How to negotiate a salary

Got that second interview? Congratulations! Now it’s time to consider your salary expectations…

Here are a few tips on how to negotiate a salary you want and deserve, without jeopardising the prospect of getting the job:

Do some research

Investigate two important aspects: the company’s pay scale and salary policy, and market-related salaries for your position. Know what similar positions at other companies are paying and what your minimum salary requirement is. It’s a waste of time interviewing for a low paying job at a company that will not be able to pay you what you deserve.

Hold your expectations

If possible avoid mentioning your salary expectations in your initial job application. This could end you up on the “not to be considered” pile, or get you a salary offer much less than what the employer originally had planned to offer… Rather wait for the appropriate time in your interview to discuss your salary.

Negotiate Salary

Know your worth

If you’ve received any other job offers, mention it in the interview, but don’t be too overconfident or cocky about it. If an employer realises you are in demand, you are in a good position to negotiate a higher salary and more benefits.

Convince them they need you

Tell the employer of your accomplishments in your previous jobs. How you’ve increased productivity, turnover and achieved outstanding goals. Show them that they cannot afford not to employ you. They will feel naturally inclined to offer you a better package to avoid the risk of losing you to another employer.

Don’t speak first

Don’t be the first to propose a salary figure. However, do mention that you are interested in a mutually beneficial working relationship and wait for the employer to throw out a figure to discuss. If they don’t however, and you are forced to mention a figure, do provide one, but say that it is “up for negotiation”. It is important not to overestimate, but also not underestimate your value when you provide a salary figure. Take all your research, the company and your needs into consideration.

Keep a poker face

When the employer makes their first offer, be attentive to your facial expressions and body language at the time. Don’t look obviously disappointed, or eagerly excited. Simply nod, indicating you are considering the offer. If the employer offered you the lowest possible figure, often they’ll increase their offer in that moment of consideration, in fear of losing a possibly great employee.

Be reasonable/flexible

Never be greedy, or arrogant about a salary offer. You could walk away from it and they might reconsider their offer, but don’t stake your career on it. They could decide to rather go with someone who is willing to work for that amount. Think it through and take your career goals into consideration before declining a job offer. This new job at a slightly less than expected salary or benefits could perhaps later open up greater career opportunities for you…

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