Congrats on snagging an interview with a potentially great new employer; however, you need to make sure you are given a pay scale that tallies with your current skill set. How do you determine your worth to an employer, and how do you confidently put a figure on the table?
Here are some tips to help you negotiate your desired salary:
Show how you will compensate the company by achieving its goals. Be prepared to sell yourself! How will you make or save the company money? It’s that simple. Be ready to cite specific situations where you have contributed to a bottom line, and plan to explain how your examples will relate to the job you’re being offered.
Personality will affect how the interviewer will react to you.
Maintaining a positive disposition during an interview will increase likelihood of you attaining the pay you want. You have one chance to create that all-important first impression, so think before you speak. Remember to show off your great attitude when you walk through the door – SMILE!
Know your role.
Are you applying for a “low man on the totem pole” position, or is this a managerial role? Do your research about the post prior to the interview. Information is power, and the more you know about the job, the better position you will be in when the time comes to talk about salary.
Know when to talk.
Conversations about salary are usually saved until the final interview. You may be able to adjust your rate up or down slightly depending on the how qualified you are for the job. If you are under qualified, don’t try to be greedy. If you are highly qualified, you should consider the upper margin of the salary scale being offered.
Let the interviewer raise the topic.
Never, ever ask: “how much will I get paid”? This makes you sound as if you are only interested in the highest amount on offer. If you do not want to put an amount down on paper, simply write “open to discussion”. This will make you appear flexible without low-balling yourself.
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Don’t forget the benefits!
Even if you are not offered the figure you had hoped for, consider the ‘extras’ before you make a decision. Will you receive generous vacation time? A 401k package? Taking these perks into account might sway your decision if the salary rate is in your ballpark.
Job candidates should not necessarily concede power by accepting the first salary offer that is presented. That’s why working with a recruiter can be so beneficial, since he or she will navigate the salary negotiation process on your behalf. Don’t feel you have less leverage just because of today’s market, or because you are currently unemployed. Be confident – and take some extra time before your interview to digest these tips. You might just have a larger payoff in the end.