I was offered a VP job that I know for a fact is $28k below what they budgeted. My friend interviewed for the same job and was quoted a much higher base (he didn’t get an offer). How do I tactfully reveal this without being an asshole?

Edit: I’ll plan to update this post tomorrow evening after I speak with the CEO

My friend interviewed for the same job I was offered earlier this week. He didn’t get an offer but I did.

This friend asked and received knowledge of the base pay during his initial interview. Anytime I asked about salary over 5 interviews they said we’d discuss it later but to know it was very generous.

I was asked and I told them my current salary, big mistake I know.

The interview process took a month and was very comprehensive. The entire time I was left in the dark as to what the salary was, another mistake I know.

Earlier this week I was offered $28k less than what I know is budgeted for the base salary.

I anchored myself with revealing my current salary and they re-anchored it with a BS base salary which I know is entirely based on what I’m making now. They think I’ll make a move from the company I’ve been at for 7 years based on what amounts to a 15% raise? Hell no.

I am speaking with the CEO in a few days to discuss a counter and I really don’t want to go in saying ‘i know you’ve sold me short $28k because of so and so telling me you quoted him $xxx,xxx.’ I don’t think that’d go over very well.

I can reference what the role requires, what the national pay average is, etc to make my case but all that will do is get them to move up my base offer a smidge which wouldn’t go near what the base truly should be.

I’m not interested in filling the gap with more stock or PTO. I want the full base.

The entire executive team I interviewed with wants me on board, they’ve been very impressed with me so far but it’s obvious they’re trying to get me at a discount and think I’m in the dark.

So, how do I get the budgeted base salary without bringing up my knowledge?

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