How to negotiate a job offer

Posted by on

You’ve aced that job interview and you’re offered that new job. It can be tempting to accept straight away. That's especially if it’s a dream job and you feel lucky to have got through the interview. But before you do, it's worth considering whether you should negotiate the job offer. From the salary to benefits, will you be receiving what you are worth? Here's when to negotiate:


Many roles are advertised either with a salary that is negotiable, dependant on experience, or given as a range.  Others list no salary range at all, so you could be shocked by the offer when it comes. The first step in negotiating salary is to do some research into the current market rates. This will give you an idea of what sort of remuneration to expect for the role you have applied for. You can use our salary checker on this page to give you a feel for what the role should pay in your region.

Next, work out your minimum, expected and dream salaries.  The aim is to get as near to your expected salary as possible. Hopefully that will be between your expected and dream amounts. But how do you work out these figures?

Your minimum salary will normally be enough to cover your costs and give you some spending money.  If you’re moving jobs, your minimum is likely to be what you are currently earning. However,  you will want to consider any increased expenditure that you will incur by accepting this job offer.

Your expected salary will be driven by the going rate for similar roles. Check what other employers are offering for similar positions. Your expectations will also be driven by your experience and qualifications. 

Your dream salary should be the most you can be paid given your own experience and the job you’ve been offered. If you’re applying for a junior position and expecting the salary of a manager, you’re probably being unrealistic.

Benefits package

There is more to a job than the salary and the monthly wage you take home. Other factors to consider when negotiating a job offer are company culture and benefits like flexible or hybrid working, free gym membership, cycle to work schemes, holiday allowance, and pension schemes.

Think about your lifestyle and your expected work-life balance.  If your prospective employer can't offer additional salary, they may be able to increase the benefits to improve the overall package. Or they may offer an outstanding company culture that would be a pleasure to be part of.

How to negotiate

Your prospective employer will have a salary figure in mind when they are recruiting even if they haven't publicised it. Don’t feel pressured into accepting the first offer they make, unless you are completely happy.

If you’re not happy with the offer, ask if there’s room for movement. Use your experience, knowledge and qualifications to convince the employer of your worth. If the salary is lower than you had hoped, ask if there are regular salary reviews. If it’s likely that your pay will be reviewed every six months, you might be more inclined to accept the offer. 

Remember that money is not everything. Consider the whole package, including workplace culture, hours and career development. If you’re not happy with the package, communicate that to the employer. And if they are not able or willing to increase their offer, be prepared to walk away and move on. This job might not be the best fit for you after all.

Recent blogs