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5 minute read

How to Negotiate for a Higher Salary During An Interview

There are many ways a company can recognise the work of its employees. But most of them will also agree that, when it comes to recognition, few things mean more than a raise.

According to Talent Trends report, 80% of respondents cited remuneration and benefits as the top consideration when accepting job offers. On top of that, depending on the industry, employers, too, are ready to increase the average salaries.

Despite the economic contraction, 40% of our surveyed employers intend to increase their salaries. For new hires in industries such as Banking, Financial Services and e-Commerce, we can expect anywhere between 10% and 15% in terms of remuneration increase.

Just like how price-bargaining is an acquired skill, salary negotiation requires a very different mindset. Instead of settling for the first salary amount put forth, here are some tips and tricks to help increase the offer.

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1. Do your homework

Just because the salary offered feels like it is enough to cover your expenses doesn’t necessarily mean it is the industry norm. It is critical to do your research and know what your role is worth before you negotiate for a higher salary.

Talk to people in the know. It could be someone already in the industry or even a recruitment consultant who can give you the latest updates. With all the desk research in mind, you will be able to enter a salary negotiation with more confidence, especially with hard data to back you up.

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2. Know your value

Your value to the organisation is sometimes more than the position that you are applying for. For instance, if you are applying for the role as a Senior Marketing Manager with 10 years of experience under your belt, you can command a certain salary. However, if you are applying for the same role with the same experience, but added bonuses of entrepreneurial background and experience in Search Engine Optimisation, then you’re bringing extra skill sets and value to the table.

Though the job titles are the same, the difference is quite stark. These peripheral skills you have developed over the years will allow you to take the industry standard and increase it. Finally, it is always a good idea to familiarise yourself with the industry, find out the most in-demand skills and bank on those during your negotiation.

Read More: 5 Tough Interview Questions and How to Tackle Them Effectively

3. Ignore your previous salary

One mistake that many job candidates make is to base your salary negotiations on your last drawn salary. While it is always better to earn more than your previous job, using your last drawn salary as a yardstick is by no means a good gauge. Unless you feel that you have gained zero skill since your last job, ignore your previous salary altogether. Instead, look at your objective value to the company and compare that to the industry standard that everybody else is getting.

It is also not uncommon for job descriptions to require candidates to submit their previous salaries. It is a good idea to ignore that or reserve the discussion for the interview itself. Revealing the amount even before the face-to-face interview will put you at a severe disadvantage.

4. Think beyond your base salary

Aside from the salary, you are looking at the basic benefits that come along with your employment. The salary on offer might be lower than the value you have in your head. However, the benefits that come along with the salary might actually be attractive and more than make up for the balance. As a candidate, you want to take these additional benefits into consideration when negotiating for a raise.

If the salary on offer isn’t enough, perhaps you can negotiate for other benefits, such as better health plans, flexible work arrangements, additional leave, training opportunities, etc. Don’t be limited by your imagination either. There are plenty of benefits beyond the conventional, from tuition assistance to free coffee. Remember: this is a business transaction, and everything is negotiable.

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5. Hope for the best, but expect the worst

A good idea is to give an amount on the higher end and, mentally, work your way down from there. If the higher offer is accepted, then it is good news for everybody. If it is rejected, adjust accordingly and try again. Rejection means you need to recalibrate and renegotiate. Remember: if you don’t ask for a pay raise, you are likely not going to get it; if you do ask for a pay raise, there is at least a chance that you might just get one.

There are no real guarantees in salary negotiations. There are many other considerations to be had from the employer, HR point of view and also factors, such as tight budgets and even tighter competition.

But if you don’t even attempt salary negotiation, then you are doing yourself a great disservice in the long run. So do your research, enter a negotiation and take the conversation on from there.

This article is contributed by Michael Page.

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