Negotiating your starting salary is usually the trickiest part of the entire interview process.
Naming too high a price could easily put a lid on your negotiations, while naming too low a price could get you stuck in a salary range that is well below your worth!
When the time for it finally comes, how do you negotiate a salary that is both good and fair for you and your employer? Phrased differently, how do you answer the question: “What salary are you seeking”?
For the most part, discussion about salary and compensation is initiated by the interviewer with questions along the lines of “What salary are you seeking?” Eventually, whatever the position you apply for, discussion about salary has to be finalized before any agreement is reached and employment offered.
When asked the “salary question”, knowledge of this range gives you a target to aim for. Going far beyond the range could put an end to any form of negotiation. Meanwhile, under-pricing yourself could tell the interviewer you don’t know what you are doing and possibly desperate.
Negotiating Your Starting Salary
Keep the money talk for later
For the most part, employers leave talk about salary until they are almost certain they’ll be needing your services. But that is not always the case. Regardless of when they prefer to bring up the question, always remember that the later in the interview you get to the question, the better positioned you are for a fair deal.
If a your interviewer decides to raise the question early on, politely defer it for later if possible. First demonstrate your strengths and what you bring to the company and only then should you begin salary discussions.
Evaluate your market value
Diving in blind is never a good idea. Before beginning any interview, find out what the average person in your field, with your qualification, is worth. If you can get direct insider information, that is even better and highly advantageous. Alternatively, use sites like Glassdoor or Totaljobs to find out the market value of someone occupying the position you are applying for.
Take a leading position
While it is often advised that you place the ball in the interviewers court, that is not always ideal. When negotiating your salary, take the lead based on your market survey. Set an initial target before commencing negotiations. Give the interviewer a range to catch up with, rather than a fixed target. Taking the lead on the negotiation table lets the salary discussion revolve around your target.
Your search for a new job is usually down to its financial benefits. However, whether you receive a meager salary in your current employment, or you are unemployed, never show your interviewer you are desperate. Do not let unemployment soften your negotiating power. Your employment status has no effect on your market value.
Consider other forms of compensation
Job compensation or remuneration goes beyond just talk of how much salary you are to be paid. If the salary is a little below your range, you could consider other forms of compensation. Consider increased vacation time or an opportunity for a performance review after a period of time on the job.
Negotiating your starting salary is not always easy but if you get what you want and what you are worth, then the financial reward will be even sweeter!