Even if the opportunity is exciting, salary is a major factor in accepting or refusing an offer of jobs. The fact that the skills and expertise are reasonably paid has a significant effect on work satisfaction. As such, it is incredibly important to understand the nuances of when and how to negotiate salary during an interview.
Negotiating Salary, the Old School Way
There are quite a few different schools of thought on this subject, with the majority siding with the “it’s only okay to discuss it if the hiring manager brings it up first” rule or as we like to call it, the “Old School” method.
Usually, this discussion is brought up near the end of the interview.
At this point, the hiring manager has generally made up their mind as to whether or not they think you’re a good fit for the job. You’ll get a smile and a nod and they’ll open with “Now, you’ll start at X Naira monthly during the probationary period and then be eligible for a raise every year based on performance reviews.”
If you’re lucky, what they’re offering is exactly what you were expecting and everyone goes home happy.
Old School can be successful if you’re just starting out in your chosen field and don’t have a lot of experience.
It’s also the route people who might lack confidence in their skills will find the most comfortable to deal with.
For some people, just the lure of having a job is enough for them to accept whatever number is thrown at them, even if it’s much less than they were hoping for. That’s fine for those people…but you are not one of them!
It’s time to enrol in a “New School” way of dealing with your salary!
Negotiating Salary, the “New School” way
We strongly believe that you need to have confidence in yourself and your skills. You are the ideal candidate and that confidence needs to carry through everything you do including deciding how much you’re worth.
Rather than just taking the job no matter what, you need to have an “executive mindset.”
Liz Ryan, a leading expert in the world of HR, job hunting, and how to not only get your dream job but your dream salary as well, describes the “executive mindset” as the switch between thinking like a job-seeker and more like a professional in their chosen field just looking for their next assignment.
Rather than being that individual who is so grateful for a job that you take whatever they throw at you, you want to be that person that the company is so eager to bring onboard that they work to make it work for you!
Tips to prepare for salary negotiation
Start by calculating your value
It’s important you know exactly how much value you can offer an employer before you begin the process of negotiating a salary. There are several factors that can influence your compensation, such as:
- Geographic location
- Years of industry experience
- Years of leadership experience
- Education level
- Career level
- Licenses and certifications
Research the market average
Having this data can help support a more successful negotiation. Knowing the market average can give you a good baseline for your salary request, and can even be used as justification.
Here are some questions to consider as you begin your market research:
- What is the national average salary for the position?
- What is the average in your geographic location and in cities nearby?
- How much do similar companies in your area pay employees in this position?
Prepare your talking points
As you’re developing negotiation notes, it might be helpful to answer the following question as a framework for your conversation: Why do you feel you deserve a higher salary than the one the employer is offering? Be sure to put together a few talking points before you contact the employer and be as specific as possible. Those details might include information like:
- Results you’ve achieved in previous roles, such as goals you’ve met, revenue you’ve helped drive or awards you earned. If possible, use actual numbers.
- Years of industry experience, particularly if you have more experience than the employer stated as a requirement.
- Skills or certifications, especially if they are in high demand within your industry.
Rehearse with a trusted friend
Practicing your talking points can help you gain confidence and identify areas of improvement. The best way to practice would be in front of a trusted friend or colleague that can provide helpful feedback. Alternatively, you can try recording your conversation on a camera or speaking in front of a mirror.
Make sure it’s genuine confidence. Remember, honesty is the best policy.
Blowing up your ego and swaggering into an interview with an inflated sense of entitlement is going to get you either right back out the door or into a situation where you are vastly underqualified.
So go in with a healthy level of confidence. Make sure you’re in charge of the interview.
Just that you’re in control of yourself and projecting a level of confidence that lets them know that they’re dealing with someone who knows exactly who they are, what they can do, and what they deserve for that work.
Of course, all this requires having a strategy that starts with knowing your value and bringing it up yourself
Ask for more
One fundamental rule of salary negotiation is to give the employer a slightly higher number than your goal. This way, if they negotiate down, you’ll still end up with a salary offer you feel comfortable accepting. If you provide a salary range, the employer will likely err on the lower end, so be sure the lowest number you provide is still an amount you feel is fair.
Share expenses you’re incurring
Another reason you may want to ask for an increased salary is to cover any costs you’re accumulating by taking the job. For example, if you’re relocating to a new city for the job, you’ll have to pay moving expenses as well as any costs associated with selling or leasing your current home. If you’re taking a position further away from home, you’ll have to factor in commute expenses such as train fare or gas and wear and tear on your vehicle. It’s not unusual for candidates to ask employers to adjust the salary to account for your expenses.
Even if the employer is unable to provide the salary amount you want, they may be able to offer other forms of compensation. For example, you may be able to negotiate more stock options, extra vacation days or additional work-from-home days to combat a lengthy commute. Don’t be shy about asking for alternatives. In some cases, they may be just as valuable, or more valuable, than a paycheck.
Don’t be afraid to walk away
In some cases, an employer may not be able to meet your minimum salary requirement or offer additional benefits that make it worth your while. Or the employer may counter-offer with a salary that’s higher than their first offer but not as high as your request. In this case, you’ll need to decide if the job is worth the lesser amount.
If it’s less stressful than your current position, is closer to home or offers you more flexibility or more free time, you may be open to taking a lower salary. However, if not, you should consider walking away and seeking other opportunities elsewhere.
Once you reach the job offer phase of the hiring process, you’ve probably invested a great deal of time and energy applying and interviewing for the position. The employer has also invested time in the process, so it’s crucial you recognize this and thank them for considering you for the opportunity. Be sure to share any specific reasons why you’re excited about the job, such as the culture or the product.
Even if you end up declining the offer, it’s important to do so in a friendly and professional manner. After all, you never know what opportunities they may have available for you in the future.
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Culled from: The Interview Guys.