How to negotiate for your salary during job interview

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negotiate salary

Talking about how much you’re worth and how much you expect to be paid for the particular position is a challenging process in job interview. Your skills to negotiate your salary can improve with time and experience, but you can get a head start by reading these essential negotiating skills to end up with a better take home pay at the end of the day.

Research salary benchmarks

The first step to an effective salary negotiation is understanding how companies benchmark salaries for different positions. Most employers use the following guidelines when deciding how much they are willing to pay for the position:

  • Average salary offered by companies operating in the same industry
  • Average salary based on the level of experience and education
  • Average salary offered to professionals in the industry within the city

With this information, you can set a realistic salary expectation for agreeing to do the job.

Don’t talk about salary until you’ve established your qualifications

You should always reserve salary negotiation until establishing your qualifications, even if it is employer-initiated. Deftly navigate the discussion to topics that will allow you to highlight why you are the right candidate for the position. Once the employer starts seeing how you’re perfect for the company and the job vacancy, you will be in a better position to negotiate for the salary you have in mind.

Talk about performance-based incentives

In situations where you get a low-ball offer from a company you really like, don’t hesitate to talk about possible performance-based incentives that are beneficial to both you and the company. In some industries it is not uncommon to hear of employees asking for a salary review after six months on the job in exchange for the employee accepting the initial low-ball offer. If they agree with your suggestion, make sure the discussion is documented in writing so you won’t have any problem getting them to honor their side of the bargain.

In such cases, it is important that you make the employer understand that you are accepting an offer that is lower than you would normally consider because you can prove your worth and revisit the salary discussion at a later stage. If you prove, during that period, that you’re truly as good as you say you are, then the company will be willing to retain you by offering you more.

Be open to non-monetary incentives

Another way to close the gap between your expected salary and the employer’s exact offer is to be open to non-monetary incentives. Whether it’s flexible scheduling, an additional paid time off, free meals, or discounts on gym memberships, be ready to think about these perks and weigh your options. More often than not, non-cash incentives are more effective in bridging the difference between your asking price and the offered compensation package.

Dress and act the part

Finally, if you want to be seen as deserving of more, then dress and act the part. A good suit, a good pair of shoes and a decent watch signals a sense of high self-worth and personal standards to the employer. They communicate that you are on your way to achieving bigger things and are worth more. Think of the way salesmen upsell you on cars or motorbikes. By adding leather seats to a base model car or sports stripes to a base model motorbike, it is suddenly worth 10% more.

Salary negotiation tops the list of topics veteran and newbie job seekers alike feel uncomfortable talking about. It takes a lot of practice to hone your negotiation skill to the point where it does not make you feel nervous or apprehensive talking about it. At the end of the day, this is one of, if not the most important part of the job search process so make sure to think about the offer carefully before signing the dotted line.


Further reading:

Tricky interview questions and how to answer them

How introverts get thumbs up from interviewers?

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