23rd Oct 2012
How to... Negotiate The Best Starting Salary
Understandably, many people find discussing salaries uncomfortable and embarrassing during an interview. However, most interviewers expect some bartering and, if it motivates you to put more into the job, it is worthwhile for both the applicant and the employer.
Tips for negotiating the best starting salary:
Know your value:
Prior to the interview, research the company and salary range for the position you are applying for. Conduct a salary research so you can understand your market value by:
-Comparing salaries in job adverts
-Checking out online salary surveys
-Contacting people in the same job or industry to ask what other companies pay.
Say as little as possible:
An interviewer will want to discuss salary as early as possible so they do not waste time with someone they cannot afford. They may also like to dwell on your past salary, in order to keep your salary expectations low. You need to delay the talk of salary as long as possible until you can convince them that you are the person they need. So:
-Avoid discussing salary until you have a job offer. If you do, you could price yourself out of a job.
-Get the employer to disclose salary before you do.
-Do not disclose past salary.
Sell your skills:
Be prepared to talk about the skills and accomplishments that support the value you consider yourself to have.
Establish your target salary and absolute bottom line:
Before you go into an interview, decide what salary you want to earn and what you are willing to settle for. Your target salary should be at least 10–15% higher than the minimum salary you'd be willing to accept as this gives you some margin for negotiation. If you come down you should still end up with a salary at or higher than your minimum level.
Take into account the whole package:
There can be a wide discrepancy between a basic salary and the value of the total package – so ensure you are seeing the complete picture.
Never agree straight away:
Be enthusiastic and appreciative when you receive a job offer but always ask for 24 hours to respond. This will allow you thinking time in case anything occurs to you after the adrenalin of the meeting.
If you do get the offer you want, make sure you get it in writing, and the letter is signed.