Your two hidden jobs

An offer decision comes at the end of the interviews, but the seeds for the offer are planted far earlier than we think. Sometimes even before interviews start, like when writing about TikTok boosted my Instagram negotiation.

At every step, in addition to evaluating your fit, they are asking:
  1. How excited is this person to join?
  2. Whatโ€™s their price (aka number they would sign)?

Your job is to show excitement on #1, but not lowball yourself on #2.

Conventional advice: donโ€™t share numbers before you get an offer.

My take:
  • You can unintentionally lowball yourself even without giving out numbers
  • You still need a way to deflect the question tactfully
  • There are exceptions where sharing numbers can work for you

This section is a pre-mortem โ€” a look at all the ways negotiations are derailed before the offer so you can avoid these minefields.