How to negotiate salary in the job interview
It is better to negotiate salary after you have proven to the company that you are the best candidate for the job and have a formal job offer. If the recruiter has done a good job, they should have already determined that your salary expectations are within their budget in the screening call. So how should you respond when the hiring manager asks you about your salary expectations?
Don’t give a single number. Provide a salary range that you are willing to work with. By coming from a place of openness and collaboration, you show your future employer that you are flexible and will work with them to achieve common goals.
How to negotiate a salary when you have a job offer
Hiring managers don’t expect an immediate response and usually give you some time to consider the salary offer. This is when you have the most negotiating power. Here are some salary negotiation tips to help take the process forward constructively:
Research salary trends in the industry
You want to be as informed as possible before you go into a salary negotiation process. The best way to do this is to research current salary trends in your field. Based on this, determine a target salary range. Consider factors such as location, industry, position, and qualifications.
For example, if you live in San Francisco and have computer programming skills, your salary range will be much higher than in a rural area. If your employer is struggling to find qualified workers, this gives you room to negotiate a higher salary.
A rule of thumb is to offer your employer a slightly higher salary than what you want in hopes that they will negotiate down to a price you are comfortable with.
Recruiters know what positions and their responsibilities are worth. They can better assess your salary expectations and even give you a range. When the next recruiter contacts you, talk to them about the job’s responsibilities and salary. You may not get a concrete number this way, but a range is better than being in the dark.
Sell your skills
If you know your research proves your worth, don’t just counteroffer with a higher number. Explain why you deserve more by highlighting your strengths and showing what you bring to the table. Detail all the extras the company would get from someone with your track record.
Make a list of specific examples of how your skills would contribute to the bottom line. For example, if you have certifications or specialized technical skills, mention those. Make sure you relate these strengths to the new job to show why you should receive more than the original salary offer.
Use perks and benefits as leverage
Salary negotiations are often a give and take. Workable’s Worker Survey 2021 revealed that 62.2% of job applicants say salary, perks, and benefits represent the top factor influencing their decision to accept a new job. Your hiring manager will know this.
One way for both sides to benefit is to find something that the employer values. For example, an employer may be willing to give up extra vacation time, a signing bonus, or flexible work hours to get you on board. These concessions for a compensation package are significant today as working from home becomes more popular. Compensation doesn’t only have to take into account a base salary.
Avoid salary negotiation via email
The best way to make a salary counteroffer is to pick up the phone. This way, you can have a back-and-forth conversation, express your gratitude and clarify what you want. Remember, the person on the other end of the line will advocate for you with their colleagues and help determine the final salary offer. Be respectful and clear.
Examples of what you should say during salary negotiations
The numbers you want to present are the easy part. Putting your request into words can feel awkward or confrontational. Here are some examples of how to put your negotiation strategies into words.
What to say if the offer is below your salary expectations
“I enjoyed our interviews and know that I will be a good fit for the company. I am very excited about your offer and want to bring great value to the team. I was wondering if there was any room for negotiation on my salary. I did some research and found out that the average salary in the area is $50,000, and that’s exactly what I need to bring value to your business.”
What to say when the hiring manager says the salary budget is set
“Thank you for the offer; it seems very fair. I understand your budget constraints and would love to work with your team. I wanted to discuss if $50,000 is possible. I am still very excited to join your organization but would like to discuss if that figure fits my experience and skills.”
Should you take the job for the salary offered?
You have done your best to negotiate a salary you think is fair. If an employer’s job offer is too low, you need to decide if it’s worth it. Salary is important, but the company and its range of perks and benefits packages are also considerations that may make or break your decision.