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Hi, all.

I’m am heading out of graduate school with a Masters in Earth System Science. I recently interviewed for a data science role that will be focused on building the next gen water model. I have experience in ground validation of models, but I never really learned machine learning or AI. I just did straight statistics, and built some software relating to research using python and C++. I built some useful tools for getting big data and learned a lot about how to clean datasets and prepare them for other people to analyze.

That said, I asked for 65-75. When I was on the interview, I asked what the director thought would get. He said he thought I was worth about 85-105. I was kind of dumbfounded, but I’m worried they may cut back as they start looking at what I actually wrote on the application.

What would you do in this situation? Should I amend that number in the second interview and just say I’m interested in that range now? Otherwise, I’m a bit worried they may just offer what I wrote on the paper and I’ll undercut myself on what I’m worth.

Thanks for any input.
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Do some research into salaries for similar roles and see what the market rate is. You can always tell them later, assuming you get to that stage, that you've done more research on the role'd compensation and you're looking for $x. That can counter with a lower number from there.

In general, try to ask them about the band rather than throw your number out, if you're not sure. If you're giving a number, don't undersell yourself. Whatever comes to mind, go higher.
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I've had jobs offer me more than I asked for in salary negotiations. They typically aren't strongly incentivized to low-ball you, since if they want to hire you they probably want you to stay, and if you find out your coworkers are all making way more than you then you probably won't.

Employment is ideally a long term relationship, and your relationship with the hiring manager at a well structured company ypically isn't adversarial.

You can also always tell them at the end that you've gotten another offer at $X thousand, but you like their company better and ask if they'd be willing to match it. You're allowed to interview for multiple jobs and update your estimate of what you're worth based on how that process goes.
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