Microsoft Lowballed Offer

Jun 2 51 Comments

I received an offer from Microsoft recently from a Hiring Event. I had repeatedly mentioned that I am only interested in SSE position since the introduction to the recruiter. My every interview went great. When they extended an offer, it was for SE - 2 (61). The TC was 158k (Base - 130k, rest - 20k). I felt a bit ridiculous as this is not even the TC when I joined my current company. My level is SSE and TC is 225K. I have requested MSFT recruiter to modify the offer to which they reluctantly agreed and said will get back soon. I am not sure how much they will modify though and how should I take things forward in terms of negotiation. Any thoughts?

YOE - 5

comments

Want to comment? LOG IN or SIGN UP
TOP 51 Comments
  • Microsoft megamanX
    I got 138K base, 40K bonus, and 150K stock at 62

    Also, I’ve been stuck at 62 (which is SDE2) for 3 years now... it’s a difficult promo from SDE2 to SSE. They make you crawl through broken glass for it. Keep fighting.
    Jun 2 6
    • Microsoft OqDv32
      What is your current base after 3 years of increases?
      Jun 2
    • Microsoft megamanX
      Current base is $146K

      Microsoft doesn’t really give big raises. As an aside, the best part of my comp is that my $150K of stock is worth about ~300K now... I’ve vested 3/4 of it
      Jun 2
    • Microsoft OqDv32
      That stock growth definitely helped you. Thats great to hear!
      Jun 2
    • Microsoft no-sql
      @megaman, you joined ms 3 years ago with that salary?
      Jun 2
    • Microsoft megamanX
      Yes
      Jun 2
  • Microsoft 0xdeadbeet
    YOE? Team? A lot of times offer level is based on how the team managers think you’ll compare with others on the team. It’s often better to come in under leveled and blow away expectations than to come in at a higher level and compare against ppl who have been there for years and know how to get things done across a large team. Msft perf review can be a hard reality for some.
    Jun 2 8
    • Microsoft / R&D ^^^
      Or 66 to 67
      Jun 2
    • Microsoft megamanX
      Fair enough people, but the majority of MS employees top out at 64... only like, what, 5-10% get to 65 or higher?

      For most employees, the 62->63 promo is the hardest one they’ll fight for
      Jun 2
    • Microsoft jughead1
      But the standard of 62 ->63 promo is not maintained throughout the company. It's easier in some groups.
      Jun 2
    • Microsoft / Eng Goivenglav
      I made 63 without anyone telling me, though it was after I had finished up almost 2 years after coming in as 62. I came in 6 YoE with a breadth of experience and on track to complete my MSCS. I went to a new team as our team was working on sunsetting a long lived product. Promo was intended for the project I was supposed to be moving to. So I was kind of already doing senior work by leading others, architecting solutions, etc.

      So it depends on if there’s really need for senior and if you’re actually doing the duties for that role above and beyond expectation. After I left that team, my title, pay, etc changed and I was 63. That said, it’s still grueling and they do expect a lot from you, but you may also find yourself in situations where management tries to groom everyone for promo but only some people will actually grow from that grooming.
      Jun 2
    • Microsoft sTPY52
      I dont agree. I've been told I will get promoted within first year I were good. But never happened even 2 years later. It depends on your relationship with your skip. And the projects. Period.
      Jun 2
  • MathWorks wlwoxnwlq
    The offer I received last week was L61 135(0-20%)+ 80/2+150/4 (TC ~ 230). I had a competing Amazon offer though with that TC for SDE2. 3 yoe. They asked me for Amazon offer letter and went through several approvals and matched it in like 3-4 days. So, yes they will match. I have also heard from some of my friends that some recruiters don't bother much. I think finally it depends on the management chain/interview feedback and competing offers. They didn't give me any numbers before this. When they asked me for expectation I told them that this is what I have from Amazon and they asked for supporting docs.
    Jun 2 3
    • Microsoft / Eng gqne23
      Thats an awesome offer for 61
      Jun 2
    • Microsoft OqDv32
      That's the best offer for 61 I have ever heard. My 62 offer was much lower!

      What is the location?
      Jun 2
    • MathWorks wlwoxnwlq
      Redmond. It was mainly because my Amazon offer was strong and perhaps because my interviews went well too. Eventually, I declined though and signed Uber with similar TC (not sure if that was mistake :P)
      Jun 3
  • Microsoft / Eng gqne23
    I suggest you look elsewhere OP. Do not downlevel yourself
    Jun 2 0
  • Microsoft 0xdeadbeet
    5 yoe to get 63 seems like a stretch unless you’ve got some background to back it up (well respected companies, projects , research, oss contributions).

    Again, in long term, it is better to be known as someone who is at the top of their peers than as someone who is struggling. If you really deserve sr you’ll get there in a year or two.

    Hint: it is way more about how you work with others than about what you do as an individual.
    Jun 2 7
    • Optym OBvX83
      Yeah same. I've been told they were very impressed by my onsite interview performance but still tried to downlevel me pretty hard. I did very good on both coding rounds and design rounds.
      Jun 2
    • Microsoft 0xdeadbeet
      If your an m2 with a team of 40-50, you have a pretty good idea of how experience fits across levels and the impact people make. Nothing worse for employee and management team than having a new hire who is struggling in their band. You get dumped on for a few years while you figure things out, a narrative develops about where you struggle that you need to shake off, and opportunities aren’t as easy to come by.

      Curious, what makes you think you deserve sr? Microsoft isn’t known for giving titles and promos away easily. I’ve worked at a lot of companies and msft is the hardest when it comes to promos and advancement. That said, when I get them, I know I earned it.

      Honestly, if you’re not happy with the offer, walk.
      Jun 2
    • Optym OBvX83
      I've got ~8 yoe with their stack and I've pushed forward a struggling project in a mid size company. Did things ranging from infra code (message brokers) to UI control development to CI/CD pipeline setup. Top performer for over 7 years and led a team of 4 engs during the past 2. I'm not saying I'm sr, I understand that if it's based on merit and social skills, I will get there quickly. I also know that I'm definitely not L60, I know my value.
      Jun 2
    • Microsoft 0xdeadbeet
      @optym- talk to your managers about expectations at different levels and what opportunities you’ll be given to show those expectations. 7 yrs experience at 60 sounds like a low ball, but you need to understand their concerns and see if you and do anything to mitigate those concerns .

      Tbh, working in small teams is very different than working on teams of 50 in an org of 400. You need tech skills plus really good soft skills to excel. Also, being experienced on msft stack is different than shipping pieces of that stack.
      Jun 2
    • Optym OBvX83
      Yeah I'll see where this goes. Showed a competing offer from a competitor in Mountain View CA (not G). I will just have to walk away if they don't give me a decent SDE II offer.
      Jun 3
  • Microsoft Mmm'kay
    Titles vary across companies. Just because you are a SSE where you currently work doesn't mean you will automatically be offered a SSE position at Microsoft. If you were offered 61, negotiating to 63 is going to be next to impossible, especially considering your YoE.
    Jun 2 0
  • Microsoft rose84
    Also depends how you did in interview (will they fight for you and devote time) and whether you have given the Recuiter the info to fight with, and recruiter is on your side. Playing nonchalant and indifferent is not best angle. Be super excited and specific why you really love the role and offer, but concerned that the compensation didn’t meet your minimum expectations. If you handle poorly, even if you are justified In expectations, they’ll pass (for good reason).
    Jun 2 1
    • OP
      Thanks for this info. I was indeed kinda unknowingly being indifferent after I put forth my views. Will try to be more passionate next time I speak with the recruiter.
      Jun 2
  • Microsoft biubiubiu0
    5 years is sde2, impossible to get senior unless you are from FG and your expertise is really needed by ms
    Jun 2 0
  • Microsoft h.a.l.
    Reject and try again on a different team. MS usually low balls industry hires unless the team wants you.
    Jun 2 0
  • Microsoft yybU67
    Don't take it unless they agreed to give you SSE I made a mistake accepting SDE even though I was SDE 2 at my old work but I desperately wanted to move. Now my manager says I have to wait 14-18 months to get to next level and promotion velocity depends on org my friends in different org got promoted in 10 months SDE to SDE2.
    Jun 2 3
    • Microsoft sTPY52
      Sigh! Same for me.
      Jun 2
    • Microsoft no-sql
      @yybU67. Oh that sucks. which org, Bu , team
      Jun 2
    • Microsoft yybU67
      Office, don't want to disclose the exact org
      Jun 4
  • Google nrvD43
    Similar thing happened to me with Microsoft, their SDE2 offers are not very strong compared to Google/Facebook, or even Amazon. Not sure about senior level, but wouldn't surprise me if it was the same for 63+.
    Jun 2 1
    • Microsoft treat
      It is the same
      Jun 2
  • Microsoft / Design 206wrkr
    Fight to come in high, getting a promotion is too much butt kissing.
    Jun 2 1
    • OP
      Thanks for the insight. 👍
      Jun 2
  • Microsoft aCCX36
    Yoe 4.5 .. my l62 offer was 150 50 150. An year ago
    Jun 2 0
  • Microsoft BlindUser&
    L61: 135k base 200k RSU 50k signing (30k +20k)

    ~210k TC for Colorado

    2.75 YoE, this was their counter to G & FB offers
    Jun 2 2
    • Microsoft PfrI37
      did they ask for proof of competing offers from G&FB?
      Jun 2
    • Microsoft BlindUser&
      Yes, I just provided emails from recruiters since I didn't have any official offer letters and that was sufficient.
      Jun 2
  • Uber opi
    65+ might be more competitive in market.
    Jun 2 1
    • Microsoft CykaBlyat
      It's pretty unusual for us to hire at the 65+ level.
      Jun 2
  • Vanguard ubercool9
    OP- I sent you a DM.
    Jun 2 0
  • Microsoft treat
    I got a low ball as well and took it anyway. I got an SSE with TC lower than some of the 62s and 61s mentioned in here - no signing bonus and no others. At the end of the day it is about whether you will like your job or not as well. But I do understand you - it did alter my thinking to treating my current position as a steppingstone.
    Jun 2 0
  • Microsoft no-sql
    Are you from amazon? 225k is in Redmond or Bay?
    Jun 2 0

Salary
Comparison

    Real time salary information from verified employees