Interviews and Negotiating Salary

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interviews and negotiating salary by Candidate Tips

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Every time we meet people on workshops, or for one-to-one coaching, we are always asked about interviews and negotiating salary. And, where participants offer their thoughts, they mostly get it wrong. Two points to keep in your mind when thinking about this subject:

  1. Like any negotiation, have an ideal salary in your mind (your realistic dream number), and a bottom line number (one you would not go under).
    They short-listed you because they think you can do the job. And, if it has got to this topic, they have already more than short-listed you! Therefore you have an excellent bargaining position.
  2. Employment is an equal contract where you offer services and they pay you for this. So what is your worth? It’s probably more than you think.

Here is a simple methodology for what can be a fairly complex area:

  1. Never negotiate your salary early in the process. It is much better to wait until they offer you the role. You are then in a position of power.
    Some organisations have strict rules about what a role can be paid. However, most will have some flexibility, and use salary ‘bands’ rather than a straight figure. this provides room for negotiation.
  2. Don’t tell them your current salary unless you can absolutely help it. They will often just offer ‘a bit more to make you happy’. One tip is to let them know the amount your ‘package’ is worth and provide that as a salary figure.
  3. We know from research that those who negotiate their salary get paid considerably more than those that do not.
  4. Some organisations have strict rules about what a role can be paid. However, most will have some flexibility, and use salary ‘bands’ rather than a straight figure. this provides room for negotiation.
  5. Where an organisation has strict salary guidelines, you may want to think of the negotiation as a package. This is negotiating terminology. Your package is likely to be made of of a number of elements. As well as the cash element, there is pension (possibly), medical/health, possible car, insurances, and a number of other non-cash benefits. Increasing numbers of organisations view this as a shopping basket. For example, you may be able to forego medical and have that added to the salary. You might be able to have a lower specification can, and have the difference added to salary.
  6. Make sure you are talking to the right person – the one who has the authority. If you have been asked at first interview it is unlikely this person has the authority so be vague – ‘I like the role so I would consider any reasonable offer’.
  7. If under pressure to give a figure, provide a range ensuring the bottom figure is about 10% more than your realistic expectation. They may try and negotiate you down.
  8. Therefore, do your homework. Know what the going rate is for the role. There are a number of sites that can help you with this. Try this one, for example.

So, make sure they have a strong desire to employ you before you start a negotiation, do negotiate, and make sure you have done your homework. Like any negotiation, have an ideal salary in your mind (your realistic dream number), and a bottom line number (one you would not go under).

If you are following pathways, there is a new pathway on choosing from different job offers here.

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