A great job can offer so much more than a decent salary but at some stage the issue will come up, and knowing your preferred salary before walking into an interview is critical. It lets you discuss money matters in an informed way with a hiring manager – and the way you handle salary negotiation can be the difference between securing the money you want and pricing yourself out of the job altogether.
To get started, ask yourself a few questions:
- What salary would entice you to leave your current position?
- What remuneration is realistic given your skills, qualifications and experience? Take a look at current live jobs on our website to see what the market is paying.
- How much do you know about salaries paid to others in your industry with similar experience?
To accurately determine your salary requirements, you need to do a little research – and consider the best way to respond to questions about your preferred salary in the interview.
Negotiating salary: how to prepare
1. Get your figures right
Do some homework and research the latest salary trends for your city, industry and job title by reviewing compensation surveys and publications such as the Robert Half Salary Guide, and talking to colleagues and recruiters.
2. Present a solid case
You need to be able to talk specifically about your skills, experience and prior successes, especially those that have had measurable effect on the bottom line. This will definitely benefit you when the time comes for salary negotiation. Don’t be afraid to let your enthusiasm for the role show – your passion can be contagious.
3. Don’t get ahead of yourself
Wait for the hiring manager to bring up the salary discussion and make sure you fully understand the requirements of the position before answering questions about your preferred pay. Ask prospective employers what they think would be an appropriate pay range for the position so you can avoid giving a figure that is too high or low.
4. Don’t bluff
It’s never a good move to mislead a prospective employer about your current compensation or other higher-paying job offers in an effort to get more money. Instead, emphasise the value you can bring to the firm, and be honest about your desired salary.
When it comes to receiving a job offer and negotiating salary, here are a few considerations:
- Always try to negotiate – If you’re offered a salary that doesn’t meet your expectations, it’s okay to request additional compensation. Employers may start at the lower end of their salary range, leaving room to move.
- Think beyond the pay packet – Be sure to look at the full picture when evaluating a job offer. The job you love could offer a generous benefits package or opportunities to learn and grow with the company, which may compensate for a lower starting salary.
- Get it in writing – Before accepting a job offer, make sure that you get an offer in writing stating the salary. It’s never a good idea to formally accept a job offer without seeing it in writing.
Make your days count when you love what you do.
Compare your salary with the industry average and ace your next salary negotiation. Download the Robert Half Salary Guide to find out more. Read our related article for more information: