You’ve spent months searching and interviewing for the perfect job and you finally receive an offer — but it’s not over yet. You still need to negotiate your salary, and that can be a highly emotional issue, especially when it comes to attaching a dollar amount to your worth. But there’s no need to panic. Remain calm and smoothly master the art of negotiation with The Five O’Clock Club’s strategic approach to the compensation conversation:
Avoid the subject
Don’t get into the salary discussion before you receive a job offer. When asked about your salary requirements, you can simply say, “My requirements are flexible,” or “My salary is negotiable.” Many interviewers might push you for a response, but you should explain that it’s difficult to talk salary until you know more about the scope and responsibilities involved in the position. If asked about the salary in your previous position, you may make the point that your last job’s compensation isn’t applicable to the one for which you are currently interviewing.
Reverse the question
If your interviewer continues to press for an answer, don’t take the bait. Turn the question around and respond by asking, “What is the range you normally pay for this position?” or “What do you consider this position to be worth?” You can then simply confirm if their answer is within the range you’re looking for, but be careful not to show your joy or dismay. It’s important to do your research to know what you’re worth in the market before the interview.
Tell a range
In some cases, you will have to mention a salary figure first. This is where the knowledge about what you’re worth steps in. If you aren’t sure where to start, check out salary.com, careerjournal.com or salaryexpert.com. You can also look at national, regional and local comparisons from professional and trade organization salary surveys.
Still, a job isn’t always about the money. There are many other benefits to be negotiated along with your salary such as a signing bonus, extra vacation time or telecommuting one day a week. Most importantly, make sure the job itself is a good fit for you. A job that gives you great satisfaction may be worth more than your employer can pay.