How to Negotiate Salary During the Interview: 7 Tips


Did you know that people who never negotiate their salary are underpaid over $500,000 by age 60? However, even despite this fact, many people are still wary of asking for a higher income during the interview. Maybe, you are getting chills at the single thought of asking for more money or simply don’t know how to start this captious conversation. Or maybe, deep down you don’t believe that your skills and qualifications are worth this raise.  

Probably, you are also afraid that should you ask for higher pay, they will choose other applicants who can settle for less. If you’ve recognized yourself in one of these situations, today’s salary negotiation tips from our talented resume writers are likely to save the day for you.

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The key to a successful negotiation

Psychologically, the effective money talk is all about confidence and following a few simple tricks that all successful salespeople know. Let’s talk about confidence first. You need to develop what they call ‘the executive mindset’. In other words, avoid showing that you are in so desperate need for a job that you are willing to take whatever they will offer you. Instead, walk into the office with grace and confidence of a professional who is looking for another assignment and whom the company will be happy to have onboard. This kind of confidence should stem from a genuine understanding of your value and professionalism.

Secondly, you should avoid telling them the number first at all costs. If you say how much exactly you’d like to make or how much you earned before, it will give the interviewer huge negotiation leverage. Thus, you won’t negotiate much higher than this amount. Let’s say you are a market research analyst who earned $65,000 on a previous job. If you tell them this number, they’ll send an offer with $70,000-80,000. However, if you don’t disclose this number, by proving your value you can try and get $90,000.

When asked about previous income, say you wouldn’t like to share this information and focus on the value you can bring. Don’t lie to get a higher salary – interview lies, if revealed, kill credibility and can cost you a job.

7 effective salary negotiation tips

  1. Know your market worth
    An effective salary negotiation process is always based on understanding your current market value. If you have little idea how much your skills and experience are worth, a couple of questions from the interviewer will make you feel uncomfortable. So, start with researching salaries using websites like Payscale and Glassdoor. Learn how much people with similar experience and skill sets are making, and how much the employers are willing to offer. Use the Know Your Worth tool to calculate the salary estimate based on your experience. Once you have an estimate salary range, you’ll be able not only to negotiate what you are worth but also to justify your expectations.
  2. Determine your financial goal
    Based on the information you’ve found online, define how much you’d like to earn. Be realistic in your demands – unless you have strong negotiation skills and unique skill set you should aim at the average earnings in your field. Define the minimally acceptable salary and be ready to go if offered less. Don’t agree to work for less. It will frustrate you in the long run because you’ll feel underpaid and your needs won’t be met at the level you are used to.
    If you are looking to make a stellar impression on the interviewer, restrain yourself from these bad interview habit that can cost you a job:  
  3. Avoid negotiating salary for entry-level jobs
    Although it is recommended that you always negotiate the offered salary, entry-level jobs are the exception. When you apply for this kind of job after graduation or career change, your primary goal is to gain experience, not to maximize the income. Moreover, there’s always a huge competition for the starting positions, so if you express dissatisfaction with the starting salary, you’ll be replaced by someone eager to accept their conditions.
    Seeking resume tips to get more interviews? Check out this insider advice from recruiters:
  4. Focus on what you can do for them
    Before getting down to discussing money give specific examples of how you met and exceeded expectations for a previous employer. If you’ve increased sales, improved operations, successfully managed the compliance or launched multi-channel marketing campaigns, tell them about it. Providing numbers and context for your accomplishments will make them more convincing. If you manage to portray yourself as a top performer and achiever rather than someone who just completes what they are assigned, you’ll have higher chances to negotiate a higher pay.
    Want to make significantly more than you are making now? Then, develop your competencies and work your way up the corporate ladder. These tips for career building will help you do it faster.
  5. Know the right time to talk about money
    The golden rule is to wait until the interviewer initiates the salary subject. But in some cases, they don’t. If this is the only interview, you can politely bring up the salary conversation at the end of it. Don’t ask about money before since for the employer it means that you are interested in money in the first place. If the company has a multi-stage interview process and the salary wasn’t discussed during the first interview, you can bring up the subject when you are invited for the second interview.
  6. Don’t use personal circumstances as an argument
    Avoid explaining the request of a higher salary by personal matters. If you’ve just moved house, need money for the wedding or would like to get an expensive degree, don’t bring these up during salary negotiations. Focus on your professional qualities rather than lamenting your financial situation. This isn’t the best argument for convincing someone to hire you.
    Do you send thank-you notes after the interview? You definitely should – online resume websites explain why and how it can help you get hired.
  7. Negotiate the benefits
    Quite often, the company is interested in hiring you but cannot offer the money you’d like to earn (the budget has been approved, the amount you ask for is significantly higher than they typically pay, etc.). If you like the organization either, don’t hurry up to reject the offer – try negotiating benefits first. If they can offer paid parental leave, more days off, remote working opportunity or impressive professional growth options, chances are it will be even better for your financial situation and career than a few extra thousands per year.

Discussing money is uncomfortable for many. However, you should overcome this fear as being reactive in money issues can literally cost you impressive amounts every year. Use the above tips and don’t forget that your key to success is practice, and you’ll become a high-paying professional.

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