How do I ask for more money when I've already stated my salary expectations?

I had a job interview yesterday and at the end they asked me my salary expectations. I blurted out a range that is around what I make now. But on further reflection, considering that in the new job I won’t be getting stock options and bonuses like I do now, and would be making less annually then I do at my current job, the range I quoted is less then I can take right now.

How do I ask for more if I get offered the job?

By the way, they called me 10 minutes after I left and asked me to come back tomorrow to meet the girl who currently has the job (she’s leaving for law school), so I think that’s a good sign.

My advice is to clear up any misunderstandings straightaway.

If you wait until they offer you the job at $x and then immediately demand $y, you’ll get a hostile reception.

Contact them now and explain apologetically that you didn’t include your stock options and bonuses and that means you looking for salary $z.
(You can ask if they offer such bonuses, but I hope you already did that.)

I’ve never tried to raise the bar on salary after I’ve specified a range. Actually, I never specify a range, just a bottom number. You already know stock options and bonus are off the table? Because that would be a good way to approach it if it hadn’t been discussed already.
It depends on how badly they want you and if it is a deal breaker for you, to ask for more but accept less. It lets them know you need them more than they need you.

IMO, it’s too late. You have to have your figures before the job hunt and interviews. You have to do all the “reflection” before you talk to anyone so you know exactly what you want.

Nobody’s stopping you from revisiting the salary topic but it will be awkward no matter how you justify it – you will come across as being unprepared and wasting everyone’s time.

At my company, we deal mostly with contractors and if a contractor comes back after discussions with a new compensation demand, we dismiss them from consideration. We don’t appreciate bait & switch personalities; those type of people always prove to be high maintenance nightmares.

One possible way to ask for more $$ is to mention a counteroffer from another company. But it has to be a genuine counteroffer from a real company and not some vague “companies are paying X”. I think even counteroffers are distasteful but some folks have different standards of classy behavior.


If they offer me the higher end of the salary range I asked for, I may not ask for more, since I will be making what I’m making now.

I’m trying to put a price on my happiness. I HATE my job right now, and this new job sounds like it will be much better and great for my happiness. How much is that worth?

The mortgage has to get paid too though, so I have to be careful.

I recently dropped a candidate for restating a higher salary range. Whether he had good reasons or was intentionally trying to do a bait and switch, it wasn’t worth the hassle to me. Bye bye.

Of course, I was also in the good position of having a solid second choice candidate for the job, so that worked out. You could get lucky and they don’t have a good second choice …

The only other way to approach it, I think, would be to stick with what you said, but then follow up with additional questions about long term earning. I know this is really going to change depending on one’s field … but asking about raises and if they are tied to performance reviews, that sort of thing.

EmAnJ, you say that the salary you quoted is less than you can accept right now. If that’s really the case then you need to explain that to the interviewers. Tell them what you told us – that you weren’t considering all the non-salary aspects of compensation when you answered initially. But if this is really a quality-of-life move and you can live on the salary range you quoted, it may be better not to change your story.

A lot depends on the normal salary range for the position you’re pursuing. If they are smart they will want to pay a competitive rate because they can’t keep quality people any other way. I’ve actually had a firm pay me MORE than I asked for, and if they had not done so, I probably would have taken one of the many offers that came my way over the next few years. In my current position, I have received bonuses above my maximum target every year for five years – and I don’t return headhunters’ calls.

Minor hijack, but I don’t now why people give a range. If someone tells me their expectation is $x - $y, then $x it is (unless even that is too high). It would be okay to say $x - $y, dpeending on the benefits offered and bonus plans.

I did this once.

I accepted an offer for a position that offered $x. Once I started the job, about six months later, I found that the position within the company actually averaged $x +15%.

I toughed it out for about a year, and then upon my first review I provided company statements detailing salary positions within the company and negotiated a 25% increase. Of course, I detailed the most important and totally couldn’t do without improvements to the company that I contributed along the way.

But I was lucky. I had low-balled myself in the first place when I got hired. I was just pulling myself up to the status quo.

If they offer you the job before you’ve had a chance to talk about money again, go ahead and bring it up anyway. They still have a strong incentive to bring you on at that point. The day after you are on board they have no incentive whatever.

An update: I had my second interview this morning and it went really well. I am one of two, and I assume the second person is in this morning as well. The guy who would be my boss and the HR lady will both be gone starting next week so it looks like they’re trying to get an offer out by the end of today.

If they offer at the top of my range I’ll be happy.

One other hitch - I have an already planned vacation in December where I need 15 days off. I know they generally pro-rate vacation, but I was thinking of asking for the days off in December, and pro-rating next year.

Also, I want to ask for 20 days of vacation a year - is that reasonable? I currently get 15 plus 12 flex days a year, and I don’t think they offer flex days.

What type of job are you looking for? In my industry and most others that I know, 10 days is standard for starters, 15 is sometimes granted, and 20 days is only for people of a certain level or people who haev a certain amount of service with the company (usually at least 10 years). You’re apparently in a great industry if you get 27 days of vacation/flex a year. How many sik days do you get?

I would wait until you get an offer, and then start negotiating salary by explaining the difference in benefits between your current and new employer.

I currently work in Oil and Gas in Alberta, and our vacation time here (the 15 plus 12) is the norm across the board. Most companies here also offer ‘time served’, so if you move from one company to another, the new company takes your previous work experience as part of your years of service when considering vacation time.

The majority of people in full time salaried jobs here start at 15 days vacation, plus whatever flex options they offer. For instance, at another O&G company I know a bit intimately, they get the standard vacation days, plus every second Friday off throughout the year. Some companies close entirely for a week or two over Christmas.

I get as many sick days as I need, but over three in a row I need a doctors’ note (but it’s at the discretion of the Manager as well).

I am moving into this new role with just under 10 years under my belt, so I feel like I can ask for 20 days.