6 Quick Rules for Negotiating a Job Offer

The ultimate goal of any interview is getting to the “Offer Stage”. So why is it always so stressful once you get there? No one wants to say the wrong thing or leave the wrong impression. Many are fearful they are not negotiating enough to get the best number while others worry about pricing themselves out. How do you find the right balance and approach?

Here are 6 quick rules to help guide your next job offer negotiation

Be Gracious

The number one most important rule when negotiating an offer. Be gracious and let the person presenting the offer know how much you appreciate the opportunity and express a genuine level of interest and excitement. Do not balk or present a negative tone in any way. It will only set up a bad start for the negotiation.

Be tactful (Positive Attitude)

Be tactful in what you say next. If you decide to ask for more money or negotiate anything extra, have the right tone.  Choose the right words carefully and make a to-point practice prior.

Be Responsive

Do not disappear or become unresponsive after the offer is presented. Nothing upsets hiring managers and recruiters more than a non-responsive job candidate who just received an offer. If you are not sure, have questions or need more time to think, just be honest and let them know. Otherwise, it looks like you are shopping the offer or buying time for something else.

Know the market (Do your homework)

It is important to figure out what the range is for the position you are applying for. Ask your recruiter since that is always the best bet. If you are not working with a recruiter, investigate internally through HR. Otherwise, confide in colleagues if possible or research salaries on the Internet.

Know your WHY Why are you asking for more? Is it based on research, internal motivation, or a competitive offer? Be able to present a clear rationale for why you are asking. NOT: “A colleague told me to never accept the first offer”…or…” My spouse said I should ask for more money”.

Tom Caravela
Tom Caravela

Tom Caravela has 30 years of pharmaceutical industry experience and is the Founder and Managing Partner of The Carolan Group and Host of the MSL Talk podcast. Founded in 2002, The Carolan Group is a leading pharmaceutical and biotech search firm specializing in Medical Affairs and Medical Science Liaison recruitment. Tom is responsible for leading a team of expert recruiters and account managers in client expansions for various levels of field-based and in-house Medical Affairs professionals, including Medical Science Liaisons, MSL Leaders, Managed Care/HEOR Liaisons, and Medical Directors, as well as various other medical and clinical affairs roles. With almost 3-decades of pharmaceutical industry experience, Tom is a frequent speaker and Medical Affairs Consultant for clients, advisory boards and industry meetings. His strategic interests focus on hiring, retention and career development for Medical Affairs professionals.

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