You’re at the job interview and they ask the question, “What are your salary requirements?” This is the part when you take a deep breath and try your hand at negotiation. Maybe you are good at it, maybe you’re not. For those of you who could use some help, this simple guide should give you a boost.
The #1 rule of salary negotiation is to not give an answer. Try everything you can to get them to give out an answer first. Do this up to a certain point, if you simply keep going back and forth between you and the interviewer you could end up looking like a difficult person to work with (unless of course if your job is to negotiate, and in that case keep dueling away). For every other non-negotiation position, go toe-to-toe with them until it becomes apparent there is a stalemate or if they give-in. If they simply won’t give-in, its safe to give them an answer. A good answer is a range, but a great answer is a range based on research you did before the interview.
Another great tool is to delay answering. Say you would like to learn more about the position and how you can best add value to the company first. Ask questions that will provide you an opportunity to sell yourself more. What you want to do here is to get the interviewer to reveal what they really want, the one candidate that will solve there problems and they are willing to pay almost anything to get. By proving to them that you are going to solve their problems and make them money, it will be a lot easier for you to negotiate a higher salary.
Glassdoor, Salary.com, Indeed, and the Bureau of Labor are all great salary research tools for your position or of similar Titles. Buffalo First has a list of 547 occupations in the Buffalo area and their salaries (you can view the article here). A salary range that’s close to their original mark will help in the negotiations. When they are looking to pay around 40 and you say between 35-45 it works better than if you say 35 or even 34-38 because then you lose out. Also, if you are way above the pay grade you can be seen as overqualified.
Constantly being told you are Overqualified?
With this economic climate we are in, there are so many people competing with each other for the same job. For the first time in a long time, you have both experienced and low-experience workers all going after the same positions. If you are on the side of being ‘overqualified’ an employer will be hesitant to hire you for several reasons:
- You will find a better, higher paying job and leave them asap
- You may be set in your ways and hard to train/fit in with the way they do things
- They can hire someone younger and cheaper
So how to get around these? The simple and effective method is to be honest with yourself and the employer. Honesty works best and here’s why:
- Tell the employer at the interview your situation. You have a lot of experience and had a high paying job, but with the way things are now you know you cannot get your old life back easily so you are here to take and own the position you applied for. If the employer realizes that you will not be a flight risk, and that they are getting your expertise at a discount price, then then they will see you as a bargain and want to hire you. Businesses are looking for ways to save money too in this economy so use that to your advantage. If you know you will take a better job asap, don’t be afraid to let them know that as well. As long as you are both on the same page, it is perfectly fine to take a job and then leave it for a better one a couple months later guilt free. This works, but you have to make sure you both know that your employment is on a temporary basis. You shouldn’t feel guilty if you do leave in a short period of time because they can let you go any day they want and will not feel guilty.
- Convincing them that you are flexible, trainable, and will be a good fit takes some finesse, but it is doable. Focus on how you have been learning new computer programs like the newest version of Excel or other self-improvement programs. An employer will just basically want to know that you can learn new things, especially technologically based things like computers and the internet. Proving you can fit in is only shown by being a relaxed person in the interview and not coming across as stubborn–that’s really the best way.
- If they can hire someone cheaper and younger, then make it known to them that by doing that they are missing out on all the expertise, experience, and skills you have. No matter how good a younger person is at something, they do not have the experience to handle all situations and problems. Use this to your advantage. Your skills and talents at a bargain price is something that can really assist a recruiters decision making in your favor. Have confidence and sell yourself!