My name is Alicia Carter.
If you are looking for some gems on how to negotiate salary for an interview, existing job etc. then read on!
Salary negotiation can indeed be a treacherous minefield for those who lack experience. You may have done enough homework about the organisation, have got a huge list of experience, exceptional past achievements etc. but somehow you feel awkward when the issue of salary comes up. Do you know that those few minutes of smart negotiation can make a difference of thousands of dollars in your entire work period?
First of all, you should know that many applicants even better than you have no clue on how to negotiate salary competently. Negotiating your salary with the interviewer is indeed a skill set which a smart job applicant cannot afford to ignore! However, you would not even be in a position to negotiate salary if your interview does not go well. Click here to find out whether you are prepared well for your interview.
Let us quickly go through 5 core strategies on how to negotiate salary:
Step 1: Research well in advance about market, yourself and the company:
You need to be prepared well in advance about whether there is any economic crisis/ boom which is affecting the sector, the average package offered to someone in that position, market statistics etc. Such preparation would help you to set a reasonable estimate/ range of the package which you might be offered. Also conduct in-depth research on the various additional benefits offered to people hired for that position.
Step 2: DO NOT make a quote when they ask dreaded questions such as ‘What is your expectation’, ‘What was your salary at your last job’ etc.:
Voicing out your salary expectation will most likely give the interviewer an edge. It may also give the interviewer an idea that you do not know how to negotiate salary. If you quote a low amount, the interviewer would only be too glad to accept it. If you quote a high amount, then the interviewer might refuse politely.
Use the responses such as the ones mentioned below:
1 Interviewer: “What is your expected range?”
You: “I am sure that the salary paid is similar to that of current market scenario. I am more interested in finding whether I would be a good fit for this job” OR “I would appreciate if you share the range set by your organisation for this position”
2 Interviewer: “How much were you getting paid in your last job?”
You: “The expectations and responsibilities in my previous job do not seem to match exactly with this one. I would be glad to discuss the responsibilities of this job before anticipating an impartial salary”
3 Interviewer: “Why don’t you share your salary requirements so that I can make an offer?:
You: “I am sure that the position as mentioned is already budgeted beforehand. I would appreciate if we could start the discussion from there” It is imperative on your part to make the interviewer take the first shot and quote a range/ expected salary.
Do not feel that it is rude not to quote a range/ slay expectation from your end. If the interviewer seems determined to get that quote out of your mouth, you have to be unwavering and stand your ground.
Step 3: When the interviewer make the offer – remain silent after repeating the top value:
The interviewer would likely give you a range- for e.g. “We usually pay $40,000 – $50,000 annually for this position”. Repeat the higher value, be silent and appear to think. It is important to not show any emotion on your face. The interviewer would be slightly pressurized and fill in the silence by offering reasons. Then he/ she would ask your opinion on the range offered.
Step 4: Make a smart counter response – start bargaining from the highest offer:
Now you have a clear idea on what is the organisation expecting to pay for this position. You stand to win if you can get the $50,000 annual package. You need to reply that you were expecting somewhere between the range $50,000 – $60,000. (The key point is to note that the interviewer’s highest offer is your lowest expectation).
If that sounds too bold, then make sure that you quote a range with the middle value being your desired number. In other words, you can say, “I was expecting somewhere between $45,000 – $55,000”. Thus, it would be easier to bargain and settle to a figure closer to $50,000 mark.
However, you are not saying it deliberately!
Here, you need to reiterate about the value which you would bring by being a part of the company, your key strengths and market standards. Make sure you have already done your homework in this regard.
Step 5: Bargain more after clinching the deal: negotiate the additional benefits:
You should restrain from congratulating yourself once you have succeeded in agreeing the interviewer on your desired salary. Nowadays, employees are offered a host of additional benefits such as paid sick leaves, paid vacation time, life insurance, dental insurance, paid holidays and much more. Use words like ‘appreciate’, ‘fair’, ‘reasonable’ etc. appropriately to show empathy and bargain using the steps mentioned above.