Salary discussions can almost seem more daunting than the actual interview. If you’ve reached this point in the interview – congratulations! Knowing when to raise the question of what you are looking for in pay can be a slippery slope. Do you raise the question or wait for the hiring manager to bring up the topic?
Do Some Research
Salary discussions seem overwhelming because you don’t want to sell yourself short or go in at too high of a price. You mention too low of a price point and you just short-changed yourself and this might lead to the hiring manager second guessing themselves. They might think they have hired someone lower level than they expected to based upon previous salary. On the other end of the spectrum, if you demand for a too high of a number, the hiring manager may just past you by on the job altogether.
So what is a safe route to take? Research is key! Search online for your job title and gauge the salary range your job offers. There are various sites with salary surveys available for you. Also, research your job’s salary earnings around your area since salaries can vary across the country.
The Range is Your Best Friend
The safest way to start off the conversation is by stating a range. This way, your negotiation can go several ways. Depending on your level of expertise, you have the ability to convince your employer you are worth more wages and benefits. For example, you have a more specific set of skills, you are then given the leverage over your potential employer to receive a better offer.
Another way to continue the conversation is understanding how you will be of value to the company. Market yourself. Remember, you are the only one in the room who knows yourself better. Know how to play up your strong characteristics. Sell yourself in a strategic way, describe how these characteristics will benefit the company. After all, the company is looking for assets and growth. If they see the potential in you, build on the possibilities. Just like a sales pitch, bring up concrete examples of your success and abilities to help the company thrive. Know that the company’s need are priority one so if you want to bargain for an extra few thousand dollars, justify to the company of why you are worth these extra dollars.
Be Flexible, but Don’t Bend
While you are in this process, remember to be professional, accommodating, and confident. There is nothing worse than being painted as money-hungry by your employers! Remember, if potential employers like you enough to get to the salary stage, give them the courtesy of negotiating politely. Treat the situation as finding a common ground: there is a solution and both parties can be happy after a negotiation!
If you want to give yourself a bit more room to negotiate, set your price range higher so when your potential employers sets the offer at say $60k, you can meet at a midpoint. Ask for a range of $67-68k so that you will not mind settling for a range between $64-65k. As you discuss these prices, remind the company why you deserve those extra dollars to benefit the company. Keep your reasoning simple and to the point; going on and on can come across as too pushy or money hungry.