AUTHOR: Saima Omar

 Have you managed to get a job interview, but unsure of when the right time is to negotiate the salary?

You'll need to consider what figure you're willing to accept, as the salary you negotiate for yourself will deeply impact your attitude to the job on offer. There are a few schools of thoughts on when to negotiate the salary in an interview and how to do it.

In every scenario, you can start laying the groundwork for your salary negotiation even before the first interview.

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When you are invited to come in for an interview

Either a recruitment agent or the employer will contact you to request a meeting for your first interview. Some jobs require several interviews and stages to get the job offer. When you are invited for the interview, either by email or telephone, you are more than within your rights to ask what the salary banding or ranges are. This will help you decide whether it is worth pursuing further.

See also: How to nail these tricky interview questions that throw most people off

If you don't ask – You don't get

During the actual interview, if you're offered a fixed figure, or have been armed with this knowledge through the job specification, you can still negotiate the compensation you receive for the job.

"We found that those people who attempted to negotiate their salary in a constructive way are perceived as more favourable than those who didn't negotiate at all, because they were demonstrating the skills the company wanted to hire them for," says Robin Pinkley, co-author of Get Paid What You're Worth and an associate professor of strategy and entrepreneurship at Southern Methodist University Cox School of Business.

With this in mind, don't feel the need to settle for the first offer you get. A well-researched argument for what compensation you deserve for the role will impress the recruiter. 

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Do your research on salary bandings prior to the interview

Before going to your interview, learn about the company's salary scopes and benefits as well as industry salary ranges. Also learn about the company, in terms of number of staff, turnover, its competition and the industry. Will there be capacity for the salary you want? Do they offer additional benefits, as well as upward mobility for loyal staff? This information will be crucial to decide on whether the job is right for you.

See also: 10 highest paid jobs that won't make you yawn

Don't bring up salary talk too early on in the interview

It's wise to steer the conversation to talk about the experience and the value you can bring to the company before you talk about money. Outlining why you're a candidate they can't afford to miss out on is crucial before you begin the talks of negotiation for a salary. 

The key is to make them believe your experience, attitude and what you bring to the table is worth the figure you eventually ask for.

To outline your worth, reference your value in measurable performance indicators, which may include talks about how much money you saved your company, how much money you made for the company in terms of new business, how you saved a company reputation by damage limitation strategy, how you have excelled in innovating the company in areas of your expertise and so on. Then tell them precisely how you think your work for them will help their company – what you want to do for them, and how you will achieve this.

Prior to this point you will be one of their many candidates who need the job for monetary reasons and therefore can be easily dismissed. When the employer is convinced you're a good fit, that is when the ball is in your court. It turns the table from a matter of budgets and saving money, to, how are we going to make this happen to ensure this candidate chooses our company for employment?

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Try to talk about a salary range before the employer does

If you are the one to mention a salary, it will help the employer understand the starting ballpark figure. From here, this is where they can begin their negotiation. When you start talking about salary expectations, mention industry standards for that role and region. It is not recommended that you ask for a figure that is not in line with your experience, industry standard, and the salary research you previously did about what existing candidates are getting. Pulling a random salary figure out of thin air without justification doesn't look great on your part – it just looks greedy. During your interview, you don't have to settle on a sum, or exact salary figure – try to stick to regions, such as between X amount and X, as the employer, more often than not, will present you with the offer of a salary in conjunction with the job offer.

If you get the call, after your interview, offering the job…

It's a great feeling, isn't it? When you've aced your interview and you receive a call to say that they would love to offer you the job. In this 'feel-good' moment, we often want to bite their hand off and accept straight away. But many career advisors will say don't commit too quickly.

The employer will usually offer the job and the salary simultaneously. Even if you like the sound of the offer, it's a clever tactic to make the employer wait for your final agreement. This is your chance to get more – not necessarily in monetary value – but in terms of flexibility of working hours, health care benefits, extra paid holidays and so on.

Tell the employer you will give them an answer within a certain time frame and think about what you will request and why.

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Articulate your expectations in relation to the value you bring:

When you are calling back to accept the job offer, based on salary negotiation, articulate what you want out of the job, in terms of salary, benefits and upward promotion prospects. Benefits can include flexi-time hours, working remotely part time, management or ownership over a project, training on the job, or job title.

If you haven't accepted the salary they offered to you in conjunction with the job offer, and you request a higher figure, the employer may say they are unable to meet that sum.

If the employer can't give you the exact salary expectation you have, think about other worthy possibilities that might not cost as much but will benefit you that you can counter-offer them your employment with. A good investment in yourself is to ask for education or further training funded by them, which can help in your long-standing marketability for future prospects.

To find out how you can get the ball rolling and finally get the career you've dreamed of, give us a call on 01273 907 919 and we can discuss your options today. We're waiting to hear from you.

 

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