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How to negotiate the best salary in an interview

Most candidates have a hard time negotiating what they are worth, making a number of mistakes that impact their salaries. According to the article by Randstad, “Negotiation is the easiest way to increase your lifetime earnings.”

Employers ask the salary question to help narrow down their candidate list based on their expectations.

By providing a salary number, it will set the framework for how you are viewed going into the interview process. Depending on your number, it could also anchor you and box you into a salary amount.

It’s important to negotiate, but not too early or too late. The best way to feel confident in answering these questions is to be prepared.

Acknowledge the question and pivot from directly answering it. Use a bridging technique to answer the question, specifically if it’s first or second interview.

Why this is important? The recruiter or talent manager may not have an in depth understanding of the role, the hiring manager will be the best person to answer this question.

Research and ask what other options available, and what has been done in the past. Salary negotiation is not about the dollars, it may be easier for the employer to provide flexible work arrangements, vacations or other benefits. Or it may be better to get a foot in the door and take advantage of their growth opportunities with learning and development.

Salary negotiation tips… How to be ready for a salary negotiation…

Before you go into a negotiation

Do your salary research: use multiple sources for your research. Look at the industry, job sites with similar roles, and other people who have held similar roles.

Understand the company’s compensation and benefits: Review the job description, company listed benefits and offers to retain talent.

Know your numbers: Be clear on your bottom-line number, your ideal number and the middle ground, this includes what you are willing to trade.

Be clear on your proof of value: This will include your accomplishments and any thing that differentiates you from the rest.

During the negotiation

Be confident and assertive: If you are not confident in your numbers, it will show in the conversation and you will have a harder time demonstrating what you are worth.

Let them offer: Don’t rush to give out your number. Acknowledge the question and pivot to the range and ask what they had in mind. Remember the negotiation doesn’t end at the salary number, there are other compensation offers that can be negotiated.

Communicate your value: Before answering the question on the number, share your accomplishments and areas that you think you will be able to bring value to the organization. Share what you have learnt with your research regarding the industry and the market, and based on what you offer you believe a fair compensation is $_______ (enter ideal #).

Stay with it – but know when to stop: Keep your bottom-line number, and the benefit areas that you are interested at the forefront. Don’t drag it out, know when to stop! This may not go in your favor if you do. Dragging it out, can frustrate the hiring manger and burn bridges for other potential opportunities. If the company can not meet your expectations, respectfully withdraw your application and focus on opportunities that can.

After the negotiation

Get it in writing: Ask for documentation that shows the agreed salary and any special arrangements. Ensure the document is signed by both you and the employer.

Tip: When necessary, leverage that you are looking around – this will enhance the scarcity and apply a bit more pressure to the hiring manager to negotiate more.

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