Negotiating Job Offers

Here/s what you need to know before a job offer is made: What are your salary expectations? How much do people make for this job? How much do people make for this job in the geographic area?

Once you are armed with information, what do you do?

You don't really do anything until a job offer is made! You do NOT bring up salary in an interview as a general rule…you let THEM do that. If asked, do NOT tell an employer "how much you'll take." Try to get THEM to "name a number" first. If they persist with asking you to name a number, STALL . . . appropriately & professionally, of course!

How do you stall appropriately and professionally?

Start with . . . "I'm very interested in the job and this company. The initial salary is not as important to me as is the opportunity to do the job."

If needed, add . . . "I've done some research and will consider a reasonable offer."

If you have to, add . . . "Please provide me a salary range for this type of job with your company."

And if that doesn't work?

You may have to say something like this . . . 'I appreciate your sincere interest in me for this position. I/m definitely interested in the job and I won/t disappoint you. Given my abilities, what initial salary do you feel is appropriate?'

And if that doesn't work?

Say something like this, "Salary is JUST ONE consideration of the compensation package. What other benefits will I be offered?"
Example: Start date, vacation, personal time, insurance coverage, holidays, relocation assistance, moving allowance, signing bonus, etc.

And if that doesn't work?

You may decide to tell them the salary RANGE you expect.
Example: if you expect $60,000, give them a range of "low-to-mid-sixties."

They finally make an offer, but you are waiting on another. Then what?

You may decide to decline or accept an offer before receiving another. Your ethical responsibility – once you accept an offer, you are no longer "in the job search."

It's heartbreaking to accept an offer one week for your "second choice" job, only to receive the offer of your dreams the week after. Say you have interviewed with both Company A and Company B... and you really like Company B. However, Company A makes you an offer and you haven't heard back from Company B yet. What can you do? You will want to ask Company A for some time to make a decision. You can tell them you have interviewed with other companies (don't give names) and that you need time to decide. You can call Company B and say you have an offer with another company (don't give name), that you are still very interested in Company B, and ask them if they will be able to make a decision before you respond to the offer.

What if you take the first offer and later realize it is not right for you?

You should not reverse your decision. You will burn your bridges with that company if you do. It will also reflect badly on your professional reputation and the University of Arkansas. It is acceptable to stay with the job for about a year before you make a change to another company.

Don't forget the "happiness" factor in considering jobs, too. It's not all about the's about the "fit" for you!