Career Advancement General Knowledge Internship Interview Tips

How to Negotiate Salary Wisely?

The question of salary and benefits is not a sensitive issue as most of us may feel. It’s also not something that you should be hesitant to discuss at the interview. After all, you’re qualified, experienced, intelligent and determined. It’s one of the critical things in an interview that has to be done and companies are also ready to pay the market rate for that position since they were willing to advertise. They are looking for the ‘best fitting’ employee for their salary scale so it’s not a set figure but a range of figures. It would be quite silly of companies to do this exercise and then settle to hire a candidate who falls below or above that range.

Here are some thoughts you can take into consideration to negotiate your salary.

1. You’re a professional.

You’re a professional with the experience necessary to compensate the employer for what you’re going to be paid. Your value is your asset.

2. You’re not a timid person.

Don’t mistake humility with timidity. Both of these have their places in life, but not in your professional life. Humility can be good but not when you communicate your salary range. Employers value people with a bit of aggressive confidence, especially when such confidence is necessary for your position.

3. Have a plan and strategy of your own. Establish a strong position of your value.

The plan is to keep the interview going on long enough for them to see your value and then bring up the salary question. Some recruiters hire candidates with the lowest salary expectation in this part of the world. Having said that, if you are a very talented person, you could bring significant value to your organisation such as increase in sales, new areas of business and financial savings. Once they see this value which they can get, you could establish a stronger, justified footing for negotiation.

Two (2) more concerns:

i. There are times when you might be compared to someone whom they had earlier and who worked for less. Understand that these are all just strategies. Instead of arguing, you could say, “I’m a different candidate”. Sounds a bit blunt but it’s true isn’t it? Every candidate is different so an interview is not the place to make this comparison as this goes back to the “morning market” syndrome, “How come he is selling it cheaper than you?” With a strategy of your own, in this case, a calm professional response, you have the ability to keep the ball on your court.

ii. Another concern is if you were to be judged based on your last drawn salary. This would be fine in your first few jobs but what if you were poorly paid? Should that be a benchmark for the next position where you could bring all you’ve learned? A new company would greatly benefit, especially when you’ve had all the training and they don’t have to stress themselves about that. Therefore, try to change the conversation and get them to judge you based on value.


4. If they bring up the salary at the very beginning.

Watch out for this one. If they do bring up the salary question at the beginning of the interview, then it’s bad and good. Bad because it could mean they’re trying to eliminate you based on a figure. For this reason, it’s better to put a salary range on your resume. Something you could play with. Again, here’s something to think about. The range stated on your resume is just the submission part but the face to face interview is where the discussion and flexibility happens, so let them get to know you and get a feel of how it will be working with you. By building that rapport and getting through this part, the interview continues and you don’t get eliminated based just on figures.

If they say at the onset, “Is your expected salary negotiable? Because, we think it’s a bit on the high side.”

You could say, “Would it be possible to discuss what I can bring to your company? Then we could circle back to the salary?” Follow this step and keep the interview going long enough past this stage for them to discover your value.

5. You bring it up if they don’t.

It is your obligation to bring up the salary question if they don’t. Some recruiters do not bring this up on purpose as they want to see how you bring it up. The best way is to be direct and simple. When most of the items have been discussed, make your move. Here are some bad and good examples for you.

Bad example:

Jobseeker A: “How much are you going to pay me?

Jobseeker B: “What is the salary?

Good example:

Jobseeker C: “What is the salary range you have in mind for this position?” 

(You may ask in a professional way, preferably in English) 

They might try to bring your expectations down but you could answer, “I understand but I know you have high expectations and I’m prepared to do what is expected of me.”

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this because it’s the most important part of the interview, not taboo. You can only be confident of a second interview if this could be ironed out in the first.

While we dealt mostly with how an experienced candidate could use their experience as leverage, there’s no reason why a fresh graduate can’t present themselves professionally to get what they want albeit at a lower scale. It’s the value issue again and how a fresh grad can articulate their value.

As mentioned before, good communication is the final key to everything else from the point of introduction. Recruiters want to see how you talk and respond for that rapport. There are countless scenarios in which questions with the right responses can be discussed and Xremo Recruitment Advisors can certainly help you out in these areas of communication to prepare you for your upcoming interview.