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When negotiating salaries, is it rude to ask what the company normally pays first before you give your range?

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Not rude, but why would you let them set the goalposts for the negotiation? For some reason there is an enduring myth that you “lose” a negotiation by naming your number first. As if by being coy you are going to somehow trick them into revealing the full spectrum of possibilities which go beyond what you would have ever imagined asking for. I guess this could be true if you’re really ill informed about the market and have no idea what salary you want... but you shouldn’t be. There are plenty of resources out there to give you a sense of what equivalent roles usually pay, and you should have enough of an understanding of your current pay and realistic trajectory (in your current role or elsewhere) to know what a good offer would be for you: what’s the number that, given all of the factors above, would make you enthusiastically accept this job? Say that number. Not a range, a number. Now *you* have anchored the negotiation around a particular point, which (unless it’s waaay outside of their range, in which case good to know this isn’t a fit) they will need to either meet or come close to. The alternative is that you ask them their range, they give you the target range they’re trying to hit (which is not the full possible range)... and if you want even a dollar more than what they said, or even to come in on the high end, now it’s you who needs to justify that somehow. Because they’ve already defined a context.


Thank you for saying this! I’m interviewing now and have felt sharing a well researched range is much more productive. Let them know you’re informed and know your market value.


No, but I would phrase it as “what do you have budgeted for this role” and not every company will tell you. It doesn’t reflect badly on you to ask, though.


Great thanks!

Ask for what YOU want. I'm currently in a role where I'm making more than the typical person in my role. Companies will lie or provide the partial truth. What role are you looking for and what city? Budgets can always be adjusted if they really like you.


Not rude but they’ll prob give you some BS like “welllllll depends on experience...”


Not at all


Completely agree with the advice to name your ideal salary. Do your research, be reasonable but aim high. The worse they can say is no but if they really like you, they’ll let you know how high they can go (usually more flexibility than what they initially say).


Not at all. 'what's the salary band?'

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