Getting the pay you want

One of the more stressful issues you will come across during an interview will be negotiating pay. Getting the salary you want is not as difficult as it may seem when you are able to do two things:

  • Know the salary range for the work you are seeking
  • Be willing and able to negotiate your pay

A simple rule to remember when interviewing turns to the topic of money is that the employer is already interested if they are negotiating pay. Getting the salary you want is similar to negotiating a price with an auto dealer or contractor. You have an idea what you are worth, and the employer an idea what they are willing to pay - your salary is somewhere in the middle.

When negotiating your pay there are a few tips to remember to get the pay you want:

  • Never discuss previous salary - it is not the employers right to know the information
  • Don't be the first to suggest a number - in any business dealing the first person to say a number is at a disadvantage because the other person gains leverage from this
  • Objections over money are usually false - like any business owner the prospective employer is seeking the cheapest cost possible for your services.

Two considerations to remember when talking money during the interview:

  • If the employer didn't think you were worth something you would not be talking about money with them
  • If you have researched salary ranges for your job, you know you can get the pay you want

What's Your Salary?

This question is a trap. When negotiating your salary you need to know information to get around this issue:

  • What the general pay scale is of this company
  • What the general scale of pay is for the position

When this question is asked you might try one of two approaches:

  • Acknowledge the question and then reverse the conversation back to the employer by mentioning the pay rage of the company and where your position fits
  • Acknowledge the question, then discuss the general pay scale of the position industry wide and your qualifications which meet this scale.

Wait to see if the employer has a response to this. The object of this method is to get the employer to tell you want they think your position is worth, before you do.

Common Objections

You will come across a variety of common objections when negotiating pay. Two things which you must remember with getting the salary you want:

  • The employer is out to get the lowest possible cost for service provided
  • Objections are not outright rejections, just issues needing resolution before closing the deal

Here are a few objections and methods to get around them.

  • What salary are you looking for? - ask about what the current salary is
  • How much did you make on your last job? - this is not relevant and should not be discussed
  • You are asking too much money - find out what the employer considers a fair wage
  • We need to run a credit check before you are hired - unless you are working directly with money this is an invalid objection
  • We are considering other applicants whose salary requirements are lower - if this is true, walk away; if this is not true, they are trying to lowball you into a lower pay rate

Bring Something to the Meeting

One of the best ways to get the salary you want, other than negotiating pay, is to bring something you can offer to the meeting. Here's a few examples:

  • A teacher would bring a sample lessen plan
  • An architect would bring a sample for a current project the company is working on
  • A salesman would bring a sample proposal for a current company product

Be aware of one trap with this issue. If you bring a sample of work to the meeting it is called 'auditioning'' and will show initiative and creativeness. If you are asked to complete any type of work before getting hired, simply state that you will once the consulting fee has been agreed to.

Negotiating pay to get the salary you want is not hard. If you can prove you know your ability, and the salary which should go with it, you can find a suitable arrangement with any employer.