the company for feedback. Learn what you can to improve your future interviews. You never know when another position will open. Be civil and respectful despite rejection.  It often leads to new opportunities on different teams or at other offices. Besides, there’s no guarantee the person they hire will work out. It happens more than you think.

Do you feel like you need to upskill to be more competitive? Makers offers opportunities to increase your technical skills!

Land the Job Offer You Deserve on Hired

Master the job search process from start to finish with these easy to follow steps. Hired.com helps you every step of the way! Our Customer Experience managers help candidates achieve success throughout the hiring process. Complete your free profile on Hired’s job marketplace. Be sure to optimize it with these tips, and let employers search for you!

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