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Your Salary Negotiation Guide

Aug 17, 2007
Almost all interviews end with salary negotiations. This almost invariably is an indication that the employer is seriously considering hiring you. But unfortunately, many brilliant job seekers, including experienced ones, stumble at this step. Not getting it right at this point can result in you ending up on the losing side.

You Can't Negotiate Salary If...

The success in negotiating for a higher salary lies in understanding and rectifying the lacunae on your part. At the same time, it also depends on the employer's financial standing and a host of other issues. Here are a few circumstances where you can't negotiate salary successfully:

1. When you failed make a positive impression on the interviewer. This could happen for various reasons; one, you have not proven your ability to take on the responsibilities of the job successfully, and two, you are bright academically but the job requires more experience than you have.

2. A sense of entitlement will definitely ruin your chance for successful salary negotiations. An example: you demanded a manager's salary while being interviewed for a supervisor's position. Do your research and you won't get the short end of the stick.

3. You are being hired as replacement for a departing employee. Again, the negotiation will have a limited scope. If you are filling a retiring worker's position, in all likelihood, the company will be the ones to gain in the salary area.

Negotiating A Higher Salary In The Job Interview

All positions have a structured salary matrix, with each one having a range within which you can negotiate although there are some exceptions. Successful negotiations require some important qualities aside from technical knowledge. These are called "soft skills".

1. Researching The Salary Strategy Of The Employer: Some employers advertise the salary they offer. When they don't, research it by consulting HR professionals or employees of the company who are likely to have an idea and can also chip in with some tips. Many employers have long-term goals and may want to study you over time before increasing your salary. You must do exceedingly well to cross their strategical limits even though this might apply for only higher management positions.

2. Highlighting The Cost Benefit To The Company: Even though employers have done this exercise already, there could be points that might not have surfaced during the interview. Highlighting the benefits of hiring you at a particular salary may well turn out to be surprisingly beneficial for you.

3. Never Suggest A Figure: This can very likely backfire. By chance, if you ask for a lower salary than the company may be considering for you, without batting an eye, the employer will immediately adjust your salary. Wait for the employer to come up with a salary figure.

4. Make A Counter Offer: Negotiating is about revisiting the matter again. It doesn't end the moment you both suggest a figure. Making a counter offer suggests to the employer that you have a willingness to accommodate certain limitations on their side.

5. Indicate Your Willingness To Accept Benefits: Since benefits are components of salary, you can't be adamant on cash pay alone.

6. Discuss The Salary Offered: When the employer makes an offer, it is likely that he will have some cushion for negotiation. Don't be afraid to ask for more money! The fact is, no company will throw out their highest, max figure first. Be mindful of this during negotiations, and you are likely to be successful.
About the Author
Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solution's Six Sigma Online offers online six sigma training and certification classes for lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.
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