We all know that job interviews are stressful to say the least, but it’s crucial to keep a cool head throughout the process. And when the right time comes — tactfully negotiate the offer. It goes without saying that establishing a fair working relationship even before signing the contract, is key for ensuring employee satisfaction and hopefully long term loyalty.
Yet while salary negotiation seems like a given, studies show that only 37% of people actually negotiate their salaries—while an astonishing 18% never do. The reasons behind that are manifold, but usually stem from fear of coming across as greedy or losing the offer altogether. Whatever the case, a heavy majority of time, companies expect you to bring up the topic during interviews, so you should definitely give it a shot.
Preparation is key
Before you walk into an interview, make sure you know your market value. Use online salary estimation tools to get an idea of what your skills and experiences are currently worth. It’s also a good idea to research what other companies are paying for similar roles. Use all this data to back up your case in the interview. Also, be cautious and avoid accidentally slurring a low number. Your interviewer will quickly pick up on it and use as an anchor, making it difficult to negotiate back up.
Making a counteroffer
Received an offer but not quite what you wanted? The good news is that you’ve clearly impressed them and they want you on board. So don’t scrap the offer just yet. Truth is, companies will almost always try to give you the short end of the stick in effort to save money. But this isn’t to say that they don’t have a budget with some leeway for negotiation. In fact, hiring managers usually expect job seekers to counter-offer, so don’t be afraid to ask for more. Just be ready to give substantial reasons for why you deserve it. This is when you should really polish your statement and reiterate how your unique set of skills and expertise can offer more value to the company.
Few things to keep in mind
- Don’t get emotional. If you want to be taken seriously, stay cool throughout the conversation. A trembling voice can actually undermine you and be a seen as a sign of weakness.
- Don’t make personal pleas. Frankly, the company doesn’t care. You must be able to give professional arguments.
- Be ready to walk away. It is possible that despite your best attempts, the employer’s offer stands firm. In that case you must know for sure whether to take it or leave it.
Effective salary negotiation takes practice. So next time, instead of shying away — take charge of the situation!