This blog addresses that thorniest of issues; when should you bring up the salary you want in an interview setting? Many believe it is best not to bring it up at all unless prompted by the interviewer. How would you feel though if you had been through the whole interview process, three/four interviews later, perhaps more, and then got offered a job with a salary way below your minimum expectations? Wouldn’t you feel you could have saved a lot of time and effort by addressing the elephant in the room closer to the start of the process?
Many people are very shy and squeamish about mentioning salary. On the flipside, others don’t seem to focus on anything else. You are entitled to be paid the wage you are worth (doing homework on what this wage should be is very important), you need to be sensitive though on not coming across as someone who only cares about money.
Following the below steps should help you deal with the money question or at the very least save you from wasting yours and everyone else’s time.
Know what you are worth. Don’t be too generous and pluck this figure from the sky offering yourself a few promotions in the process. What are you being paid at the moment? How does this compare with people in similar roles in similar companies? What other benefits do you get? Is this the norm? There are an abundance of salary surveys out there that offer clear information on what the salary scales are on a profession by profession basis. Talking directly to recruitment consultants or scanning job boards for salary information can provide you with enough information to make an informed decision. If you still believe you are worth more, you need to build a case. What skills/experience/education do you have that make you worth the money you are asking for?
Deal with a Recruitment Consultant
One of the benefits of dealing with a recruitment consultant is that you can be honest and straight-up on the salary you want from initial engagement. The consultant should be in a position to offer guidance on what salary you deserve and it is the consultant’s job to negotiate on your behalf, allowing you to focus on why you are the best person for the job in the interview. It is when you are not dealing with a recruitment consultant and when the salary range for the role is not advertised that you may have to address the salary issue yourself.
When is Best
Ideally and normally, the interviewer will ask you what salary you are looking for. If not, it is advisable not to bring it up at the first interview. Focus on convincing the interviewer you are the best person for the job. An hour long conversation can lead to a €5,000/€10,000 jump in salary if you convince the interviewer/s you have all of the skills and experience needed for the role, you are the candidate the company really wants. I would suggest bringing the issue up at the end of the second interview, but do so subtly. Saying something like, “This role excites me a great deal (explain why). I would like to know, though, what salary you are offering to make sure we are on the same wavelength”, would show that the role is of primary importance; however the stage has been reached whereby the money on offer needs to be considered also. Having completed your research, you will feel comfortable in your positioning. It is also important to look at the other benefits on offer, not just the base salary.
There is no doubt that what we get paid in a role figures prominently in our decision making process on whether to accept a role or not. It is important to find out this information. It is more important, though, to convince the prospective employer you are worth what you think you are worth with the salary discussion becoming a seamless conversation where both parties leave satisfied.
Question: Have you had any good/bad experiences when it comes to negotiating salary?