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Can You Lose a Job Offer by Negotiating Salary?

Andrew Langat
December 14, 2022
A candidate listening in an interview session
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The interview process can be challenging for many job seekers, especially early career candidates. For many, getting the node to move to the next phase of the process is often a confidence booster, but few are prepared to negotiate a win-win situation with the hiring manager.

This results in a bad deal or just taking what is offered.

This may be due to many reasons, such as desperation to secure a job, lack of experience negotiating a job offer, absence of negotiation training, etc. However, this should not be the case, as many companies expect prospective employees to have some expectation of the salary range that they are worth.

73% of Employers in the United States expect salary negotiation - Career Builder.

It is thus essential to prepare thoroughly before negotiating with your future employer.

Why is this important?

It is simple: you can lose a job offer by negotiating salary if you make unreasonable demands or by going below what is expected of the request.

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At What Interview Stage, Should you Negotiate Salary?

Salary negotiations are always touchy and must be handled with extreme care. During an interview process, matters concerning salary negotiations require timing. If you bring it up too early, you may seem money motivated or greedy. Too late, you risk ending up with a lower salary or little room to make a counteroffer.

So this raises the following questions: when is the best time to raise the salary issue? What is the best way to bring it up?

As a general guideline, being patient until the hiring manager brings up the salary topic is advisable. Better still, some companies sometimes state their salary range when advertising a job, and you can use that to determine whether the salary and job fit your needs before applying.

Some online job applications may require you to indicate your desired salary range. Even though it might seem early, hiring managers to use this information to determine your best fit. Therefore, you should put in a sensible salary range to boost your chances of being hired and if you are contacted for the next step, know that the company can meet your salary expectation.

In the instance that you have completed your first interview and salary has not been mentioned, you can begin thinking of ways of bringing up the subject, especially if you have a big commitment or you have to make travel arrangments(especially if it involves flying across or out of the country).

Therefore, if you have to raise the salary issue during an interview, you must do it strategically.

A scenario of an interview session

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Do's and Don'ts Before Negotiating Salary.

1. Do Research

Before making a bold step, such as asking about your salary, conduct plenty of research to see what similar jobs and markets in your area pay, understand what the companies consider and what's the fair starting salary for the job, you're applying for.

Some of the best places to get information include industrial reports, asking colleagues in a similar position, and job portals such as,, etc.

2. Don't Rush to Talk About Money.

Do not be quick to mention your salary expectations. Stress the value you are going to deliver. Remember that an employer will only give a specific salary corresponding to your job's market value.

3. Don't Always Accept the First Offer.

Accepting the first job offer may set you up for a bad deal. Always remember that unless clearly stated your employer expects you to negotiate salary, you should never feel uncomfortable giving a counteroffer.

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Tips for Salary negotiation During an Interview process

The following are some tips you can use for salary negotiation during an interview;

1. Have Good Timing and Understanding.

Mentioning your salary in the application letter or the first interview is not ideal. Use this chance to show the hiring manager that you're suitable for the role and let them know you.

When you are contacted for the second interview, you can now ask about compensation but ensure you do it strategically.

Reveal your interest in the job and what strengths you will bring before asking for the salary range. Make your (future) employer feel confident that you are there for more than just a paycheck. If they bring up the salary first, provide a range that leaves room for negotiation.

Showing you're flexible is key to working out a compensation package acceptable to you and the employer. Ensure you fully understand the job requirements before answering questions about your preferred salary.

2. Ensure Your Figures Are Right.

Before the interview, you should research the latest salary ranges in your town or city and the job title. This will help you get the correct figures to help negotiate for a raise with excellent knowledge of salary requirements.

You can use salary guides to conduct more research if you are unsure of something. A guide like the Robert Half Salary Guide.

3. Be Honest.

Misleading a prospective future employer might affect your chances of getting a job. Try not to lie about your current salary to get more money. Be honest about your current situation and emphasize your value when negotiating your salary.

Lack of honesty can lead to reframing negotiation to your disadvantage.

4. Submit a Strong Argument.

A stronger case in a negotiation will help you get what you want. During the talks, discuss your achievements, especially those that affect the company's bottom line, and discuss your skills and experiences.

According to a survey done by Allianz, 69% of companies have reported a talent shortage(the highest in 15 years). This shortage has increased salaries, and many employers are reinstating perks and benefits.

Therefore, having good experience and higher skills will give you an upper hand when negotiating for pay.

5. Ensure Agreements are in Writing.

After completing all negotiations, ask for all specifications to be put in Writing. If you are still with another employer, do not resign before ensuring that your job title, compensation, and other details have been documented.

6. Think Beyond the Payment Bundle.

Ensure that you evaluate the entire payment package. A job with a lower starting salary could have a generous employee benefits bundle or opportunities to grow and learn with the company.

You want to fully understand the full view, including retirement benefits, health benefits, and vacation packages. Some companies might have a smaller hiring budget, and they will improve their benefits and perks to close the deal.

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Common Mistakes Made in Salary Negotiation.

It might be exciting and tempting to get right into a negotiation when you hear about an offer. Thinking of a strategy or a plan immediately can be challenging, and mistakes can be made.

They include;

1. Declining an Offer Way Too Quickly.

Losing a potentially good job offer without negotiating isn't very reasonable. The initial offer might be disappointing, but this always gives room for negotiation.

Hiring managers may offer a lower bargain on purpose, as they expect you to negotiate. Declining an offer without negotiating might cause you to lose the job offer altogether. You must familiarize yourself with industrial norms to get you through the negotiation process.

2. Making the Negotiation Personal.

Professionalism is always key in any negotiation. If a prospective employer offers you an offer, it means you are their finalist, and you are their choice, so even if the negotiation breaks down, keep in mind that you received an offer even if it's not what you wanted. If the negotiations break down, move on graciously, thanking the employer again for the opportunity because you never want to burn any bridges

3. Not Getting the Deal in Writing.

After reaching an agreement with the hiring manager, ensure all details are put in writing. A proper and legitimate company will not be opposed to it. If the offer is not in writing, you risk losing all you agreed on.

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How to Avoid Losing a Job Offer During Salary negotiations.

Money matters are always touchy and can make or break any professional relationship. During an interview, all might be going well until salary negotiation. This is where you can lose a job offer, so how can you avoid it?

Try the following;

1. Practice Your Confidence.

When it comes to negotiation, always be confident, and have a firm stance on what you feel you deserve. Practice how to deliver a counteroffer in case the offer raised is not to your liking.

You can role-play in front of a mirror or with a friend until you feel confident. You want to be confident in your abilities so as not to raise any concerns from the hiring managers. Ensure you articulate what you can offer and why you should get the desired salary.

2. Brace Yourself to Answer Difficult Questions.

If you want to convince your hiring managers that you deserve your compensation, be ready to answer tough questions about why you deserve it. They may ask you difficult questions that may put you in a tough spot.

Be prepared to show them how they win by compensating you on the level you want. (Create a win-win situation).

3. Understand Industrial Trends.

Gather accurate and complete information on industry trends and norms. This will hint at what can be asked during the negotiation. Sites like Glassdoor can give you an insight into the company's pay range.

It might be advisable to learn what skills are needed for the role. If you have skills fit for the role, you can apply them as talking points during the negotiation.

The more you gather information on the company and what it takes to succeed, the more chances you have of getting positive feedback from the company.

4. Schedule In-Person Talks.

Negotiating via phone or Email can work, but In-person is much better. You can schedule a short meeting and table why you deserve higher pay.

In-person negotiation has its benefits:

  • You can bring up additional resources to back up your claim. Such as experiences and certificates.
  • You can gauge the hiring managers' reaction when you counter their offer; through this, you can act accordingly and find a solution that works for both sides. It's difficult to gauge emotions via Email or phone.

5. Accept Companies Constraints.

While we all aspire to earn higher pay, some companies cannot offer more. So if they cannot offer you what you want, avoid pushing for it, as this negotiation tactic might result in you losing the job offer.

In such an instance, you can either accept or reject their offer. If you find their offer not worthwhile, continue searching for one that can satisfy your needs.

6. Prepare your Best Arguments Before Negotiating.

Getting to a negotiating table unprepared is not a good idea. Hiring managers are experienced individuals who have handled many job seekers looking for more pay. Therefore, you should prepare a strong case to sway them in your favor.

You need to convince the hiring managers that your request is reasonable and convince them of the value you bring beyond what they initially learned.

You can bring your results and successes from previous commitments, unique skills, experiences, and certifications. Try to ensure all this is quantified for relevance.

7. Try to Avoid Giving Ultimatums.

Giving ultimatums is a fast way for a job offer to be rescinded. If you have another job offer that you can accept if the current one does not work, you don't want to leave with a bad reputation.

Instead of giving ultimatums, try appreciating their offer. This can help you get another chance to negotiate in the future.

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Can you Negotiate after Accepting The Job?

You may cause an uncomfortable situation when you start negotiating after accepting the initial offer. Therefore, your best bet is to perform well and bring value to the company within the first year, and then you can bring up the salary issue.

Focus on your work, outperform, outshine and deliver better than your workmates to show management that you deserve a raise.

Try not to negotiate a higher salary unless you are ready to commit fully to the job. Commitment shows intent and performance; through this, the employer might agree to your salary request, and the negotiation process can restart.

You can bring up the value you have added to the company since you started and try to ensure that you ask for more than you've earned.

Once the negotiations have ended, don't try to bring up other demands and requests that might affect your standing as an employee.

Inspiring, isn’t it ? Want to learn more about connecting self-awareness to professional development? Get in touch today.

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Let Highrise Teach You How

As a prospective employee, your potential employer has set expectations for you to negotiate a job offer. This offers a window to judge your character; thus, you must hit every note right, including the tricky question of salary negotiation.

Our career coach will guide you in negotiating a job offer respectfully in ways most candidates can't.

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Andrew Langat
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Andrew Langat is an experienced content specialist in Leadership, Productivity, Education, Fintech, and Research. He is an avid reader and loves swimming as a hobby. He believes that quality content should be actionable and helpful.