Negotiating the best starting salary
Understandably, many people find discussing salaries uncomfortable and embarrassing during an interview. However, most interviewers expect some bartering and, if it motivates you to put more into the job, it is worthwhile for both the applicant and the employer. More than any other negotiation, a starting salary must result in a win-win situation.
Tips for negotiating the best starting salary
Know your value
Prior to the interview, research the company and salary range for the position you are applying for. Conduct a salary research so you can understand your market value by:
Comparing salaries in job adverts – remember different locations might attract higher or lower wages
Checking out online salary surveys (e.g. www.ukrecruiter.co.uk/salary.htm)
Contacting people in the same job or industry to ask what other companies pay.
Say as little as possible
An interviewer will want to discuss salary as early as possible so they do not waste time with someone they cannot afford. They may also like to dwell on your past salary, in order to keep your salary expectations low. You need to delay the talk of salary as long as possible until you can convince them that you are the person they need. So:
Avoiding discussing salary until you have a job offer. If you do, you could price yourself out of a job.
Get the employer to disclose salary before you do.
Do not disclose past salary. If pushed for a figure, you could say, ‘but of course, I wouldn’t accept that figure at today’s rate of pay’ or ‘but I took that lower wage in lieu of training’. Alternatively, ensure you include the entire value of the package that you received – not just the basic salary.
If pressed by the interviewers about desired salary, try ‘What kind of salary range are you working with?’ or ‘I’d like to make as much as other employees with my qualifications’ or ‘What is a typical salary for this position?’ or ‘Until I learn more about the responsibilities I cannot make a meaningful suggestion, but will consider a reasonable offer’. Another strategy is name a pay range instead.