secret: Employers rarely make their best offer
first, and those who negotiate generally earn much more than
those who don't. And a well-thought-out negotiation makes you
look like a stronger candidate -- and employee.
people who attempted to negotiate their salary in a constructive
way are perceived as more favorable than those who didn't negotiate
at all, because they were demonstrating the skills the company
wanted to hire them for.
can start laying the groundwork for your salary negotiation
even before the first interview. Here's a step-by-step guide:
the Interview Process
Do Your Research: Learn
about the company's salary ranges and benefits as well as industry
salary ranges before the first interview. Also learn about the
company, its competition and the industry. Then think about
what you want from the job, both in terms of salary and benefits,
as well as opportunity and upward mobility. This information
will become valuable during the interview and salary negotiation.
Don't Talk Turkey Too Early:
You never win by talking about money early on. The time to talk
about money is when they've fallen in love with you. Before
that, you're just one of many easily dismissed candidates. But
once the employer has decided you're right for the job, "it
becomes an issue of, ‘how are we going to make this happen?"
Avoid the Salary Requirements Trap:
You're trying to determine who you want to continue in this
process, and it doesn't make much sense to pursue candidates
you aren't going to get. Secondly, the tendency is for people
to lowball their salary range, because they don't want to get
out of the pool. My preference is to figure out, independent
of these issues, the degree to which there is a good fit here
and the extent to which I can bring value to this organization
and the extent to which I'm going to be fulfilled and involved
and committed to this position. I suggest we wait to have the
salary conversation until you're prepared to make an offer."
they still want a number, leverage your research to talk industry-standard
ranges, not specific numbers.
Time of Offer
Strike First: Try to mention
a specific salary before the employer does. This will start
the negotiations in your ballpark. "The whole negotiation
is based on that first offer".
Don't Commit Too Quickly:
The employer often offers the job and salary simultaneously.
Never say yes right away -- even if you like the offer. Tell
them you'll give them an answer within a certain time frame.
Make Them Jealous: If you've
been interviewing for other jobs, call those prospective employers,
tell them about your offer, and see if they can speed up the
interview process -- or make you an offer. Knowing you have
another offer will make you more attractive to them.
When it's time to answer the first employer, mention the other
employers' interest to help boost your value. But don't make
up imaginary offers. It's easy to check, and the interest alone
will help you look good.
Articulate Your Expectations:
Tell the employer what you want from the job, both in terms
of salary as well as benefits and opportunity. It may be time
off, flexibility about where you work, autonomy or ownership
over a particular area, it may be your title -- whatever has
a perceived value to you.
Negotiate Extras: If the
employer can't offer you the salary you want, think about other
valuable options that might not cost as much. Education can
make a big difference in your long-term marketability.
Quantify Your Value and Performance: Mention
your value in quantifiable terms, such as how much money you
saved your company and how your projects increased revenues
by X thousands of dollars. Then tell them specifically how valuable
you expect to be in your new job.
also can add a few contingencies showing your confidence in
your performance. You could ask the employer to give you a salary
review after six months rather than a year or for a year-end
bonus if you make a certain amount of money. "It shows
that you believe in yourself and are committed to bringing what
you say you can do". "You believe you are going to
bring significant value to the organization.