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The Negotiation Process

Negotiation is very common in the hiring process. It is an opportunity for you to have a dialogue with your employer about the components of your offer. Below is a breakdown of the negotiation process and the important steps you should take to ensure a successful negotiation.

When do you negotiate?

Timing is very important. You must be sure to begin the negotiation process after you have received an offer from the employer and before you have accepted it. If you attempt to negotiate after providing the employer with a verbal acceptance, you may risk losing your offer.

What do you need to know to negotiate?

Before you negotiate, research and come prepared with information to justify what you are asking for. Want to increase your salary? Refer to the School of Informatics and Computing hiring statistics and average salaries for our graduates. Know the average salary for employees in that company in similar positions. Helpful resources include, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and NACE salary.  Be specific and knowledgeable. If you need help finding this information, contact our office.

What do you negotiate?

Almost everything is negotiable. Common negotiable aspects of an offer include the following: salary, start date, moving expenses, early reviews, vacation time, professional development money, performance bonuses, geographic location, parking, stock options, company car, retention bonuses, and remote/hybrid work arrangements.

How do you negotiate?

First, you must show appreciation for the offer as it stands. Ask questions and make sure you know all facets of the offer before you begin the negotiation process. When you begin the negotiation process, begin by reiterating your interest in the position and appreciation for the offer, and ask for time to make your decision.

Make sure your request is specific and actionable. So, say “I’d like to discuss the salary and the possibility of increasing the starting salary to $60,000” instead of, “I’d like to make more money than $55,000.”

You must give the employer an appropriate amount of time to answer. If your answer has been requested by Friday, don’t call and begin the negotiation process on Thursday at 3 p.m. Give them enough time to listen to your requests and come up with a counteroffer.

What are some common mistakes?

Candidates make mistakes when they start the negotiation process too soon (i.e., before receiving the offer) or negotiate with the wrong person. You should always negotiate with your specific recruiting contact or the person who has been organizing your interview process. Additionally, if you do not adequately prepare your argument and appear greedy as a result, you risk creating a negative impression of yourself during the process and starting your new career off on the wrong foot.

Five Ingredients for a Successful Negotiation

  • Express appreciation.
  • Explain reasons for your counteroffer such as experience, education, transferable skills, market research, etc.
  • Be realistic in what you ask for and avoid having an inflated notion of your worth.
  • Describe your counteroffer—be specific.
  • WAIT—be patient. It will take them some time to respond.