Salary negotiation can be one of the most distressing parts of an interview. On the one hand, you don’t want to lowball yourself and leave money on the table. On the other hand, you don’t want to price yourself right out of consideration, especially if it’s a job you really want. It’s important that you conduct research before your interview, so that you have a good idea about what your skills are worth and what your particular market can support. Jobs in Silicon Valley or New York almost always garner higher pay rates than other areas of the country.
According to Andrea Murad, writing for Glassdoor, it’s important to remember that interviews are a two-way street – you are evaluating the company as much as they are evaluating you. Initial salary offerings are generally a starting point for discussion, so how you answer questions about salary is really important. In this slideshow, Murad has highlighted five dos and don’ts when negotiating your salary.
Salary Negotiation Dos and Don’ts
Click through for five dos and don’ts interviewees need to consider when negotiating a salary, as identified by Andrea Murad, Glassdoor.
Don’t Skip Your Homework
DON’T: Forget to do your homework
DO: Before your interview, research the position and understand the compensation at that company and within the industry. Along with interview questions and company reviews, Glassdoor compiles salary information from current and former employees within companies and industries. This data can be valuable during the negotiation process down the road, but you also need to understand compensation within an industry and geography for your skill set and experience.
Don’t Forget to Ask About the Salary Range
DON’T: Forget to ask about the salary range during the initial screening interview
DO: If your resume matches the job requirements, human resources will call to screen your interest and answer general questions about the position and company. During this time, asking about the salary range will give you an idea for what the company has budgeted for the position.
Don’t State Your Salary
DON’T: State your salary when asked by the hiring manager
DO: Early in the process, rather than provide the hiring manager with your current or desired salary, deflect the question. Explain that you’re learning about the position and whether you have the right skill set, and ask about the job’s requirements and expectations so you can understand the company’s needs.
You can also explain that your current salary isn’t a good measure for what you should earn in the new position since the responsibilities at each job are different. If you’re underpaid because you work at a nonprofit or haven’t changed jobs for some time, for example, and you disclose your compensation, you risk receiving an offer that’s not on par with the market. You want an offer that’s competitive for that role and your skill set.
Don’t Talk About Salary First
DON’T: Talk about salary first
DO: Your goal is to get the hiring manager to provide you with a budgeted salary range for the position before you talk about your desired compensation. Only after you understand the role can you have a productive conversation about salary and explain the range you’d desire.
Don’t be too Specific
DON’T: Be too specific
DO: Rather than provide an exact number for what you want, share a desired salary range for similar positions or what you’d desire considering your expertise and experience combined with the manager’s expectations for the position.
If the employer is asking because they are looking to make you an offer, you can also ask that the offer be based on what’s budgeted for the position. If the number is lower than what you’re looking for, you have a choice to negotiate or decline the offer.