As much are you come prepared with answers for an interview, you will not want to be not be caught off-guard during salary negotiations. Even if you know the market range for your job, chances are the recruiter will likely counter-offer with a lower than expected amount. The key is not to accept the amount offered immediately. Rather, see this as an opportunity to negotiate.
The following scenarios will help you think through how to respond when recruiters throw the curve-ball at you so that you will not be flustered and agree to their offer right-away.
1. “What are your salary expectations”?
How you can respond
– I am more interested in finding a position that is a good fit for my skills. I am confident that what you are offering is competitive.
– I am flexible on compensation. The position and growth potential are much more important to me. Would you be willing to share the rough range you have in mind for this position?
– If they still push you for an answer, come prepared with some market data. Based on my research, the market rate for a position like this is XXX – XXX. Also, do check out Chris Voss’s Book on “Never Split the Difference” where he shows readers how to negotiate in any situation.
2. “How much are you currently making?”
– Do not disclose your current salary early in the process.
How you can respond
– I prefer not to discuss what I am currently making because this position I am interviewing for is not exactly the same as my current job. I would like to discuss the responsibilities and then I am sure we will agree on a salary that is appropriate.
– My current employer does not allow me to discuss compensation outside of the company, I would like to respect their privacy.
– You can input “N/A” or an obviously incorrect number, like $1 on the online job application form.
– If you have already listed your compensation, be ready to re-frame that amount during the interview process. Highlight if you have taken on significant responsibilities in your current job or classes to improve your skills.
3. “Unfortunately, we don’t have any room to negotiate.”
– Ask about the compensation package as a whole (Vacation, tuition, reimbursement, stock options, bonus, work from home flexibility).
– I understand that at this point, salary isn’t negotiable. I see that you have a tuition reimbursement program and I wan to get my ___ certification. Would you consider sponsoring my program?
4.“In the future you will have opportunities for growth and raises.”
– Don’t let the conversation end there. See it as an invitation to specifically discuss what will come next.
– Because this number is a little lower than I feel comfortable with. I would love to discuss my future and performance. I know that one of the most important things in this role is _____. If I am able to deliver that in _____, would you be open to raising my compensation to _____ then?
– If they agree, make sure you get this written down into your employment contract.
I understand that going for interviews can be daunting enough, what’s more negotiating your remuneration package! Just as we come prepared with questions during an interview, we will need to be prepared for salary negotiation. Do not agree at their first offer simply because you are afraid the job will slip away if you negotiate. Data has shown that men earn more than women. One of the reason being men are much more likely to negotiate and are more confident in their abilities. So ladies, know your worth!
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