Negotiating a Job Offer

Negotiating a Job Offer

Appendix 4 from: The Mind and Heart of the Negotiator (Second Edition)

When negotiating a job, you need all of the essential skills covered in Part I of the book (chapters 1,2,3, and 4). In addition, you should be comfortable with your own bargaining style (and know its limits; see chapter 5). You should be well versed in building trust and rapport (chapter 6) and know the ins and outs of power (chapter 7) and how to kindle creativity (chapter 8). This appendix is designed to provide you with even more skills for this all-important negotiation that will reoccur throughout your life. We have organized the appendix into three phases: Preparation, in-vivo process, and postoffer.


What follows is a preparation worksheet for an MBA student who is preparing for salary negotiations with potential employers. This is an extremely important negotiation because it will affect one’s livelihood and welfare for years to come. A misassumption at this point can have dramatic effects on one’s personal and professional well-being.


This sounds easy enough, but for a 28-year-old, this means an ability to project forward in time and to be concerned with things like retirement and benefits. Karen Cates of the Kellogg School (1997) recommends working through a checklist of needs and wants (see Box A4-1). Cates further suggests a practical, step-by-step approach to compensation and benefits (see Table A4-1).


This means really researching the company and the industry. Fortunately, the Internet is dramatically changing the ability of people to get information quickly and easily, especially when it comes to salaries. Several Web sites offer salary surveys, job listings with specified pay levels, and even customized compensation analyses. For example, JobSmart, run by a regional public library agency in San Mateo, California, offers links to 150 free...