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Salary Negotiation

Two important things you need to do to get leverage

  • Don't share information until you are ready to start negotiating.
  • Get multiple offers. The ideal situation is to get all the offers at the same time. Time is more likely to kill a deal than money. Repeat: Time is the killer of deals.

Don't reveal any information.

  • Don't ever name the first number.
    • There are a lot of advantages to being the last to act.
    • They have all the information; you need to stack the cards in your favor.
    • What to say instead: "At this point, I don't feel equipped to throw out a number because I'd like to find out more about the opportunity first-right now I simply don't have the data to be able to say something concrete. If you end up making me an offer, I would be more than happy to iterate on it if needed and figure out something that works. I also promise not to accept other offers until I have a chance to discuss them with you."
  • Don't reveal any information about who else you're talking to or how far along you are in the job process at other places.
    A good line: I am talking to a few companies, at various stages. Nothing is finalized; I will let you know before I make a few big decisions.
  • Think of a recruiter as someone whose job is to collect information they can ONLY use against you. (Think of Miranda Rights for recruiting)

What do you always need to get more?

The reverse used car salesman: What to say always to get more. I have the following offers, and I'm still interviewing at a couple of companies, but I am really excited about this opportunity and will drop my other stuff and sign today if it's available.

  • Equity
  • Salary
  • Signing/relocation bonus. Overshoot: If you ask for what is fair, then you will get in the middle of the original offer and the fair one.


Set Deadlines for each phase of the process upfront. Ask for extensions liberally. Recruiter deadlines and exploding offers are arbitrary. Most people are not proactive enough, control timing with a deterrent, and make themselves set the timelines. Tell them when you want the offers.


Thank you for your time and energy. I am excited about this opportunity because of its impact and growth. Let's work together to find a comp package that works for both sides. To be transparent, I am in the early stages of my job search. I just got another offer from another tech company. Would it be impossible to meaningfully increase the total comp?

Might be smart to name a number instead of doing the open type of question.

Okay, you can't do what we asked for, but make me your most improved offer, and I'll give it my best consideration.



  • It would be smart to practice salary negotiation as well as interview techniques.
  • Always overshoot; no one will thank or reward you for being correct in your assumptions.
  • It's your job to be pushy at the offer stage.
  • We do not want to share any actionable info too early (Time, Money, Contracts/Offers). It is like dating; you withhold information to gain a positive perception.