How to Negotiate a Salary on a Job Interview

How to negotiate a salary on a job interview is a tricky subject. Knowing when the appropriate time is to discuss how much money the employer is willing to pay is difficult, especially since coming to an agreement in this area can either make or break the employment negotiations. The following are some helpful tips to assist you if the topic of salary comes up during your job interview.


Do some research about the position you are interviewing to get. See if the company has any information posted about the job and how much they are willing to pay. If not, you can determine what other companies might pay for workers in a similar position by going online to various employment websites or looking in the “help wanted” sections of different newspapers. You can also check with your local state employment office to get more information. Of course if you have previously worked in the same field as the job you are interviewing for, you have a good idea about how much money to expect. Make sure you know both the low and high ranges of pay for the type of work you will be doing. Then think about your level of experience and expertise in order to determine whether you should quote a salary at either the lower or higher end of the scale. You also need to come up with a minimum number you will have to make in order to be content with your job.


If asked in the job interview about salary, it’s best to quote a range – from the low you would be happy to receive to a high you think you deserve based on the research you have done. So if you can get by on $40,000 a year but would like to make closer to $45,000, then you might want to quote a range between $40,000 and $50,000. Knowing in advance the amount of money you would like to make will help you be confident discussing this subject with interviewer. Plus you don’t want to quote just one number and lock yourself into a salary that is lower than the employer is willing to pay. Some employers may perceive that you are not as valuable as other candidates who want more money. On the other hand, you don’t want to price yourself so high that the potential employer can’t possibly hire you based on the budget they have for your position. As a result, it is important to think carefully about this issue before the job interview.


When negotiating a salary, you need to think about the benefits the company is offering. You might want to consider taking a smaller salary if the company has a great benefits package. Some of the benefits you might be offered include health insurance (medical, dental, optical), life insurance, retirement plans, sick pay, personal leave, and vacation time. Once you know what benefits are being offered, you can determine the value of each of these different components and then decide how they might impact the salary you want.

Other Factors

During a job interview, you should wait for the employer to bring up the topic of salary and benefits. If the person interviewing you asks what you made on your previous job(s), you should tell them but indicate that you are looking for a pay increase. Another way of accomplishing this is to tell the interviewer that the reason you left your previous job was for better career prospects. Once you have been offered a salary, take some time to think it over before accepting it. Ask for a day or two to review the offer and then take the time to make sure you are going to be content with the compensation you will be receiving. Don’t be afraid to make a counter offer if you think the salary is too low based on your research and the responsibilities you will have.

Although salary negotiations during a job interview can be difficult, you should approach them with confidence, knowing what you are worth and what the going rate for that particular position is.