"L" from GOALS program logo

Salary negotiation is a sensitive topic for discussion with a potential employer, so you do not want to overstep your boundaries, but you definitely do not want to sell yourself short.

Prepare yourself in advance. Determine how much you are willing to accept prior to the interview. Conduct your research to ascertain what the company has to offer in addition to your prospective salary. You salary requirements should be realistic to your skill set, experience, education, and level of responsibility required of the position. Look into what other people’s salaries are who have similar education, experience, and occupational titles.

The following are some rules that can help you through this challenging situation:

  • Rule # 1: It is recommended an interviewee not bring up salary in the first interview unless the employer directly asks.
  • Rule # 2: The best way to prepare for a salary negotiation is to research your field of work at the appropriate level. Also, consider the cost-of-living in the geographical area in which you would like to work.
  • Rule # 3: If directly asked about your salary requirement, let the employer know you are willing to negotiate and feel confident an agreement can be reached which is suitable for both parties.
  • Rule # 4: If the employer continues to probe for a specific salary response and will not accept the willing to negotiate, then provide a salary range (e.g. $27,000 – $35,000).
  • Rule # 5: If the employer still wants a specific salary figure, it may be best to choose a salary closer to the high end of the salary range to allow for negotiation. However, keep within the salary range and remember to be realistic in what your expectations are. A good way to check if you are being realist is to determine if you would be able to justify your skill areas that would be reflective of your request. If you  cannot make a good case, you are asking too much.

If you do have a discrepancy in what the employer’s salary offer is and your expectations, consider benefits that may compensate for the difference.

Negotiating a Raise

Find a connection with the employer and get past the resistance. Do not say you need a raise because you need a new car or have a baby on the way. Your personal expenses are not of concern to your employer. What your employer values is your contribution to the organization. Stating your accomplishments and contributions to the organization will demonstrate that you are raise worthy. Watch a video on negotiating a higher salary

Additional Resources