Declining a Job Offer Based on Salary

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If a person is offered a job that is no where near their minimum salary expectations, that person should graciously talk to the interviewer and thank them for the opportunity. Find out how to ask about salary flexibility with help from a certified personnel consultant in this free video on human resources.

Part of the Video Series: Human Resources
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Pat Goodwin with Pat Goodwin Associates. Today I want to visit with you about how to decline a job offer based on salary. If you are offered a job or a position and you know that there is no way that they can even come up to your minimum amount that you need in order to take the position, then you would want to graciously talk with them about thanking them for the opportunity of interview, letting them know that you appreciate that; but you have given serious thought to the position and the salary that's being offered and that it is not going to be something that you can accept and you regret it. But it would not be fair to them or to you to take the position based on the salary. Now if you really, really like the job and you feel like that there's some flexibility, you might go back to them and say, "I want to thank you for the opportunity of interview. I appreciate the offer. I would like to talk to you about the salary. Is there flexibility or what flexibility is there"? You may have your minimum amount that you can accept. You may have really look at this position and like the job, like the people, feel like that you bring value but there is a difference and pretty huge difference between what you would like to make versus what's being offered. Typically, there is always opportunity for flexibility. So if you would like to see if they can go up on the salary, then you want to ask what flexibility is there and then pause. Listen to what the flexibility is, be prepared to say, "well I appreciate that, but again, based on my requirements and my salary requirements, that is still very low and I'm going to have to respectfully decline". "If something happens in the future and you'd like to call me or you find that you're not able to fill the position and you can readdress the salary, please let me know". "I was impress with the company and the organization and the people, but I'm just not comfortable in accepting position based on that salary". So I think you can always not burn bridges, you can carefully look at who they are, what is the opportunity and if they feel like that you have a talent and you could start in the job with a salary cut in the position that they are offering you, with a promise or with some conversation about moving up quickly, then you might want to reconsider. But make sure that you get it in writing, that you get your offer in writing and that you get, if they agree to do a review sooner, instead of a year; maybe in three months or six months, make sure that's in writing. And then if you accept the position with a lower amount of money and they do agree to a quicker review based on performance with a salary increase, then getting it in writing is the only way to be guaranteed. But if you do decline, decline respectfully and not burn bridges. Thank you.


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