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Recruiter asking for salary target after final technical round but before offer - How to respond?

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Senior Software Engineer [P4] at Splunk2 months ago

I just finished up my final technical round (went well) and the recruiter reached out wanting to chat about salary expectations before the offer stage. During my initial call with the recruiter, she did ask me about salary expectations. I deferred by saying fit and potential impact are most important to me and that I'd like to defer until I learn more. Now that I've already interviewed, I'm not sure how to handle the conversation with the recruiter. It seems wrong to give a number before getting an actual offer, but at the same time, my initial reason for deferring talking about salary is no longer valid because I've already gone through the interview process. Any advice on what should I do here?

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    Tech Lead/Manager at Meta, Pinterest, Kosei
    2 months ago

    Don't share a number unless you absolutely have to. This is the first rule of negotiation: don't reveal a number first.

    A few options:

    • "I'm still trying to understand the market and therefore don't have an expected salary. I've done well in my current role and would love for you to proceed with a strong offer."
    • "I'm in the process with a few other companies but I don't want to block your process. Please proceed with a strong offer on your side."
    • Finally, you can always introduce more delay by requesting the offer but asking for more time, e.g. "I'd love to talk to person X on the team" or "Can you share with me the level guidelines and expectations?"

    I highly recommend the negotiation masterclass if you haven't seen it :) Here's also a related question about handling competing offers.