“I recently completed a job interview and I was offered the job. In their letter, they offered me a salary that was roughly what I expected, but less than I wanted. Should I respond with a counter offer?”
It is difficult to answer this question with accuracy without knowing your specific financial situation, including the area you live, scarcity of jobs, etc. Here is generally the best way to approach counter offers after a job interview:
First and foremost, how much leverage do you truly have? Mass hiring firms that offer the same basic salary to every entry level employee are unlikely to respond well if you try to ask for more money. On the other hand, if you are applying to a management or upper level position and/or if the company sought you out specifically in order to get your expertise, you have leverage that can help you get more money. Similarly, if you have another job offer by another company, feel free and see if one job is able to increase their salary.
Asking for more money always has risks. If you are seriously desperate for a job, taking the pay cut may be useful for your security. If, on the other hand, you have ample savings and know that your services will be valued elsewhere, you can take that risk in order to get the salary you want. Counter salary offers, in these cases, are as useful for you as they are for the company, because the company does not want to hire someone that is going to leave them eventually for a higher paying job.
- Realistic Expectations
If the company offers you considerably less money than you should be paid, why take the job? Do you need it that badly? Assuming you do not, it is well within your right to present a reasonable counter offer, because unless you are desperate for money, there is no reason to take a job that you are going to leave once a real offer comes on the table.
- Growth Potential
It is always a good idea to see if you can find out your growth potential if you take the offer. If promotions and raises are common when you hold on to the job, then you will only have to deal with six months or one year of low pay before reaping in the benefits of sticking with the position.
You Are Well Within Your Right to Request a Counter Offer
In some ways this entire post above is misleading. You can absolutely always request a counter offer. It is a standard part of salary negotiation. In fact, it’s why they call it negotiation. In some cases during your job interview they ask you what you would like to make, and you have the opportunity to start out with a number that is acceptable. Making a counter offer is not uncommon and in some cases welcome.
Yet there is always going to be a risk, especially if you do not have leverage. Some companies, especially for entry level, may be extremely turned off by your counter offer to the point where you either will not get the job or you will start off very negatively. For non-entry level (and some entry level), most companies will understand, but the risk is still present. If you are desperate for a job and it is extremely hard to get employment and you have no leverage, it may be best to leave it alone. If you weigh your options, you’re okay with the risk, you have a little leverage or you simply do not want to sacrifice your services for less money, asking for a realistic counter offer may be worthwhile.
Take Away Interview Tips
- Counter offers are a part of salary negotiation.
- Be sure you are prepared for the risk.