Things to do: Once you are accepted for the Job

I. Wait for the interviewer of make an offer before making any statements on the pay you expect

The golden rule is not to rush into salary negations. Understand what responsibilities are being offered well before entering into negotiations. You will have the advantage of knowing exactly (if not very close) what the pay package should be like.

You will also be able to identify the exact areas where you can add value to the position.

II. Do not take salary negotiations as a direct sign of success in interview

The salary negotiations are part and parcel of the interview and do not indicate in anyway that you are the chosen one. It will however, give you a clear idea of what is the range they have earmarked for the job.

This will prepare you for the actual pay negotiation, if and when it occurs - post-offer.

III. Beware the spot-offer policies

Unless, it is exceptionally attractive, avoid accepting spot-offers. Request for time to return with an answer, and go through the steps outlines above to work out the package that would be most appropriate.Spot offers can gyp you out some very lucrative returns. These are usually made to 'dazzle' you into accepting, and hence save the company a packet.

IV. Be always clear about how much and what part of the salary is negotiable.

There are times when the cash part is not negotiable. However, the other benefits are. In this way, you may still touch your 'level'; however, you should know where you emphasis should lie, so the negotiations are focused. Sometimes, this can be a blessing in disguise. You might not get a higher cash slab, but you could get children's education allowance, paid holidays for your family every year, flexi-working hours, work-at-home permission for 3-4 days a week, and so on.

In order to make the right impact, your negotiations should start with the right focus.

When the negotiations start with a refusal, it brings doubts and disappointment, and dilutes the strength of case.

V. Be prepared to let the offer go if it does not meet your minimum expectations.

You should be very clear about your priorities. Do not compromise on the salary package, unless this step backwards will in some way help your career. Be very stoic in your career decisions. The rule of the thumb is 'climbing up the ladder' not 'climbing down'. Any compromise in your career will undermine your value as a professional, as well as affect you personally. You are what you get - puts this very aptly.

Hence, be ready to walk away from anything that puts your career in a disadvantageous light. Most of the times, you will be valued more for your self-assurance, and get what you want (and deserve) in the end.