Job Search & Interview

Know When NOT to Negotiate Salary to Avoid Job Offer Rescind 

If your job offer’s starting salary is too low, I always advise salary negotiation. In fact, a survey by Robert Half found that 70% of employers expect candidates to negotiate a higher salary

That said, there is a right and wrong time to negotiate your salary. Here, I’ll show you when NOT to negotiate salary. I’ll also give you some salary negotiation strategies and tips. This way, you don’t have to face a rescinded job offer.

Here’s what Terri Williams, a Forbes journalist, says:

On the one hand, if you don’t ask for the salary you think you deserve, you may be paid less than you’d like and feel unsatisfied in your job. However, if you negotiate your salary the wrong way, it could backfire.

When NOT to Negotiate Salary

Should you always negotiate salary? No. And here is when it’s not quite a good idea to try to negotiate a salary offer:

  • During the hiring process
  • After you’ve accepted the job offer
  • They tell you this is their best offer
  • You don’t have a good argument 
  • You’re happy with the offer
  • You don’t know how to negotiate the right way

Read More: How to Negotiate Salary When Given a Range: 6 Helpful Tips

During the hiring process 

Don’t negotiate salary while you’re still in the interview process. I mean, you’re not even sure if you’re going to get the job. Plus, the recruiter might not have a say in any of this. 

This is especially true if the salary is not discussed during interviews. Maybe there’s a reason why the base salary isn’t disclosed. Maybe the hiring manager, HR, or your potential employer wants to negotiate a job offer first before they get to the salary. 

So the right time when to discuss your salary is IF you get a job offer. Since you already know that you’re wanted by the company, you can make your stamp there. 

Here’s what Jenny Foss, a Career Coach, says about this:

Basic rule of negotiation: You have way more power when you know they want you. So if you do have an offer in your hot hands, and it’s not quite what you were anticipating, now would be a decent time to put together a thoughtful counteroffer. If you’re still waiting for that official letter? Hold your horses.

Read More: Salary Offer Lower Than Discussed: What to Do and How to Deal With It

After you’ve accepted the job offer

After countless job searches, applications, and interviews, you finally get your first offer. Hurrah! In your excitement, you accept the offer right away… only to find out it has a lower salary than you expected. 

If you’ve already said “yes” to a job offer, you can’t rescind the agreement and ask for a salary increase. The initial offer will be your final offer. 

Jenny Foss explains why this is never a good idea:

Should you attempt to squeeze a few more dollars out of your new employer? No, you should not. They’re going to be annoyed and wonder if you’re going to be a total prima donna.

This is why it’s best to give yourself time to consider the original offer. Remember, once accepted, you already agreed to the terms and conditions. You can’t start the salary conversation (or any compensation package conversation) now. 

Read More: How to Counter a Low Salary Offer (With Email Samples)

They tell you this is their best offer

If the company really wants you, they’re going to give you their best offer. But remember that they still have a budget to stick to. 

Don’t come to the conclusion right away that they’re trying to scam you into a lower salary. More often than not, you’re already given the top of their budgeted salary requirements. 

Let’s say the hiring manager or HR says, “We are eager to have you on board with our team, and as such, we are presenting you with our most favorable offer.” If you then go on and ask for more money, this will prove that you don’t care about the budget at all. 

It might give the impression that it’s all about you and what you want. You don’t care about the company, and thus the current job, at all. 

That said, how do you know you’re given the best offer? Here’s advice from Josh Doody, Founder of Fearless Salary Negotiation:

Come to think of it, a good way to figure out if they actually made their best possible offer is to counter offer and see if they budge. And even if they can’t budge, you can always negotiate non-salary items like vacation, working from home a couple days a week, or a signing bonus.

You don’t have a good argument 

When new hires counteroffer, they make sure to have a good argument. Maybe they’ve done some snooping and found that the basic entry-level salary for the position is a lot higher than what’s offered. They can even boast extra soft skills or experience that will make them stand out among the crowd. 

Well, you need to either show you’re worth the extra money on the table or that the going rate is too low for industry standards. If you can’t argue for both, then it’s best to just avoid salary negotiation.

There’s no strong suit for a higher salary. Don’t waste your time if you don’t have a good argument to place before the hiring manager or potential employer. This just might see your job offer being taken away

Read More: 11 Tips for Women to Negotiate a Higher Salary

You’re happy with the offer

Never negotiate for negotiating’s sake. If the salary offer reaches your minimum acceptable salary, then go for it. You don’t always have to be asking for more, more, more. 

Our negotiating expert, Josh Doody, says:

Right! If you like the offer, there’s no reason to negotiate. Just accept the offer and move on.

Let’s say for example that you can live comfortably with $4,000. That already includes your basic needs and some luxuries. The initial salary offer comes in at $4,500. That’s already a good $500 extra. 

“But the salary website told me that the standard industry salary was $7,000.” Ignore that. It’s only an estimate anyway. 

Remember you don’t always need to look for ways to renegotiate an offer. If you’re already satisfied, why go through the hassle? 

Read More: Ghosted After Salary Negotiation – What Went Wrong and What to Do About It

You don’t know how to negotiate the right way

If you don’t know how to negotiate a salary, then just skip the embarrassment or awkwardness. Worse, you might even get your offer rescinded. Nobody wants that. 

This is why, before you take part in the negotiation process, you need to know the right way to do it…

Read More: 5 Trap Questions in Salary Negotiation Interview and How to Answer Them

How to Negotiate a Job Offer for a Higher Salary

Steven Lindner, the executive partner of The WorkPlace Group, says:

Agreeing to a lower compensation just to get a foot in the door, hoping that once they meet you and see how terrific you really are that they will pay you what you really want is a waste of everyone’s time.

This is why, aside from the times when NOT to negotiate salary, you SHOULD negotiate. If so, here are some tips and strategies to follow:

  • Do your research. Yes, it’s wise to do some research about the role you’re applying for, as well as the company. This way, you’ll have a broader idea of what’s a good starting salary for someone like you. Of course, don’t take salary websites at their word. These are just estimates to help you create a bigger picture. 
  • Show your enthusiasm. You don’t want to be known as someone who’s in it just for the money. No, you want to show that you’re genuinely excited about the job offer. Even if you ask for time to consider the job offer, it’s wise to express your enthusiasm. That includes your gratitude, too. 
  • Give a salary range. When you negotiate your salary, don’t give a specific number. Instead, let the hiring manager choose from a range. It can start with your minimum acceptable salary to a higher salary. This is always best because you’re making the manager decide. They can go for the minimum (which is already good) or, even better, they can go higher. 
  • Explain why you’re worth it. As I already hinted at earlier, you need to provide a good argument as to why you deserve to make more money. You can boast a soft skill that will help you excel. Quick stat: 57% of employers prioritize soft skills over hard skills when hiring new employees. So this is a good way to show why you deserve a bigger salary. 

Read More: How To Ask About Benefits After Job Offer (With Email Sample)

Final Words

Yes, salary negotiation is important and even expected. However, there are times when NOT to negotiate salary. This is when:

  • You’re not yet handed a job offer
  • You’ve already accepted the job offer
  • You’re already given the best offer (although it’s good to give it a try)
  • You don’t have a good argument to increase the salary offer
  • You’re already satisfied with the total compensation
  • You have no idea how to negotiate your salary properly 

Besides that, I highly advise you to negotiate. Just make sure to follow the tips and strategies I listed here for better success. Good luck! 

About Author

Founder of With over 20 years of experience in HR and various roles in corporate world, Jenny shares tips and advice to help professionals advance in their careers. Her blog is a go-to resource for anyone looking to improve their skills, land their dream job, or make a career change.

No Comments

    Leave a Reply