Got an offer from Google, fear its a lowball?

Microsoft ahnx86
Mar 14 53 Comments

I am leaving Microsoft after 3.5 years. Started out of college and am an L60. Didnt do so hot due to personal issues and never dug myself out of the hole (judge away), so no promo in sight realistically yet my managers keep holding the carrot on the stick. Bitterness/venting aside, here are the numbers Google offered me:

118K base, 35K signing, 150K stock over 4 years. This is approximately 170K TC with 15% target bonus, not counting a refresher, and assuming ‘Meets Expectation’ performance.

I also received offers from Amazon and Palantir that are sort of comparable.

Palantir: 165K base, 25K signing, 30,000 options (~400K value), with guaranteed 20% raise after 18 months (198K base after, have it in writing), 10% target bonus
Amazon (SDE1): 130K base, 45K Y1 signing, 37K Y2 signing, 61 RSUs (100K)

All of the above I have in writing.

The Google offer seems low when comparing to levels.fyi for others in my YoE band who also got L3 offers.

Can someone confirm? My current salary is 120K and so Google’s base is less than I currently make.

Also my recruiter is very “threatening”. Says a lot of things like “Do you know how many people I reject everyday?”. Wondering if this is normal and if not, how can I report it, because it seems disrespectful.

Assuming options are worthless, Palantir’s offer seems stronger, but Google didn’t budge.

Interested in others’ thoughts. Thank you!

UPDATE:

I told Google that I was taking another offer, though I didn’t give details. I asked them for 135K base, 35K signing, and 220K stock. This is a huge increase but thought I might throw a Hail Mary. They called back in 5 minutes and said no. The moral of the story to me at least is you must have a competing offer that Google internally considers better. My recruiter mentioned a tool he used where he plugged in other offers and it determined if the compete was better or not. Alternatively, make it very clear that you value something else highly that Google cannot offer.

The offer I ended up taking was Mixpanel: 165K base, 10% target bonus, 30K signing, 500K options (worthless on paper). It checked all the boxes (good manager, interesting work, nice people) except compensation, and when I asked them to match Palantir they went above and beyond. Maybe I’m still underpaid, but I’m much better than when I started and can build some momentum in a new role.

My recruiter’s last words were: “Going to Palantir over Google, I don’t understand it, but hey, I wish you the best”

Thank you for all your help!

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TOP 53 Comments
  • Amadeus Trick2g
    Cook up your amazon offer by 25% and bring the heat on the google hr. Ignore the condescending words and be firm on wanting more than your highest offer. Make them feel that you are willing to walk away if they don’t play ball. Stay strong and negotiate aggressively! You are in a great spot with multiple offers. The google recruiter has no leverage over you and is showing aggression as a last resort to make you sign a lowball offer. Don’t fall for it. Cook up your other offers and tell him to beat it or gtfo.
    Mar 14 4
    • Google VROC85
      Google doesn't normally negotiate for L3 positions. Leveling decisions are final by a HC and cannot be revised. Every level has comp range and every offer needs to be approved by a VP. Too much hassle.
      Mar 14
    • Microsoft Mindfuck
      How not normally? I negotiated pretty hard with my L3 offer, granted I'm moving from a level 60 at MS to google L3, so I was definitely justified to be towards the higher end of the pay band, but still. I don't /think/ negotiation is abnormal at any level. Especially if you have competing offers.
      Mar 15
    • Amadeus Trick2g
      Every company will negotiate if you know how to negotiate.
      Mar 15
    • Microsoft ahnx86
      OP
      I messed uo the negotiation a little but there is always next time :).
      Mar 15
  • Microsoft maxiam
    Very low, but I guess if you don't have much leverage you don't have any options
    Mar 14 8
    • Microsoft maxiam
      Don't cook up offers, very easy to catch. Leverage is willingness to walk away
      Mar 14
    • Salesforce smurf9
      I would argue that having multiple offers on the table affords you that willingness. If you get any bumps from Palantir or Amazon, you have what you need to give Google the ultimatum. Regardless, I think he has leverage.
      Mar 14
    • Microsoft maxiam
      Multiple same offers, with candidate wanting to take Google offer is no leverage
      Mar 14
    • Amadeus Trick2g
      The google recruiter doesn’t know that he wants to take the offer. He can threaten to walk away because he has multiple offers.
      Mar 15
    • Microsoft ahnx86
      OP
      Posted an update. It wasn’t my #1 choice actually, but I didn’t communicate that.
      Mar 15
  • Google rfg
    Could you give us the name of the recruiter. Bullying is NOT okay and not condoned by Google. This is something you should raise with the hiring manager you had a team fit call with (if you had one).
    Mar 14 5
    • Microsoft ahnx86
      OP
      His tone wasn't threatening, but his words were literally "I reject a lot of people everyday, this opportunity might not come again, the bar only gets higher". These are all fair points but I felt uncomfortable since it wasn't selling the position, it was kind of fear-mongering.

      He also claims to have a good relationship with my Hiring Manager (says he has placed multiple people on this team), so unsure if that jeopardizes my chance if I throw the recruiter under the bus.
      Mar 14
    • Google ok ?
      my recruiter was friendly and didn’t need to cite number of people rejected. lines like those are threatening imo.
      Mar 14
    • Google / Eng
      gooooogley

      Google Eng

      BIO
      Assistant swe
      gooooogleymore
      Just so you know, the opportunity DOES come again so don't accept a subpar offer.
      Mar 14
    • Apple 867530nine
      The recruiter is right about one thing. The bar does keep getting higher. I think most people at Google wouldn’t be able to interview back into the company right now.

      But you are being lowballed a little.
      Mar 14
    • Pandora heCode
      That is no way to get a candidate to accept an offer. I’d definitely have them counter offer or walk. If there’s one thing recruiters like more than hiring; it’s hiring the one that got away. They have a whole recruiting team at google focused on relationship building with candidates who declined. This is not your only chance.
      Mar 14
  • Google Mmkaay
    How dare you write about me this way. I am going to withdraw your offer
    Mar 14 5
    • Microsoft ahnx86
      OP
      Will reduce my analysis paralysis :)
      Mar 14
    • Google Mmkaay
      😁
      Mar 14
    • Microsoft ahnx86
      OP
      Can a recruiter just make a Blind account and see all of this information?
      Mar 14
    • Google Mmkaay
      If they have @google.com email (they do) then they can
      Mar 14
    • T-Mobile WozniAK
      And counteroffer for catching the bully you are ☺️
      Mar 14
  • Yahoo / Eng
    [ralph]

    Yahoo Eng

    PRE
    Yahoo
    [ralph]more
    Lol. Bullying recruiter.
    Mar 14 0
  • Microsoft hellobyby
    Go palantir
    Mar 14 0
  • Tableau Zero Cool
    If you have 3.5 yoe and you are still and SDE1, I don't think it would be a lowball.
    You might be a fine engineer, but honestly you don't have much to show. They see candidates that got to Senior in 3.5 years
    Mar 14 3
    • Microsoft ahnx86
      OP
      That's fair. I thought since I am coming in as L3, high performers might be at a higher band, so I should be judged relative to other L3s.
      Mar 14
    • Tableau Zero Cool
      Starting over on a new environment is the right choice, if you manage to pick up stuff fast you will get promoted easily.
      At 3.5 yoe depending on your background system design interviews might be quite hard, because they expect some experience that not everyone has.
      Btw, your recruiter is an asshole, they shouldn't do that kind of thing
      Mar 14
    • Bloomberg / Eng
      Fork()

      Bloomberg Eng

      PRE
      Amazon
      Fork()more
      Yeah, that's the red flag here and hence the compensation. If they were L61±,
      Mar 14
  • Facebook Probe
    Kinda sad Amazon's offering SDE1 when you have 3.5 yoe no?
    Mar 14 3
    • Microsoft ahnx86
      OP
      I messed up the system design interview. I have verbally from the recruiter and manager they want to promote me in 6-9 months so it is not on paper so not banking on that.

      All things considered I am an average engineer if not below average so at this point I'm just maximizing what I can get and start over stronger somewhere else. Maybe defeatist, but also potentially realistic.
      Mar 14
    • Cisco / Eng Intervie
      If you are average, how did you crack all these interviews? Imposter syndrome???
      Mar 14
    • Microsoft ahnx86
      OP
      Thank you for the kind words :0. Maybe I just think I'm average :o, but no I think it's more that I studied for 2-3 months and have above average people skills. I also think it is luck of the draw. I will tell you that I was rejected at the phone screen stage for the following companies (something I am going to try and rectify if I decide to leave again): Uber, Dropbox, Airbnb, Stripe. This tells me my actual programming didn't benefit much from my leetcoding.
      Mar 14
  • Google TcYaBahar?
    You should show the recruiter who is in a stronger position here. Let them know you are picking palantir over them (You really should). Tell them to have a nice day and watch them get back to you with higher offer.
    Mar 14 1
    • Microsoft Mindfuck
      I would do this, but also specify "I'm a little disappointed because I really envisioned myself excelling with google, but unfortunately , the compensation at palantir is much greater so I'm going to have to take that offer.". To which they will likely reply "how much more would you need to come here instead?" Make sure you have a number ready :) max signing bonus (so I was told, can't confirm" is 50, and salary is hard to push. But stock can be greatly increased.
      Mar 15
  • Google VROC85
    Take Palantir. Founded by Peter Thiel they do some pretty state of the art tech. At Google at L3 you can end up doing inconsequential things.
    Mar 14 1
    • Amadeus Trick2g
      Yeah but they will never ipo. So his tc will only be base pay. What’s the point.
      Mar 14
  • Google ohfr24
    Regarding the recruiter's threatening tone, that's totally not acceptable. Is this over the phone or in writing?
    Mar 14 1
    • Microsoft ahnx86
      OP
      Over the phone
      Mar 14
  • Google quix
    My recruiter at google was a D-bag too. Looks like Google has really dropped the standards for it's recruiters.

    I am really sorry you ran into one of those. It doesn't mean much - but please accept my apology on behalf of Google for having to deal with that twat.
    Mar 17 0
  • Microsoft X9pl12
    The emotional response by the recruiter means he is insecure/weak and will be easier to manipulate. This is a good thing. Hang the other offers over his head to get the Google offer raised.
    Mar 14 0
  • Microsoft TC1M
    No brainer take Palantir
    Mar 14 0
  • Homeaway AGJo07
    I had a similar experience with my recruiter (nothing threatening though but low-balled). You can ask them that you want 200k TC per year. Negotiate with them to increase your base to 130 (atleast) and stocks to 200k. Since you have competing offers, that is possible in my opinion. Even then Palantir offer seems to be very high
    Mar 14 0
  • Microsoft Dandanbao
    I have a very similar situation and experience with you. I end up take L5 offer from amazon. Google recruiter cannot understand I took amazon L5 over google T3 for 50k more and more visible projects. He kept trying selling free food that kinda of stuff and inform me the bar is getting higher and this maybe one of out a life opportunity. I like google, my dream company, but I cannot convince myself buy it.
    Mar 29 2
    • Yahoo
      ^$

      Yahoo

      PRE
      Salesforce, LinkedIn, Microsoft
      ^$more
      The bar at google ain't getting higher.
      Mar 29
    • Yahoo
      ^$

      Yahoo

      PRE
      Salesforce, LinkedIn, Microsoft
      ^$more
      Should have told recruiter nobody eats 50K worth of free food in 365 days.
      Mar 29
  • Google aiqqu
    I had same offer from Palantir but with double your options.

    Goog ended up giving me 145 base. 200k rsu and 25 sign on.

    Initially they Offer 100k rsu!

    Hope you enjoy mixpanel!
    Mar 16 0
  • Microsoft y83j
    I’d take palantir honestly
    Mar 14 0
  • Morgan Stanley hotChicken
    Palantir easily
    Mar 14 0
  • Google VROC85
    Re feedback. You will likely get a feedback form after the interview regardless of you taking the offer or not. Use it to tell what you didn't like about the process.
    Mar 14 0