How To Get A Better Offer
By Kibet Tobias
No matter how great the job interview goes, there’s always that one question that stops you short. What are you looking for in terms of salary? Such a straightforward question and yet, the answer is so complex and tricky.
You want to aim high, but what if you put yourself out of salary range? On the other hand, if your target compensation is too low, you leave the employer room to go even lower and you could end up miserable.
Worse, you don’t want to decide before you even know what the job is, as you do when asked to disclose a salary on an application.
While there may be no right answer, there is a way to think about the question and get what you want.
Here are some strategies to try when asked how much you expect to get paid:
Salary Negotiation Tips
1. Wait for the appropriate time.
Once you know what you should be earning, how do you go about getting it? Start by being very patient. When interviewing for a new position, do your best not to bring up compensation until the employer makes you an offer.
2. Resist throwing out the first number
If you’re asked what your salary requirements are, say that they are open based upon the position and the overall compensation package. Or tell the employer you’d like to know more about the responsibilities and the challenges of the job prior to discussing salary.
3. Know What You are Worth
In order to evaluate salary offers and to decide if an organization’s salary ranges are appropriate for your experience, it is important to thoroughly research salary in your field.
It’s important to keep your financial needs front-and-center. Will the salary you request cover your expenses? If not, how will you make up the difference? Weigh your needs against the research you’ve done about salary — if the two numbers aren’t a close to each other, it could be a sign that the role isn’t a good match.
4. Base your salary request on data
If you’re forced to give a number, provide a salary range based upon the research you’ve done up front. Use this research to inform your negotiating technique. Talk about what’s appropriate for the role, based on your experience and what you have to offer. Resist the temptation to talk about your personal financial needs.
5. Take your time.
Once you’ve received the offer, you don’t need to accept (or reject) it right away. A simple “I need to think it over” can get you an increase in the original offer.
Ask colleagues in your field what salary range they think is suitable for your background. Also, consider regional differences in salaries and the cost of living as you determine an appropriate salary range for your location.
All that said, remember it can be tempting to lie on the numbers on your previous earnings. Will anyone know the difference if you round up? In fact, it is possible that employers will verify your compensation at previous job(s), so being truthful is essential. Honesty will drive your career to greater heights!