Negotiate a Higher Salary in Job Interview

Topics to be discussed here....
- Why should you negotiate a Job offer?
- How to prepare to negotiate a Higher Salary
- What are the DON’Ts?
- Example for Experience Candidate
- Example for Freshers
Negotiating the salary is an important part of the interview process. Salary discussion decides whether you get a deserving salary offer or not get an offer at all. Yes, getting what you deserve is a very important part of career advancement. Settling for low salary impacts your future income as well. Don't forget your current salary will be the basis for the next salary negotiation. Yes, Your prospective pay will be evaluated based on current one. So, negotiate your salary well,  whether you’re starting a new job or aiming for a promotion at your current company. Every increase, big or small, counts in the long run.

Do you know? Most employers expect to have salary negotiation discussions and they always keep a room to offer  a little more, if the candidate negotiates. So, if you wont negotiate, you will lose a substantial amount. You know, Negotiating is a fact of life. Most of you never fear to negotiate while buying TV, fridge etc. but there are many who feel too awkward to Negotiate the salary.

You know, 40% of people actually don't negotiate salary properly and that's a costly mistake.

Remember one thing, You’ll never get what you want unless you ask for it.  

Yes, salary negotiation is a tough process but it brings rewards as well.

On most occasions, the hiring manager initiates the salary negotiation by asking What's your salary expectation?

Now, before framing your answer to this question, you need to understand the intention behind asking this question.

Look, the hiring managers have been given a budget within which they have to hire for certain positions. So, they want to know if they can afford you or not. If you put a very high figure, you may lose interest of hiring manager. And by asking this question, they check your confidence as well. If you meet all the requirements but still quote a low figure then it reflects that you are low in confidence. So, it's really important to prepare well before heading for an interview.

So now, let's discuss how to prepare to negotiate your salary the right way in order to earn the salary you deserve.

1. Know your worth

Before you negotiate your salary, it's important to know your worth. You shouldn't ask for a higher salary without knowing your worth and what the employer can offer. To do so, you can check websites such as Glassdoor, Linkedin, paycheck etc. or you can also ask others in your field. Preparation is the key, if you go unprepared in the interview, guess what, you will be at the mercy of the hiring manager. While researching, try to understand what can be negotiated beyond salary and also prioritize what matters most.

2. Start with a figure slightly above than you want

While researching, you will come know the average salary that are being offered in the market. So, when you are discussing salary, always ask for something above the average number. Look, your employer will certainly negotiate down. So if they offer less than you ask for, you'll still be happy with the results.

One tip here is, don't keep the range too broad, otherwise you'll be offered something towards the lower end. Rather than saying 9-10 Lacs annually, say 9.5 - 10 Lacs annually.

3. Build your case

Now, just asking a higher salary won't solve the request. You need to prove your value. If you sell yourself well, you will get what you deserve. So, always try to add some examples of the value that you have been offering over the years. You can highlight results that you have achieved in your current role. And, you can also talk about specific skills or certifications that are in high demand within your industry.

4. Check out the other benefits and perks

There are many other perks apart from the salary as a part of the job offer such as a sign-on bonus, paid vacation, extra vacation days, health insurance, bonus, equity, stock options etc. There are cases when employers are not ready to consider your demand on salary part, that doesn't mean the negotiation is over. You can still negotiate on additional benefits, perks and incentives. In many cases, they are as valuable as your salary. So, you can negotiate beyond salary and try to make up the difference between your desired salary and the offer. And you can also work on the criteria for the future raises you can expect each year.

5. Practice well and Be confident

Yes, it's important to be confident when negotiating. Believe me, it makes a difference that you know what you’re bringing to the table. And finally Practice well before going for an interview. You can write down what you want to say. Practicing in front of mirror can help you a lot. And you can practice with a friend until you’re super confident.

Now, it's time to learn What are the DON’Ts?

1. Don’t be unprepared. Every employer will ask what salary range you’re looking for. So, please don't go unprepared. You should be ready with the answer before heading for an interview.

Don't ask salary question from your end. Let the interviewer bring it up.

3. Don't give a specific number unless the hiring manager insists.

4. Don’t lie about your current salary. Most employers verify salary history. It can harm you, your offer may be revoked over the lie. And, it's not ethical as well.

Don’t be stubborn. Be confident in what you’re requesting, but understand that a negotiation is two way conversation. Listen to what the other side has to say
And, even if the offer seems less, respond politely and ask if you can negotiate it.

Don’t talk about your expenses. Please don't mention personal financial need that I need this salary because I need to pay off my loan. Instead, use your experience, qualification, skills, achievements to justify your salary range.

Now let's have couple of examples to help you frame your answer.

1. Example for Experience Candidate

Thank you for asking. Based on my experience, educational qualification, skills and industry standard for this type of position,  I'm looking for a position that pays between Rs. 9.5 - 10 Lakh annually, but I am open to negotiate salary depending on other benefits, bonus, equity, stock options etc.

So, in this example, it reflects your confidence, research and your will to negotiate. And you have also asked politely to discuss about other benefits that a job has to offer.

2. Example for Freshers

Since I am fresher, all I am looking for is a job position which can help me start and grow my skills. I’m sure whatever salary you’re paying is at par with market standards. Salary isn’t the only thing that matters to me. I am sure we can come to a mutual agreement on this. But I’d love to learn more about the job, the company, the work environment and opportunities here.

So, here you have shown openness and also asked to highlight about other benefits that the company offers.