How to Prepare for Salary Negotiation in a Job Interview

Wondering how to handle a salary negotiation during a job interview can be confusing. During this time, candidates are often worried that they may ask too much and end up losing out on a good job opportunity. Alternatively, they may worry that they are settling for too little. Fortunately, there are ways to prepare for salary negotiations in a job interview.

Research the Salary Ranges Before the Interview

A good way to get ready for the salary negotiation process during job interviews is to learn more about the salary ranges for specific job types. To do this, simply ask for a copy of the full job description from the hiring manager before the interview itself. Then conduct a search on a major employment website and look up the name of the job followed by the job duties you are considering taking on. You should get a fairly good idea about the salary ranges so you can make an informed statement when asked what your desired salary range should be.

Identify Your Valuable Skills and Talents

Before walking in to discuss salary ranges with an interviewer, consider all the skills and talents that you can bring to the table. Try to pick your top three marketable skills and be sure to emphasize these personal attributes during the course of the interview itself. Remember to use this tactic as leverage when discussing salaries, but do not become too boastful during your talk with the hiring manager. The goal is to demonstrate your overall value to influence the interviewer to throw a higher salary figure at you.

Consider Alternative Benefits

To be an effective negotiator in terms of landing a great job, one must be able to consider alternatives to the financial aspects of a straight salary. Naturally, there will be other benefits to having a job, such as medical coverage, time off with pay, travel and entertainment expenses, company vehicles, education and training reimbursement, flexible time and more you can bargain with. If you get a salary offer that seems far too low for your abilities, ask about getting your benefits sooner or see if they can throw in something else for good measure. You would be surprised at how human resources will bend over backwards for the right candidate.

Be Prepared by Practicing the Interview

As a rule of thumb, it is always better to be confident when walking in to discuss salary negotiations with a hiring manager. Expect that not all of your requests will be approved and that you may not get exactly what salary you want. Take the time to list the most common questions pertaining to salary and then practice your responses, either alone or with a trusted friend. Be prepared to back up your skills and qualities with positive negotiation tactics. Avoid sounding negative or demanding. Then, by the time the interview comes around, you will be able to walk in to the interviewer's office with realistic expectations about the negotiation process.