So you’re the best suited candidate for the job. You like the company, they like you, so it comes down to the salary negotiations. What most potential employees do is falter in this area, as the question always comes down to, “How much salary are you expecting?”
Your disadvantage is that the person across from you, the interviewer, are often highly skilled negotiators. Their job is to find the best suited, most qualified employee for the lowest possible salary. What you want is to be paid fairly for your skills and experience.
So there you are, you’ve made it through the job interview process, breathing a sigh of relief that you may land the job. But then the dreaded statement arises, “So lets talk about salary.”
This then quickly turns into a game of wits, unfortunately you being the pawn, a game of cat and mouse, the carrot dangling is the job if you want it. So the key becomes holding your ground once this question emerges.
Pay Me What I’m Worth
Try to shift the emphasis on them. What interviewers are initially discovering is how personable and passionate you are about the job, and how you’ll fit in with the company culture.
During this process, show your personality, be genuine, and the less you talk about salary the better. Realize it’s still the discovery stage, as there’s also a handful of other qualified applicants waiting.
Do your homework and find a scale on what the position generally pays, and then take into account the size of the company and the demands of the position, such as how unique the job qualifications are.
Your First Test
Depending on the position, how you negotiate your salary is your first test. If you’re especially interviewing for a sales position, you need to show your skills.
If you ask for a low salary, then what that shows is you may have low self-esteem, that you don’t value yourself that high, and consequently may not value the products you sell that high either.
This is a test of your emotional intelligence level. So what you need is to gauge the response that you’re getting in real time, this in order to deliver your best possible pitch.
Once you sense a shift, that the interviewer begins to sell you on the job, then grasp that opportunity as that’s when you have the best leverage, this to proceed forward and then address your salary expectations.
Do Your Research
Your best argument to justify what your salary demands are, is by providing backup data by doing diligent online research, this by conducting what the salaries for similar positions are.
There are now a variety of sources, so you can pinpoint what you’re worth on the open market, this based on your education and experience. If needed, explain and supply the sources for your claims.
Initially Talk Range
What discussing salary range will give you is room to negotiate, this in case your salary expectations are higher than what they’re willing to pay, especially if there are other qualified candidates.
Your salary demands might also be too low, so always introduce the notion of you being open and flexible, should this ever become the case.
Always Be Listening
What the best negotiators won’t do is show their cards first. So try your best to flush out and hear what the interviewer has to initially say, then react.
Look for silent clues in body language such as they shifting, leaning forward, or giving direct eye contact, which are signs of interest.
They could also have their arms crossed, look disinterested while speaking in monotone. Determine if this is a negotiating ploy of the skilled negotiator, this to put you on edge, this to hopefully low ball you with a low salary offer.
Use Bridge Techniques
Stall right before you’re about to state what your ideal salary demands are. Take this opportunity to slowly segue into your range. You might delay by saying, “I have a number in mind, but salary isn’t my main focus.”
Explain that you place more importance on team orientation, growth opportunities, that you’re an ideal employee. Set the table first by buttering them up.
Keep in mind that there’s always more than salary, such as the whole compensation package including bonuses, vacation, future pay raises, retirement plans, and health benefits.
Once you’ve placed your salary expectations, don’t flinch, remain cool and consistent. You can role play your salary negotiation techniques with your spouse or friend, this to get comfortable.
It’s not the time to exaggerate or flaunt your ego when negotiating for the best salary. The interviewer also has ways of knowing what your previous salary was, this through various networks.
There’s no point starting off the relationship on the wrong foot, so be reasonable, such as a 5 to 10% percent increase in pay from your previous salary, this depending on the position and the industry.
Be Mindful Of Behavior
If the interviewer suddenly shifts and becomes vague or evasive, this especially when the discussions become delicate, never back off, be persistent yet proceed cautiously.
What you also don’t want to work for is a cheap tyrant, as you want to be completely comfortable with the compensation agreement that you ultimately agreed on.
Taking What You Can Get
If the salary offer is close but you desperately need the job, then take it as there’s usually a review in a few months, which also shows that you’re flexible and have confidence in your abilities.
Salary negotiations can often become awkward, as it’s in your best interest to get what you want, while it’s their job to grind you down as much as possible.