Talking about money and salary negotiation during the interview process is always an awkward topic of conversation. You don’t know when to talk about it, what to say, or what will be negotiated. You don’t want to blurt out a ridiculous number, but you also don’t want to price yourself too low. The best way to prepare for the question is to be informed and confident, at any level of experience.
Be informed. You need to complete your research on the position before walking into the room. Know the position you are interviewing inside and out, in addition to the salary range this job usually entails. Take advantage of free online salary sites as a starting point, such as glassdoor.com, salary.com, indeed.com. If you know people in the company, talk to them and get a gauge of the company’s trends on market value. Walk into the interview knowing your worth, experience, and what you can bring to their company.
When is it “ok” to talk money?
Be patient. Money shouldn’t be the sole reason for a shift in career. Before talking about money, make sure you have a clear understanding of the job, company, culture, etc., and that the hiring manager and team has an equally clear understanding of you, your experience, and your goals in accepting a new job. It’s important to sell yourself enough in the interview process, that money isn’t even a factor in the decision process. If they ask you salary expectations first, give an honest range; NEVER lie! You don’t want to sell yourself short when asked salary expectations, so it is always smart to give a range and let the hiring manager offer the specific values.
Listen, and react. You don’t want to portray yourself as playing games when it comes to salary negotiation, but it’s important to always do just that; negotiate. It’s almost always appropriate to come back with a counter offer. According to a study conducted by NerdWallet and Looksharp, 74% of employers have room to increase their first offer by 5-10% during negotiations. What does that say? They want and expect you to negotiate! Don’t be afraid to ask for more, but be realistic, and tell them exactly why you deserve what you are asking. Negotiating should not be dependent on years of experience. People often feel too anxious or feel as if they’d come off arrogant if they were to ask for more compensation, especially at the entry level, but that is not true. The same study concludes that 76% of hiring managers said when “entry-level” employees negotiated their salary, it made them appear more confident. Only 6% stated they were never willing to negotiate a salary at an entry level position.
Factors Affecting Salary
There’s more than just money. As much as money is a motivating factor, it’s not everything. Place more emphasis on your passion for the position and your career development within the organization. Not only will this show the hiring manager your dedication to their company and job, it will increase your bargaining power down the line. There are other factors to consider in an offer, such as commute, benefit packages, 401K program, flexibility and time off, corporate culture, etc. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, benefits account for about 30% of employee compensation. In addition to package offerings, there are contributing elements when it comes to how much a company can offer that are totally out of your hands. Location, candidate market, company size, and company industry all highly influence demand and the price a company can pay.
You’ve come as far as to receive an offer, the company is invested in you, and now it’s up to you. Put your best foot forward and prove why you are not only an asset to the team, but the company as a whole in the negotiation stage. Kate Donovan of Equal Pay Negotiations, LLC, states that it’s estimated that people who negotiate earn $1 million more during their career for no other reason than negotiating. Take into account all considerations and factors affecting your new career choice, and enjoy your new endeavor!
Additional Resources on Salary Negotiation: