Finally you’ve reached the stage in a lengthy interview process where you are sitting opposite the person who has the authority to offer you the job that you want. And there it is…the question you have been longing to hear: “When can you start?” The only detail left to settle is the salary.
Based upon some research by Michelle Marks and Crystal Harold published in the Journal of Organizational Behavior, there are 3 things that you should know:
1. Almost 50% of interviewees accept the salary that is offered without a question.
2. Those who do negotiate get paid more.
3. Most interviewers expect to negotiate salary.
If you are afraid that, if you negotiate your starting salary, you might lose the job, there is actually little risk…and think of the money you could be turning down without trying for more.
Behavior based interviewing experts have some good advice on how you can approach and take advantage of the moment in your interview where salary is discussed. Here are their tips:
• Be Ready.
First believe that you have a right to ask for more. Then think through how you are going to ask for it. Anticipate how your interviewer might respond and be prepared with answers that you have practiced. State simply why you think you deserve more than the first offer and make your case with a reasonable story that explains why.
• Be Creative.
The best negotiators have a clear idea of alternatives. If the budget is fixed and the interviewer can offer you no more, have other terms in mind. Maybe your interviewer can offer more flexible hours, or the ability to telecommute one or two days per week, or more vacation time, or whatever you might value that has no real cost in dollars.
• Be Gracious.
Do not push too hard. If you have asked for a larger salary and been refused and if you have asked for alternative benefits and been refused, it’s time to yield. If you still want the job, accept the offer and be gracious. There is, however, a way to leave the door open for future increases. You can certainly ask your new employer what you would need to do in the first year to warrant a raise in salary. Then you will have some specific goals to work toward and can refer back to the conversation in subsequent performance reviews.