Dealing with the salary question is often the most difficult interview question facing job seekers.
Most job seekers feel understandably anxious, embarrassed and uncomfortable when the time comes to discuss salaries. Advice such as “never bring up the issue of salary, let the interviewer say it first,” is rarely helpful if you don’t have any idea of how to respond when the topic does come up.
The Top Five Tips to Negotiating Salary in an Interview:
- Be prepared. Before going to the interview, it’s crucial to research the company and salary range for the position you are applying for persons with your background and experience. Have a salary range in mind and be prepared to discuss these figures once salary negotiation has come up.
- Know your absolute bottom line. Know what your minimum salary range must be to support the life you want to live. So decide, before you go into an interview, what salary you want to earn, what you need to live on, and what you will be willing to settle for.
- Never discuss salary until you have a job offer. If you do, you could price yourself out of a job before the employer is convinced they need you. If pressed by the interviewers, tell them you’re flexible and would be happy to discuss salary when you learn more about the job.
- When questioned about desired salary, the best response is one that returns the employer’s ball back into his court: You can say, “what kind of salary range are you working with?” or “Well, I’d like to make as much as other employees with my qualifications.” or “What is a typical salary for this position?” Another strategy is to avoid a specific salary and name a pay range instead.
- Don’t say yes to an offer right away. Be enthusiastic and appreciative when you get the job offer, but ask for at least 24 hours to respond. This gives you time to get over your initial joy at being selected. If you feel the salary is insufficient, express your concern to the employer when asking for time to consider the offer. You’ll find out right away whether the salary quoted is set in stone or is flexible.
Never underestimate the importance of negotiating salary in an interview. Employers tend to prefer those candidates who already earn a greater income. While these candidates cost more to employ, their higher incoming salaries are assumed to reflect greater competence, initiative and achievement. So it’s in your interest to pursue income increases at every legitimate opportunity.
by Debbie O’Halloran
Posted under: Job Search