Negotiating salary is often the part people balk at when securing a new position. What if I ask for too much, and they decide not to offer me the job? What if I ask for too little? What’s the right answer when the hiring manager asks what my salary requirements are? Here are a few, simple do’s and don’t’s when talking money with your potential employer:
- Definitely do your research. Know what a reasonable salary for the position is and have an answer prepared ahead of time, should you get asked the dreaded money question in a first interview.
- Discuss how you can contribute to the overall bottom line of the company. Sharing what you have to offer will help them understand what value you bring to the table and make a higher-end offer more likely.
- Express confidence. Confidence has been shown to garner higher offers in interviews.
- Take notes. With a written record, you’ll be clear about what was said or offered, and it shows you’re serious about details.
- Negotiate, but honestly. If you get a higher offer from another company, don’t hesitate to share it and ask if they can match the offer, expressing you’d really like to come work for them.
- Consider the whole package a company has to offer. Paid time off, generous parental leave and flexible hours can mean as much as if not more than salary.
- Don’t be in a rush. Let the hiring manager do the offering; don’t bring it up yourself. If the salary is lower than you expected, express thanks and ask for time to think it over.
- Confidence is a plus, but don’t be stubborn. Listen respectfully and consider everything they have to offer, salary and other benefits, too.
- Don’t lie about your previous salary. It’s too easy to get caught in this day and age, and it just may cost you your new job, potentially after you’ve quit your old one.
- Don’t over-apologize. If you’ve made a mistake, of course “I’m sorry” is warranted but once and genuinely is enough. Don’t apologize for your opinions, either.
- Don’t make it all about what you need, i.e. “Well, I’ve got all these college loans, and I’m helping my sister out with her rent…” It should be about the assets you bring to the company, not a sob story.
Bottom line is this: be prepared, confident and as relaxed as possible. Above all, be genuine and honest about your desires for the position and the skills you can offer. That said, money doesn’t have to be such a big deal.
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