Is it a bad idea to show the interviewer what the normal salary of a job position is from google if they try to lowball you?

Lets say you interviewed for a entry level job in New York City that according to statistics on google, the average pay is $50k-$60k a year. And after the interview, the recruiter offered you $40k a year. Is it a bad idea to pull out your phone and show the recruiter the statistical charts of salaries for that specific entry level position in that area and say that "You are lowballing me."?

Comments (5)

Sep 13, 2018


Sep 13, 2018

Averages aren't necessarily "normal." In fact, it's possible that nobody makes $50k. Maybe half make $40k and half make $60k. It all depends on why you feel you deserve a higher pay.

Most Helpful
Sep 13, 2018

Waving data in someone's face is a bad way to negotiate. Accusing them of lowballing you is an even worse way to negotiate. If some kid literally said "you are lowballing me" I'd apologize for the insulting offer and show them the door.

Average salaries you find on the internet are one data point, and quite likely unreliable. Jobs with vastly different compensation/responsibilities can have similar titles, and these "averages" won't know how to differentiate. They do a bad job factoring in different levels of experience and COL in different cities. Anyone making you an offer knows enough about compensation in his industry to rebut your single data point and dismiss your argument out of hand, even if you're right that the offer is below market.

There's a natural information imbalance that favors the hiring company. To negotiate well, you need as much data as possible. The best are anecdotes from people with the role at the company, followed by similar roles at competitors. You want to be as confident as possible about the market rate for your work.

But all of that said, none of that information can force an employer to offer more than he's willing to offer. It can only help you make your case - after which you need to be prepared with how you'll respond to any given offer. Decide in advance what you'll say to each range of offers (for example, i) way below market/expectations, ii) below, iii) at, iv) above, and v) way above market/expectations). Have a decision tree of responses planned. For instance:

i) Our expectations are very far apart. I can't accept that offer. Can you tell me the very best you can do so we don't waste a lot of time?
ii) That's below what I was expecting, and all of my research had indicated a market rate closer to X. Is there anything you can do to get me to that figure?
iii) I had hoped for X, given my (insert strength here). Is that possible?
iv) We're in the range I had expected. My target was just a bit higher. Is it possible to split the difference or are you firm on that number?
v) I'm excited to join the team. (don't risk a great offer by overplaying your hand).

For each of the above, you need to consider potential responses and decide in advance how you'll react to each. Preparation is paramount. Ultimately you need to know the lowest number you'll accept before you'll be prepared to walk away so you can put your foot down and follow through if necessary.

Sep 13, 2018

I agree with every one of your points but really want to emphasize your last paragraph. If you are truly going to negotiate you should have a lowest possible number in your head and have to be willing to walk away, otherwise you're not negotiating, you're compromising. At the entry level I cant see you being able to impress your way to more than a few dollars at the starting line.

OP a more macro point if you will: if this is your first job or an entry level job, starting salary shouldn't be as important as growth opportunity/experience. Speaking from personal experience, at any one firm after you get hired you're basically on a set salary path based on your career path, the only real way to alter that is to switch firms entirely. At which point you're back at the negotiating table, but this time with (hopefully) a more palatable skill set on display.

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Sep 13, 2018