You have aced the interviews and won over the decision makers but now having received your offer it is less than expected and you don’t know how to proceed. Read on as we give some insight as to why the offer may be lower than you thought and how you should consider your options and take the next step.

“My offer is not what I was expecting. What do you do?”


In our opinion, the best process is to ask yourself the following:

1) Did you tell them what you are targeting at the start of the process?

If you didn’t remember that people are not mind-readers and they have no indication of your expectations. If you did and they still came in under what you hoped, there could be a few reasons and no, they’re not all bad ones.

Firstly, they might have genuinely forgotten what you asked for or human error could have caused an incorrect number to have been entered somewhere in their system.

They might have internal salary bands which require them to set your salary at a certain level. Sometimes hands are tied and companies have strict bands based on years’ experience or the level they perceive the role to be within their company.

They might be calculating your package as a whole – more on that later. This could be how they are counteracting the above point by offering benefits aside from salary and often when calculated a full package can more than make up for a lower salary.

Finally, they might be trying to low-ball you a bit. This is actually a rarity and good recruitment consultancies will have ended their relationships with companies who do this often.

2) Be honest – is what you are asking for a realistic request?

Based on the market, location, and job title/duties, is everyone else getting this amount of money? Few companies will offer salaries far above the market for a candidate. If you’ve shared your current salary with them and you’re going for a massive increase (25%+), it’s going to be hard to convince an HR person that they should offer it to you. If your current salary is being matched consider that salary compare to market for your experience level and consider the company that you are trying to join.

3) How much does this job mean to you?

Working at a job you love is huge. Money is important and obviously, you need to pay your bills and save for the future. However, if this is the job you really want and you had been delighted to hear to were getting an offer – might it be worth dropping down on salary a little?

4) Does the entire package compensate?

Building on our earlier point you should consider the whole package they are offering. The salary might be a bit lower than expected but is there an excellent bonus? Will you be getting a company car? How many holiday days do you get?

Each part of the package is worth money and your potential new company are using the package as a whole in their calculations. If you are working with a recruitment consultant ask them how the company’s package compares to rivals.

5) Are you willing to reject the job offer based on the salary?

Finally, will you walk away? Humans are funny, it’s extremely hard for us to scrap something once we’ve invested time and effort into it.

Having researched the company, interviewed, seen the office, planned your commute, imagined yourself chatting about GoT with your new boss … it’s tough to toss it all away. Therefore, we hope you will consider our previous questions first and if you think it is the job you want, that they aren’t low-balling you and that the package might make up for a lower than expected salary then you might not have to walk away.

Don’t be afraid to do it though. If the salary is too low, be clear about this. Polite but clear.

In the end, our advice is to be straight up and honest about where you stand. You’ll likely have more than one offer on the table.

Figure out what your bottom line is and stick to it. Don’t be afraid to walk away from a job offer if it doesn’t meet your requirements. Rejecting an unsatisfactory deal is a powerful move! Most reasonable companies will see your side of it. If you were upfront about your requirements at the start of the process and did not change them, they’ll understand.

If you’re not working with a recruitment consultant, then talk to your contact within the company. You don’t need to get into huge detail, just be clear about it and say that you’re targeting €X amount and can’t accept under it. They’ll let you know where they stand. Recruitment tip: If you have other offers, it could be a good time to mention them!

If you are working with a recruitment consultant (and why wouldn’t you, we’re great!), they’ll be able to give you the inside info on why the offer turned out this way and highlight some of the above points. Recruitment consultants are also expert negotiators. If you are unhappy let them know and they will try to get your offer to a point that you would be happy to accept or let you know if your expectations will be feasible for the company.

If you have any career or recruitment questions for Verify to answer, comment on our page on LinkedIn, tweet @VerifyCommunity or send them over to [email protected]