The most uncomfortable stage during a job interview is when a recruiter ask “What is your salary expectation”? Most job seekers panic at this stage and lose out because they lack the tips to a successful salary negotiation.
Even though most employers already have a budget for the role they are recruiting for, pushing this question back to you gives them two advantages:
- It helps them determine if you know your worth
- It help them test your negotiation skill.
- And lastly but most importantly it help them decide if you are within their reach.
For job seekers, it is a delicate moment. You do not want to “over-price” yourself and at the same time, you want to be sure you are getting a good bargain for yourself.
Like every stage of the interview process, it is extremely important that you are adequately prepared to give the right answer when you get to that stage.
Doing well at interview, requires that you know precisely how to answer all the common interview questions. One way to ensure that you do is to be well prepared. The level of your preparedness is what will make the difference between a successful interview and a job interview that goes awful.
Top Salary Negotiation Tips During A Job Interview
#1: Research the average salary for the role in your industry
The first thing you have to do to successful answer the question “What is your salary expectation” is to conduct a industry research into what the average salary for the role you are applying for is.
Every industry has an average range of wage that they pay based on a number of factors. The fact that someone in an industry is earning X amount does not automatically mean your own industry will pay the same.
Whenever possible, you can also look for insiders in the company you are being recruited into and ask what the salary is for the role you are been interviewed for.
One other simple hack is to ask on popular question and answer forums like quora and LinkedIn groups.
#2: Be Flexible In Your Asking
Great job so far. You have researched properly and luckily you have a figure in your head.
Unfortunately negotiating salary is not called a negotiation for the fun of it. You also need to apply the principle of negotiations.
In the heart of a successful negotiation, is the fundamental principle that, “there is no winner or loser”. You must ditch the winner’s take all mentality”.
Fortunately, you are usually first given the option of naming your desired wage. In answering the question, you therefore need to give room for negotiation.
Do not say “This is the amount I am willing to earn” and take that as the final desired salary.
Rather give a range of your salary expectation. Give a upper and lower range that is not too far apart.
For example you should say “I am willingly to accept between N500,000 and N550,000” rather than “I am willingly to accept N500,000”.
#3. Give a reason for your request.
If you have given a particular salary range and you noticed that it is above what your potential employer is willing to pay, then you have to be able to justify your reason for requesting that range in the first place.
This is not the time to panic and do not be the first to back down immediately. Rather it is the best time to test how high or low, they are willingly to go.
Explain to them how your skill can help save the company from spending money on something else or explain how your career path requires you to take certain course and why it is important that your salary be just enough to help you achieve this.
Whatever you do ,justify the amount you are asking for but do not say things like “You need the money to feed your family” or something lame like that.
#4. Do not beg
One worst thing you can do is to beg to be either offered a job or a particular salary.
Once I was part of an interview panel and after interviewing all the candidates, we were discussing what we felt about each candidates we had seen. There was one particular candidate that did very well and as we were concluding and giving our own insight into why we felt he was the best candidate for the role, this same candidate busted back into the room and start pleading to be offered the job.
He went as far as explaining why he needed the job, how his wife is ill and he went on and on.
Of course, we told him not to worry. That he should just expect to hear from us but that singular act disqualified him.
Moral: Never beg. Once you have decided on what you consider fair range, please stick to it.
#5 Do not change your mind:
I have interviewed candidates who sometimes agree to a salary and then come back after a few days to re-negotiate.
This is why it is important that you are prepared for every stage of the interview process. Until you pick your offer letter, the job search is not over.
But what happens if you can not decided on a range at that interview?
Then you need to ask for some period of time to go and think about it. You do not have to be pressured into giving an answer immediately.
What will be wrong is to agree to a fix salary and the recruiter has concluded that is what you want to earn and then come back later signifying you want to renegotiate.
Salary negotiation is one of the most feared discussion during the interview process and the earlier you are prepared for that question, the higher your chance of succeeding at the interview and getting the job.
How did you answer the question “What is your expected salary”?
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