How to negotiate salary – one common hesitation for most job seekers. Salary negotiation during interviews is a delicate aspect but not hard to master. According to a PayScale study, 28 percent of professionals in the survey were uncomfortable negotiating their salary!
Looking for a new job is always exciting — with nervousness sprinkled in. Most of that nervousness stems from not knowing how much we are “worth”. In other words, pitching or negotiating our salary.
However, negotiating the salary is one of the skills that every professional should recognize. While it is the most daunting experience in the entire job search process, it is also the last and the most determining step in finalizing the dream job. Sooner or later, pay satisfaction is one of the crucial factors that determines job satisfaction.
Our recruitment experts share some easy to implement and productive tips on how to negotiate salary. Move on to know more about how to negotiate salary during job interview.
Tip #1: Do your research about yourself
Before deciding how to negotiate salary with HR, carve some time to think about what skills and knowledge you bring to the table. As a part of this:
- Judge how many skills you mentioned on your resume.
- Think about ways you may have to go above and beyond what is demanded at your workplace.
Blend the results from this analysis with your attitude and work nature –
- Are you ready to move out of your comfort zone?
- You have a mindset to take on new challenges and learn skills essential for accomplishing them?
Based on all these aspects, fix a figure for your skills and work you can accomplish.
Tip #2: Focus on the company
A simple tip to remember: Bigger companies have larger budgets. Smaller companies have tighter constraints in terms of both monetary and non-monetary resources.
That said, there are many start-ups and small to medium companies that are in an active hunt for talent and ready to pay beyond their budget if they trust that the candidate is indispensable.
Hence, research the company inside out to understand its reputation and market needs.
Tip #3: Sieve through review portals
Gather as much as possible through job portals like Glassdoor that provide employees’ reviews. Similarly, if you know someone in the company, talk to them and get an idea of how good paymaster the company is.
Related: The Highest Paying Jobs of 2021
Tip #4: Think long-term
A high salary should never be the only primary factor in deciding on a company. Think long term. Analyze your work stress and responsibilities. Enquire about other perks and facilities the company is offering. Weigh every point that is on the non-monetary side of the offer.
Tip #5: Inquire about promotions and bonuses
In some cases, even companies would pay low but give promotions and hikes later one based on your performance. Hence, ask questions about promotions and bonuses. Clarify your doubts pertaining to your eligibility for the next appraisal. Gain an idea about your career growth in the company.
Tip #6: Have an idea of the minimum salary you would require
Break your salary into various expenses that you would incur. Consider immovable expenses like rent, bills, kids’ school and daycare fees, outsourcing food and housework, travel expenses, etc. Now that work from home is the norm, calculate the expenses related to the internet, laptop, and related accessories.
Add all such expenses and give yourself an upper limit on monthly or yearly expenses. This figure is the money that you will be spending at all costs.
It also represents the minimum wage that you should be pitching. This amount tells you that you cannot go below this figure at any cost, no matter how reputable the brand is or how interesting the job is.
Tip #7: Negotiating the bonuses
Companies, especially if they are reputable, offer their candidates bonuses and one-time payments. These bonuses may come in many forms including joining bonus, stocks, paid vacations, paid sick leaves, and other monetary discounts at clubs, restaurants, and resorts. Ask HR if the company offers any such perks.
Tip #8: How to negotiate salary for overseas jobs?
If you happen to be trying for a job overseas, you can ask if they pay for the flight to and fro from your hometown. Usually, companies agree to this bonus once each year. Once you have the information about bonuses, consider the overall picture of the base salary besides the bonus to be your entire salary package.
Tip #9: Get the timing right
The entire job interview process is daunting. The question on every candidate’s mind is how much the company will offer and how to negotiate salary, understandably so. Despite such tense thoughts, it is vital to get the timing right. Money matters are understandably sensitive for both the company and the candidate.
The right time is after all the interview rounds have finished. At this point, you would have established your worthiness to the company. The company will hopefully want to hire you. Thus, the end of the interview rounds is an opportune time to pitch your salary.
Tip #10: Pitch an amount more than strictly necessary
Companies would always want to pay as little as possible, which at most times is because of their budget. Hence, try pitching in more amount from your end without sounding greedy. Research how much salary other companies are paying for the same role and experience and skill set. Ask in a similar range. There is a good chance that the companies will try to bring the number down. Thus, pitching an amount more than you require will ensure that the final amount is still one that you will be happy with.
Tip #11: Pitch an exact number, not a wide range
Too often candidates leave the decision to the company. Given a chance, companies will always choose a salary nearer to the lower number in a range. Hence, it is wise to pitch an exact number. Rather than pitching $100,000 to $150,000, a candidate can request $140,000 a year, for instance.
Tip #12: Always stay professional
- Always be polite while communicating with any representative in the company.
- Reiterate how valuable you are and justify why you are pitching to an amount higher than the figure mentioned in the contract.
- Include a call-to-action sentence about setting up a time and date to get in touch to discuss it in further detail.
Tip #13: Negotiating salary over a call
Due to work from anywhere style, the whole recruitment process has gone remote. The days where negotiations about salary occurred on-site with the manager or HR look long gone and not in near sight.
The tone, the timing, the words used, etc., can make or break the whole deal, especially when you are not talking in person with your HR. Hence, gain the knack to effectively negotiate your salary over a call without risking the potential offer.
Related: Virtual Interview Preparation Tips
Tip #14: How to negotiate salary over email?
Remote work style is paving way for salary negotiations over emails too. Candidates who are regularly in touch with their recruiters may choose to opt for email negotiation.
The idea is to reiterate why candidates think the company’s offer is not adequate and provide an updated figure if they wish to do so. Before hitting “Send” read the salary negotiation mail multiple times with care.
That said, do not take too much time to respond too. Remember, emails are notorious for their waiting time, and this can change the game too.
Here is one sample template to understand how to negotiate salary over email:
I appreciate you taking the time to craft this detailed contract. I am thrilled to be offered the job of Associate Software Engineer at your company. I continue to be excited about the idea of working at your company and learning from my colleagues.
While considering the offer that your company so generously put together, I was hoping to get in touch to revisit some of the details mentioned in the contract. As I’d mentioned in the previous interviews with the managers and HR, I believe my 5+ years of experience as an associate software engineer might interest you to revisit the proposed salary. The contract letter mentions my base salary to be $120,000. However, based on the office location and my previous experience in a similar role, I’d like to reiterate my pitch for $140,000.
My previous experience has taught me that I can bring a lot of value to the company. I am always striving to go above what the job demands and contribute as much as I can to the company.
Thank you for considering my request. I am eagerly looking forward to our conversation.
Tip #15: How to negotiate salary based on other offers?
Companies offering jobs usually mention a deadline by which candidates are supposed to respond. If the candidates fail to respond by the deadline, then the company will consider the offer as null. Candidates can use this to their advantage.
If you are in conversations with a company that you are interested in the most, then you can mention other job offers to prompt the company to raise the quoted salary.
This job may be in the best interest, but it is imperative to consider other offers you may have in hand before making a decision. Consider the location as well as the salaries and bonuses that other companies are offering.
Then, you may choose to negotiate with the company of your interest. You can cite the offers from other companies in your negotiations.
Here’s an email template on how to negotiate salary considering other offers in hand:
Thank you for responding promptly to my email. I have completed interviewing for the associate engineer job and am waiting to hear back from HR on the next steps. I have received positive feedback and am hoping for things to move forward. I am reaching out because I am very interested in working at your company.
However, company X has offered me a job to which I need to reply within two weeks. Currently, I am considering the job and its benefits. I am wondering if there is a way to speed up the process at your company so that I can make an informed decision.
Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you.
We hope now you have clarity on how to negotiate your salary in the interview. Use these tips wisely and go get your dream package!
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