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When to negotiate the title during the interview process?

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Anonymous User at Taro Community8 months ago

I am a Senior Software Engineer at a big tech company, and I was reached out by a recruiter at a big-tech equivalent company and decided to give it a shot (also for a Senior SE role). I'm in the final interview stages and expect to receive an offer soon.

My recruiter said I've received excellent feedback overall from all of the interviews. I honestly believe that I would be more suitable for a Staff-level role given the work they are planning to do and has a close alignment with what I'm doing now (working towards a Staff role).

I have a few days until I receive an offer; I'd like to know whether I should kick off the discussion now or post-offer?



  • 1
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    Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero
    8 months ago

    I think you should make it clear that you're really targeting a staff offer as soon as possible in the process.

    Companies have much more leverage and far less patience in the current market where good candidates are a dime a dozen. I've seen offers rescinded from too much back-and-forth, so I would save the company that extra iteration cycle and not automatically reply to their senior offer with "Sorry, can I get a staff one?".

    In terms of leverage, you can try using the following:

    1. Your progress towards staff (if you have been getting far above average ratings in past performance reviews, share those)
    2. Your compensation if it's top-of-band (if you're already top-of-band L5, then bottom-of-band L6 isn't a huge stretch)
    3. Your inertia for staying - If you like your current position, you can tell this other company so they understand it will take an extra special offer to get you to undergo the thrash of switching jobs.

    For extra resources on negotiation:

  • 4
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    Senior Software Engineer [E4] [OP]
    Taro Community
    8 months ago

    Closing the loop on this one - I signed the contract and joining the new company pretty soon. Super excited about the work they are doing!

    To be honest, their initial offer was already better than my current total comp. Alex, you were absolutely correct; the staff-level negotiation was a completely different discussion. I didn't press too much on the Staff title, but, with your guidance I was able to negotiate a more than 50% salary increase and a 20% bump in stock options. That's definitely a win 😊

    I don't think I would have achieved this without your insights on leverage.

    Thank you so much!