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How to Successfully Negotiate a Salary

You just got a call for a final interview and the first thing that comes to mind is your prospective salary. There is always a possibility that their initial proposal may not match your expectations, so it’s important to be patient and act professionally. In order to use your resources to leverage a better offer, here are three things to keep in mind:

  • Research: Doing some extensive research prior to your final interview is a necessity because the last thing you want to do is enter an interview with unrealistic expectations.  To get a better idea of where you stand on the playing field, check websites and credible resources to figure out what the industry’s current economic state may be. The next thing to look for is how well the company has done over the last 5 years. Have they been profitable? Where are they in comparison to their competitors? Details like these will help you hypothesize what salary range you can expect they’ll offer. Lastly, understand the value of your position. Figure out what other people with similar positions are making.  Sites such as Salary.com, Payscale.com and Jobstar.org are just a few sources you can use to help figure this out before your interview.
  • Show Your Worth: Throughout the interview process, the one thing you must be consistently doing is selling yourself as the best candidate for the role, and if you do this properly, it’ll be reflected in their offer. By illustrating your accomplishments and emphasizing your goals, your interviewer can make an assumption on how valuable you’ll be to the company. Don’t forget to let your personality shine through to show how you’re an excellent fit for the company’s culture.
  • Play the Hand You’re Dealt: If you have a final interview where you’re discussing an offer, barring an unforeseen variable, the employer is likely considering you and just one other candidate. At this point, you, in a sense, have as much power as your interviewer. The key to a successful negotiation is to not show your hand too early. Don’t be afraid to ask about the salary, but do not be the first person to bring it up; let them show their interest first. If the hiring manager asks you what salary you’re hoping for, try to delay this question with a response similar to, “There are so many components that factor into an opportunity being a great fit for me like the company culture, work environment, etc. that I’m reluctant to focus on one specific aspect at this stage. I’m extremely interested thus far and would love to learn more.” Additionally, if you have had other interviews and received formal offers from them, it may be appropriate to bring them up as leverage as long as it doesn’t come across as arrogant.

Finding a job you truly enjoy and landing the position can be a fairly long process, and keeping these points in mind can only help mitigate your stress and finesse your negotiation tactics. At the end of the day, if reach this point in the interview process, you’re in pretty good shape. Remember, the worst that can happen is that they say no! As long as you are respectful, knowledgeable and confident, you’ll have nothing to lose.

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