Salary Negotiation: 5 Reasonable Salary Asks

Salary Negotiation: 5 Reasonable Salary Asks

Bringing up the topic of salary during the hiring process. Awkward. Nerve-wracking. Necessary

The worst feeling? You start negotiating with yourself before you even bring up the conversation of your compensation. The good news – you’re not alone. This topic is generally the most “outlawed” when it comes to employment. 

Let’s first take a step back to assess the situation. It’s common for most candidates to want to disclose as little information as possible because it could end up costing them if they share too much. The most common myth out there is that you should never divulge information, especially in the beginning. Ultimately that can end up wasting not only your time but the employer’s time. However, on the flipside – the employer’s side – the whole point of the conversation is to confirm if a candidate is affordable for them.

So, when it comes to salary and compensation, what’s a fair way to navigate that conversation in your next interview? 

Here are my five recommendations as to how to bring up the conversation – without really bringing up the conversation, if you know what we mean. 

Assessing Your Needs – Like Commuting

Not all forms of compensation have to be related to money. If you know that you have a long or difficult commute, it’s reasonable to ask for some form of compensation to accommodate that. The stakes are raised even more if the job requires you to be onsite every day. In that case, it’s not unreasonable to ask for commuter benefits – or even just working one day from home. 

Owning Your Unique Skills

Another reason you can ask for a bump in compensation is that you have a unique skill set that not very many people have in your industry. Whether you are able to present information really well or you are just drop-dead versatile or able to adapt easily, these are all skills that can raise your value. Just make sure to bring strong data and factual evidence to support you and your value – as well as they,  ask. 

Determining the Market Value

On the topic of value – there’s market value, too. The hardest part about determining what your market value is finding information and figures to support your worth. As much as people hear about recruiters, an experienced and specialized recruiter should be very good at telling you what your market value is.  People who are honest and transparent about their salary requests are often viewed differently by employers than those who fight the question. 

The Art of Negotiation

There are a lot of different views and opinions out there on what the right way to negotiate your salary and compensation. Honestly, when it comes to negotiation, there is more than one right way – and more than one wrong way. What I will say is it comes down to YOU and doing your research, coming prepared, and figuring out – and committing confidently – to what you’re worth. 

Employers appreciate transparent healthy negotiation as long as it’s done in good faith. But I think the value of being transparent in the negotiation may outweigh the benefits of secrecy. Somewhere in the middle is where you’ll be most successful but keeping the idea of presenting your findings using facts is crucial. 

Knowing What’s Unreasonable

We’re just going to flat-out-tell-you what’s unreasonable when it comes to this process. 

  • Asking for a fully remote position halfway through the interview process. This is a major factor when it comes to workplace dynamic so it’s very important to be upfront with an ask like this. If the commute is an issue, then that’s reasonable to be upfront about it early on – but full remote in the interview? Come on.
  • Asking for over market equity. If you’re interviewing for a smaller company and ask for a salary way above what their payroll can cover then you’re not going to be taken seriously. No matter how much value you can bring to the table. If you ask for a number they know they can’t afford then find out other ways to be compensated other than salary.
  • Changing your mind in the last interview. If you go back on what was already discussed and agreed upon without reason you’re going to pour gasoline onto an open fire. Getting greedy can end up compromising that trust with the employer.

At the end of the day, how you play it is up to you. In that sense, we recommend confidence, consistency, and clarity every time. Those three characteristics are always reasonable.

Also, check out this Guide to Picking The Right Startup To Join



Cadre is a quality over quantity boutique recruiting shop specializing in all things software engineering, robotics, artificial intelligence, and autonomous vehicles. Cadre is building a talent network utilizing AI and Machine Learning to help solve the tech talent crisis across their portfolio of 85 startups throughout California, Seattle, and Austin. is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.

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