40 percent of employees accepted their initial salary offer and did not conduct salary negotiation in their current or most recent job. However, 17 percent of those who did negotiate reported getting more money for their position. Preparing to make a counteroffer during your next interview process is vital to ensure you don’t leave money on the table.
Although an employer and recruiting firms hold most of the negotiating power for a job hire, salary is one aspect that candidates can and should negotiate. Since the average raise is close to three percent, candidates should make sure that they are satisfied with their salary, as it is not likely to increase much or soon after their first day.
While many candidates may be hesitant to negotiate salary, many employers expect them to and may have a flexible budget to allow for salary negotiation. Candidates that fit in with company culture and have the experience for the position are in a strong position to ask for a higher salary.
Below are three effective tips for negotiating salary during a job interview:
1. Do Your Research
In order to position yourself in the best way to negotiate salary, you need to calculate your market value. Giving an unreasonably high or low salary estimate can hurt your chances of getting the job if you lack a required skills and the recruiter questions your qualifications; take your time and do the research.
Top job search websites often provide a breakdown of average salaries by geographical area or city. Here, you can compare your resume and overall experience with job duties or requirements for the same job in your area. Candidates should determine if they feel like they deserve at or above the average salary and create a compelling argument as to why they deserve a particular wage. Sites such as Glassdoor, PayScale and Salary.com are also excellent resources for viewing aggregated data for salary and benefits.
Now that you have a baseline expectation, you should try to determine the budget the company might have for the available position. This will likely be aligned with the average salary for that position.
Related Reading: How to Kick Off the Job Application Process
2. Prepare a Counteroffer
You did well during the interview and the company reaches out to you with a job offer. Make sure to compare their offer with your expected salary and prepare to make a counteroffer. Back up your salary request by proving why you deserve to be paid higher than their initial offer.
Feel comfortable negotiating. While some job seekers might worry that they come across less desirable, recognize that most employers expect you to respond with a counteroffer. Remember that the hiring manager feels like you would make a good fit and has extended the offer to you, giving you the leverage to potentially increase your salary.
If an employer declines your counteroffer don’t assume the conversation is over. If you feel that you are making a fair counteroffer, feel free to suggest it again with more refined reasoning. However, if an employer declines your counteroffer a second time, consider opening up a conversation about the proposed salary instead of restating your previous request.
3. Remember That Negotiating Is a Conversation
Keep in mind that negotiation is not a back-and-forth of demands. Discussing salary during the interview process entails both parties having a conversation to determine what salary is best for the candidate and the company. Timing is also key; avoid bringing up salary amounts too early in the process or waiting too long and missing your chance to negotiate.
Steer clear from bringing personal life considerations into the salary negotiation process. Challenges such as caring for children or student debt are irrelevant to the salary offer.
It’s okay to take the full timeframe to make a decision. The choice to accept the position at the offered amount should take deliberation, especially if you are considering other positions at other companies. You can always ask for an extension if you are awaiting other offers.
While it may feel uncomfortable at first, effective salary negotiation will likely set you better financially and should make you feel better about accepting a new position, especially if you are holding multiple offers with comparable pay. Remember that employers anticipate counteroffers and you should plan to give a strong argument for why you deserve more than what a hiring manager initially offered.
Related Reading: Know Your Worth: 5 Job Offer Negotiation and Salary Negotiation Tips
Looking for a job? Sparks Group is a national staffing and recruiting firm that helps place job seekers at companies, offering positions that will further their career goals. Our recruiters work closely with candidates to prepare them in their efforts to find a job by providing guidance throughout the job search process from resume writing to helping negotiate salary during the interview stage.