"Asking what I considered an impossible salary when I didn't want to work for someone has boosted my pay again and again." - Ethel Waters
Ever found yourself stuck and tempted simultaneously at the "expected salary" column of the interview form? Whenever a candidate faces an interview and successfully cracks it, one of the priorities running in his mind is the salary. Salary negotiation is an art, which most fresh candidates are not aware of. As a result, they either end up with a salary lower than their expectation, or lower than the set industry standards. The thing with salary negotiations is that, one cannot negotiate a salary after the negotiation window is closed, and no, it is not a real window, it is a timeframe from the time a prospect is offered a job till the time he accepts it. After you accept the offer, you cannot turn back and it is extremely difficult to make any negotiations after the acceptance. Though it is tough for a candidate to make the decision makers offer the maximum salary they can, you are in a position to negotiate when you know that the employer is going to hire you. Agreed, to know the mind of the interviewer is an extremely difficult task, but, to make out what can be the maximum salary he is going to pay in a ballpark figure is not that difficult task. All it needs is a little research and presence of mind. Here are a few tips which will help you while negotiating salary with the interviewer.
Indulge in Research
Before even walking in for an interview, try to get acquainted with the company's profile, salary policies, average salary and the industry average. This is important because you might have a lot of potential, but the union constraints might limit the flexibility in salary. Also, you need to have a prior knowledge of the minimum salary that can be offered to you. Considering all these factors, along with your minimum salary expectations, decide a deal breaker point. Secondly, a confident and calculated response in answer to the questions about your salary expectations will reflect your confidence.
Maintain Poker Face
Never disclose your salary expectations to the employer till the time you are really needed to. Always leave the column for salary expectations blank and never mention salary expectations on your Curriculum Vitae. Wait till you are in the "to be considered" list to disclose your salary expectations, which might be really high according to them or even worse low. While the former option looks more obvious, chances of the latter cannot be ruled out. For instance, if, at the time of interview, you ask for a salary of $40000 per annum and later realize that the interviewers were willing to pay a maximum salary of $55000, then it is going to be your loss, as you won't be able to ask for a higher salary after you have your cards displayed in front of them.
You Are Worth It!
Remember, you are worth every penny you try to negotiate for yourself; so, never hesitate to put your point during the negotiations. Try to anticipate if you are in a position of power. This can be realized in two ways—either you are in great demand elsewhere or the company needs you really urgently. This will decide who will have an upper hand in the salary negotiations; also, if you have an received an offer from elsewhere mention the same as it will add on to your leverage. Even though you know that you are in a position to intimidate, don't act cocky or be overconfident as it would create a negative image of you.
Hard Sell Yourself
During the interview and negotiations, talk about the accomplishments and the major projects you were a part of. Talk about a whole lot of stuff like cost-cutting measures you initiated, higher productivity plans which worked out great and overall contributions which helped the company. Such specifications will help the interviewers recognize the potential inside you and hence, boost up the offered salary. Remember, you have to act like a product that you need to sell in the market.
Don’t be rigid on figures, as on many occasions, despite the offered salary being less than the expected salary, the company cumulatively pays more than the expected salary on a yearly basis. This can be in the form of perks, bonus, material and non-material benefits and so on. As such, be a little flexible while negotiating even if you are offered a salary a little lower than your expectation. Don’t be adamant; instead look at the whole package. Ask about the increments and their frequency, leaves and insurance etc.
One should keep an open mind while negotiating a salary. Keep a note that the only way you can get a higher starting salary is by being in a really sought-after position.