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A Guide to Salary Negotiations at Your Interview

A hand is offered

Money. It must be one of the last taboos in the modern workplace, which is why so many people find raising the subject at the interview stage so agonisingly difficult. If you’re one of them, remember this: you might find it awkward, but the person sitting opposite you expects it as part and parcel of the discussion.

If you think you’re worth more than the figure on the table, don’t be shy about trying to squeeze a few extra pennies out of your prospective employer when it comes to salary negotiations. With these top tips you should be prepared to drive a hard bargain and get the salary you want and deserve:

  • Do your research – There’s no excuse for going in under-prepared when there are tools such as ValueMyCV to tell you how much your skills are really worth to your prospective employer. Take a look at similar posts in other companies to see what the going rate is – it’s all good leverage when it comes to asking for more.
  • Don’t show your hand too soon – This can be difficult if they’ve already asked for your salary history, but try not to give away how much you would ‘accept’. Remain as non-committal as you can for as long as you can, because the earlier you lay your cards on the table the less room you have for negotiation later on.
  • Don’t pitch too early – As with the last point, the longer you can wait the stronger your position. Leave it until as late as possible before naming your price.
  • Never accept too quickly – After getting this far, you might be tempted to bite their hand off if they offer you the post. Remember they’ve chosen you and they want you. Ask for a little time to consider the offer, because most employers will give you a week – keep them dangling long enough to decide whether you want to squeeze them for a little more.
  • Never decline too quickly – The flipside is turning them down too quickly because the salary offered is too low for your liking. If it really is a bad deal then walk away, but look in a little more detail at what else is on offer, because some firms find ways other than the basic salary to reward their employees.
  • Always ask for it in writing – A verbal agreement is no good if the new price you agreed is nowhere to be seen when you’re asked to sign on the dotted line. Thank them for their offer and ask if they could put it in writing for you, that way you can rest assured there will be no cold feet on their part later on.