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How to successfully negotiate salary at a job interview

Career Tips - By Lolita Bunde
There is nothing more fulfilling than discussing your salary at a job interview (Photo: Shutterstock)

There is nothing more fulfilling than discussing your salary at a job interview. It is both an exciting and scary feeling all at the same time. On one hand, you have the chance to curve your own future and fight for how much you are worth, at the same time you don’t want to come out too desperate or demanding for the job.

Finding the right balance to be able to negotiate what is basically your future can be tricky. Here are tips that can help you improve your negotiation skills during a job interview:

Know your worth

Before walking into an interview, ensure to do your research on this particular job and find out the going rate for your position in that particular field. When you walk into an interview without a figure and how you are going to defend it, you leave yourself at the mercy of a hiring manager who is more experienced and will quickly read you like a book and control the whole conversation.

Pick the highest figure

In the case that you have to choose what range of money to go with, always go with the highest figure. When you go too low your hiring manager will think you are desperate or not sure about yourself, this might reduce your chances of getting the job. Furthermore, you should never forget you are negotiating on money so your hiring manager will obviously have some cards up their sleeve. When you go with the highest figure and they try to negotiate down, you are less likely to leave the room with an amount that won’t please you.

Know the exact figure

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When you are negotiating salary, do not generalize the amount you expect in a range of values. You might think you are playing safe trying not to cage yourself but in the real sense it will only spell uncertainty. When you quote an exact figure the employer is more likely to believe you’ve done more extensive research into your market value to reach that specific number. Besides you make it easy for them to negotiate down when you are uncertain of yourself.

Avoid too much personal talk

Of course your hiring manager will ask about your professional and personal life. Before you indulge too much in your personal life, always remember to give just the enough information. When you give too much you will sound too needy and desperate for the job, while giving too little won’t let your interviewers in. Create the balance between the two, so when it comes to negotiating salary you can confidently represent yourself.

Show what you can do

When you get into the interview room, show what you can do. Impress. Impressing your employer doesn’t mean bragging about your achievements. Show your employer what you are capable of and what they will be having by hiring you. Do your research on the company and try to focus more towards the future and not the past. By showing the employer your worth, this gives you an advantage when it comes to negotiating how much your skills are worth.

Organize your thoughts

Before going into an interview, avoid getting information from different places at the same time. That panicky behaviour will only confuse you and once the employer starts bombarding you with questions, you will obviously stutter. There is nothing as bad as when an employer can clearly tell you are nervous and obviously struggling to talk. You will have no chance when it comes to negotiating salary and the employer will have a field day controlling the conversation.

Be willing to walk away

Last but not least, have a price that should be your walking away point. You might be in need of a job and the hiring manager may read through you, do not sell yourself short by accepting an amount that is not worth the services you will be offering. If they find you skills unmatched, they will negotiate to your level or call you back.

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