Interview Salary Negotiation

By: Catherine Z Jones

Job interviews are tough. I personally do not know too many people that enjoy going on them. Not only are you attempting to impress the interviewer but you also worried about answering interview questions without stammering and thinking of good interview questions to ask.

Many people are self-conscious about themselves during an interview. They stress about everything from the first handshake to the last one. The biggest hurdle is the dreaded question that an interviewer asks regarding your desired salary.

Now that the subject has been brought up, how does one respond? We are going to discuss some things that should help you be less anxious about salary negotiation.

First of all, be prepared for salary negotiation. You know that the subject is going to come up so prepare yourself. Do a little checking on what a person with your qualifications is earning in your demographic area. This will help you to formulate a salary range and give you confidence in discussing your salary when the subject comes up.

Do a little budgeting project. Write down what bills you have to pay each month and factor in for such things as gasoline, groceries, and anything else that may come up. Once you do this, you will have an idea of the absolute minimum salary that you can accept.

Sell yourself.

Tell the interviewer why you are worth the salary that you are trying to negotiate for. Be prepared to discuss your skills and achievements.

Convince the interviewer that they need you. It is best not to discuss a salary right away. Instead try to inquire about the position that you are applying for. If an interviewer persists, pleasantly tell them that you can be flexible and would love to talk about the salary after you hear more about the position and your duties.

Always let the interviewer reveal the salary. Do not be the one to initiate a salary negotiation.

When the interviewer does bring up the question of desired salary, try to reflect the question back to them by asking what the employers were expecting to pay someone with your qualifications. If that does not work, give them a salary range that you are comfortable with because of the "homework" you did in preparation for the interview.

Do not lose your bargaining chip by disclosing you past or present salary. When you do this you are effectively forcing an employer's hand with regards to a salary offer.

If the salary is lower than you expected, make sure that you are taking into consideration any benefits such as insurance, 401k plans, stock options, bonuses, and discounts to mention a few. These benefits can add as much as forty percent to the base salary.

When a salary offer is on the table, do not say yes immediately. Ask for twenty-four hours to think it over. This is good for a couple of reasons. If the offer is higher than you anticipated, you will have the opportunity to calm down and accept the offer with some semblance of decorum. If the offer is lower than you can reasonably accept, you will be alerting the interviewer that they may lose you unless a better salary offer is produced.

Once you and the interviewer have come to an agreement on the salary, get them to put the offer in writing, disclosing everything from the salary to the benefits you will be receiving.

If the offer is just too low and it will not support your needs, be polite in rejecting the offer. You never know when you might do business with in the future and you do not want to leave a bad impression.

Hopefully this has given you a better grasp on the art of salary negotiation and dispelled some of the anxiety of the most feared question in an interview.

There's more on salary negotiation here.

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