One of the toughest parts of a job interview is negotiating salary. Salary negotiations are never pleasant. Employers are trying to get you at the lowest cost and you are trying to earn as much as possible for your work. The lower your salary, the longer it will take to earn the type of income you dream of. Negotiating salary is like giving a dollar value on who you are. It is unpleasant for all parties involved.
Getting the Most That You Can
In our last post we discussed how to avoid the salary question until the end of your final interview. However, you will need to discuss this topic eventually. You want to make sure that you are put in the best position for negotiating the highest salary possible for your work.
Make Them Answer First
The best negotiating tactic is to get them to answer salary questions first. Penelope Trunk had a great example of how to do this effectively. From her blog:
I need to know what salary you want in order to make you an offer. Can you tell me a range?
“I’d appreciate it if you could make me an offer based on whatever you have budgeted for this position and we can go from there.” This is a pretty direct response, so using words like “appreciate” focuses on drawing out the interviewer’s better qualities instead of her tougher side.
It may be hard to get the employer to answer the question first, but if you can sway the conversation into making them provide you a range, you have the upper hand in negotiating and can easily maneuver the best salary from there.
Another important part of negotiating is confidence. The more confidence you have during the negotiation, the easier a time you will have negotiating a higher salary. There are several effective ways to prepare:
- Find out the average salary of those in similar jobs in your local area.
- Find out the average salary of the company staff (if you have connections within the company).
Also, adjust these numbers based on your own experience, skills, qualifications, role and education. The more you know about potential salary the better an opportunity you will have to negotiate a higher one.
There May Be Times to Walk Away
In very rare cases, you may find that the available salary is less than you wanted to make. You have to make a decision. Do you need the job badly enough that you are willing to take the pay cut? Or are you willing to walk away and find employment elsewhere?
Only you can answer that question. If you cannot afford to take a huge salary cut then you need to be honest about the salary you expect to make and be willing to walk away if they do not offer it. If you need the job badly and can live with a lower salary, try to get as much as possible and call it a win.
Salary Discussions are Inevitable
Companies need to know how much you want/expect to make at the position. Use the above tips to negotiate the highest salary for yourself and receive what you deserve for your work.
Take Away Interview Tips
- Try to make the employer provide a salary range before you answer a salary question.
- Research what you “Should” make in the position based on the type of work and your location.
- How to answer tough interview questions