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Episode 09

Before accepting the job offer, Sarah negotiates a few terms of her contract.

Do the preparation task first. Then watch the video and do the exercises. You can also read the transcript.


Marcia: Hi! Welcome to WebWare.

Sarah: Thanks. Nice to see you again.

Marcia: You too. Erm, so you said you wanted to come in and have a chat before you started.

Sarah: Yeah, I just wanted to have a look around and ask a few more questions, if I can.

Marcia: Sure, fire away!

Sarah: Well, I was delighted to receive the job offer.

Marcia: Good. We were delighted to offer it to you.

Sarah: But before I sign the contract there were one or two specifics I wanted to talk about.

Marcia: OK, 'specifics'?

Sarah: Well, there's a pay scale, instead of a fixed salary?

Marcia: Yes, as a new employee you'd be at the lower end of the pay scale.

Sarah: But taking my experience into account ...

Marcia: Well, you haven't had that much experience. We see you as an investment ...

Sarah: But that salary would only be a little more than I'm making now. So, instead of asking for a higher level on the pay scale, I thought this could be compensated by adding certain bonuses. For instance, if I make certain sales targets, or even break them, I would be looking for a good cash payment or stock options in the company.

Marcia: Well, that is something we sometimes offer senior members of staff, but to show good faith I'll provisionally offer you the bonus scheme, but I'll have to OK it with Philip first.

Sarah: That's fine. I also see that there are 25 days' holiday.

Marcia: Yes. That's standard.

Sarah: It's not very much for a high-pressure job, though.

Marcia: I can't offer you any more holiday.

Sarah: No, but I was wondering if we could delay my start date, so instead of starting a week from now, as we discussed, I could start in a month's time?

Marcia: You're a tough negotiator, Sarah!

Sarah: That's one of the reasons you hired me!

Marcia: Yes, of course. OK, I think we can do that. I'll look forward to seeing you in a month and earning those bonuses!



Language level

Intermediate: B1
Upper intermediate: B2


In my area its not common to negotiate the terms of the contract, you can only negotiate about salary but if you were overqualified , you would negotiate other terms

in Mexico it depends on the size on the company but usually in Mexico you can negotiate salary but not holidays

In my case, I only could negotiate the starting date but talk about the salary, It was complicated because I had finished my career a few days ago, so, I hadn't enough experience to claim such as a better salary.

Yes, it's common in my field, because every company has its pay scale and incentive schemes so we should negotiate to get a proper offer matching with experiences.

I think this kind of negotiation is for small businesses. In big companies you usually have no flexibility to ask for a bonus or ask for a few days off even before starting to work. You might be able to negotiate the pay scale tho.

Is it common in your area of work to negotiate the terms of a new job, as Sarah did?
Yes it is common in particular regarding the start date and the salary.
There is very often a wide salary range depending on the company and the experience of the candidate and the compensations can differ from one company to another. So you'd better discuss and negotiate.

Yes, I agree with you.

It's not so common but, when the right time is come, is really good have a chance to talk about receive a better salary or a promotion.

Yes. It's really possible.

No. I'm a sellerman in a clothes' shop. We earn bonus by the comissions we individually made, but there's no negotiations of the contract that the company gives to us.