It’s not that fun to negotiate salary. You want to make as much as possible, but you don’t want to harm your job interview by asking for a lot more than the company thinks you deserve. It is a delicate balance, because the perception is that if you ask for far too much, you are going to make it sound as though you think you are better than you truly are.
What you must remember though is that paying you as much as possible is as important for the company as it is for you. You are an investment. The company is wasting its resources on you. Assuming you do your job adequately, the company wants and needs you to stay for as long as possible. If you go into salary negotiation and ask for less money than you want in order to help you get the job, that’s bad for the company because although they get to hire you for less than they were willing to pay, you will also now have incentive to leave and find a new job when you are tired of how little they pay you. One of the most commonly cited reasons for staff turnover is that the employee wanted to make more money.
With that in mind, here are several tips for how to attack salary negotiation at your job interview or at your current place of employment.
Salary Negotiation Tips
The best way to negotiate a good salary is to have a good understanding about what you are “supposed” to make. The best way to do that is to research the position in full. See if you can find salaries for the company, average salaries for those with your job title, average salaries for those with your educational background, etc. The more you know, the more you can stand behind the number you choose.
2. Be Honest With Yourself
As mentioned, it is in both the company’s and your best interests to pick a number you can be satisfied with. If you need more to be happy, then you need to ask for more. If you know you don’t deserve more and don’t need more to be happy, ask for a bit less.
3. Wait Until the End
You are in a much better position to discuss salary if you wait until the end of the interview. You will know exactly what your job will be and how it should be valued by the company. You are also in a much better bargaining position if you already have the job than you would be if you asked for a high amount of money before the interview is over.
4. Get the Company to Offer a Number First
If you can get a salary range from the company before asking for a dollar value, you are in a better position. IF they tell you “We can offer anywhere from 30,000 to 50,000” then you know that you can lean north of 40,000 and still be in an acceptable range. If you give a number first, the company will have an easier time knocking you down.
5. Find Out About Growth
In some cases, it may be useful to take less pay if you know that you have a chance to grow quickly in the company. For example, if you get a job as a marketing assistant, but know that promotions to marketing associates come with bigger paychecks, and most marketing assistants become associates within a year or two, then maybe you can live with less money with the knowledge that it is only temporary.
Be Willing to Walk Away
Finally, if you cannot make as much money as you need, you may need to look for another job. When the economy is tough, many people try to get any job they can, regardless of income. Yet if you make less than you know you deserve and/or need, you are going to be unhappy, and the chances of remaining employed at the company are slim. Why take a job that you are simply going to leave anyway?
Start the negotiation asking for a little above what you want to make and try to get as much as you can. Only then will you be happy at the job, and the company will be happy knowing you will stay.
Take Away Interview Tips
- Research to find a starting point.
- Learn about the company.
- Try to get the company to make the first offer.