Wage Negotiation

The wage is the compensation you will get for offering your time to the employer. In other words, employees offer time and expertise in exchange for money.

When the interviewer offers you the job, you then have to make a decision as to whether you are ready to accept it. You have to understand the wage and the benefits package before you make the decision. Career wage research has to be done prior to the interview. Knowledge is power and you want to have all the facts in your hands about the wage before you can assess if the package offered is fair or not.

The four steps in discussing your wage increase during an interview

  • Negotiate the position.
  • Sell yourself, then negotiate - show your unique expertise.
  • Secure the job offer.
  • Negotiate the salary and benefits package.

When negotiating a wage, the interviewer will generally have a range and he'll offer you the bottom of that range. You have to negotiate way up as much as possible. Generally the interviewer is not the only one to convince that you are worth more than the initial offer. Never accept the first wage offer unless you are very desperate for a job.

Employers use various tactics to offer you a lower salary :

  • Offer you the job and a starting date with no mention of the salary
  • Employers ask what salary you need - do not answer with a figure!

Always ask about your responsibilities, working hours, level of authority and accountability during the salary negotiation.

During a wage increase negotiation, make sure that the company understands you are working toward a mutually beneficial arrangement not just that you want more. Reiterate your skills and enthusiasm for each job. Let them make another offer after the first one.

On first offer, do not just accept it. Ask for some time to make sure you are comfortable with it. If you feel it is a fair package send an acceptance letter. If you are not happy with the wage increase: let them know. This is probably the only time you can safely ask for a wage increase.

Try to get all the details in writing. A lot of professional companies will give all of the details in written format.

If you are happy with what is offered, get it in WRITING: everything that was discussed, not only the salary but also the health plans, vacations, etc. The majority of companies will provide this in writing. If not, move on to a more professional company. We have seen job seekers accept positions with promises for salary and benefits that never materialized.

Learn more about the art of salary negotiation, requests for a raise, and other career techniques.