If they ask about your pay, then it's really rather awkward to not answer that without souring the process.However in her case that was the point where it would probably have been optimal to say something of the form "so although I enjoy the work, they're just not in a position to pay the market rate", which is a nice way of saying "the bastards won't pay me properly".Of course at that point it's 50/50 that they ask you what you want, so be prepared for that question.The damage is minimised by speed of action in this case. as it is much harder to get an offer raised then to get a better first offer, so she needs to get her bid in ASAP.So yLiteQu is right to ask about "damage control", and the best option now is to program the HH to do the dirty end of arguing for you, it's his job.She needs to explain to the HH that if the hedge fund wants to hire her, that he needs to get the market rate, or the deal does not go through.She also needs to be quite clear what that pay level is, and ideally offer some reason why she believes it to be true, since the HH will want ammunition for the argument, because he will expect the hiring manager to ask "why does she think she's worth 150K ?" That's a fluid situation and with skill a good HH can get a number that both sides are happy with and equally importantly she will get a "soft landing". That's a term I use for the fact that after all this is done, she's going to have to work with these people, and so she wants them still to like her.She may believe that the HH is on the "hiring's side" but frankly the HH is on the HH's side, if she doesn't take the job, then he gets nothing so has a strong incentive to do the negotiation well.quantmeh is entirely wrong when he says there is no risk for the hiring firm in a low-ball offer, this is in many ways the riskiest kind of offer to make....1: If you pay a lot below market, the chance of them leaving is high, and there are serious costs, both visible and invisible in staff churn. Not just recruitment fees, but the hassle in hiring a new person and the lost time in bringing two people up to speed.2: People who feel they are underpaid often underperform, there's studies on this that are pretty conclusive. Very occasionally their 'underperformance' is quite spectacular.3: They may accept the offer, but just at the last minute renege when a decent one turns up, which causes a lot of pain.Mrmister says :"A standard lie from HHs is that they require your current pay package. Complete bullshit. "It is a standard lie, but it is also often true.As a headhunter I get asked "what is this guy on" ? and if he refuses to tell me then I have to pass that refusal on (or make it up as happened to me once long before I was a HH)That refusal makes selling you harder which is usually a bad move.