Job Interview – Discussing Salary and Increasing Your Offer

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 20,116
    Certified Employment Interview Consultant and author Laura DeCarlo shows you how to discuss salary and increase your offer in your job interview.

    Laura Decarlo: Hi! I am Laura Decarlo, certified interview coach and President of the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches, Career Directors International. I am sharing strategies for planning to ace your job interview. Right now, I am going to talk about handling salary questions and increasing your offer. The most important thing you need to first know is that you should never bring the topic of salary up in the interview process until you have an offer. But when the employer brings it up, you have to respond. This is simply a screening tool they are using so the best answer is the one that doesn't knock you out of consideration before you have had a chance to sell yourselves. For instance, you might say --Female Speaker: At this early stage I don't feel that either of us has gained enough information to really value my skills for the job yet. Do you think we could discuss this later in the interview process? Laura Decarlo: Or -- Female Speaker: I am negotiable, how much do you have allotted for this position? Laura Decarlo: The employer might be satisfied with this response or you might be pushed for a commitment with a question such as -- Male Speaker: Well you must have some idea of your financial needs.

    Laura Decarlo: For this situation, you must have a range of pay to offer the employer with a very limited commitment to any particular dollar amount. In order to do this, you have to know your financial requirements, wants and needs, as well as the typical range of pay for this type of job in this marketplace. With this information, you are more prepared to handle this question. Stick to a range, never say -Female Speaker: The absolute least I will take is -- Laura Decarlo: Or --Female Speaker: My ideal salary would be - Laura Decarlo: Instead response with an answer such as this.

    Female Speaker: As I mentioned, I don't feel I have enough information on this job to commit an exact dollar amount, but based on my knowledge of salary ranges for this position and my own personal salary requirements, I am expecting this job would pay somewhere in the 60s. Laura Decarlo: Now, the next time you talk about salary with the employer will most likely be when you receive the offer. If the employer says--,Male Speaker: We would like to offer you $52000.

    Laura Decarlo: Thank him, and ask what else what the offer involves. You need to know whether this is the base or the complete package you have been offered, because a $52000 salary could really be more like an $86000 offer if there are added pieces. These pieces might include a signing bonus, annual or quarterly structured bonuses or variable payment plans such as profit sharing or stock options. More frequent reviews tie to more frequent raises, educational benefits that you plan to use, retirement and termination pay, paid vacation, mileage reimbursement or a car, overtime or health insurance. Once you understand the offer, ask for time to think about it. It is acceptable to ask for up to a week to do so. You should ask this at a face-to-face appointment to get back together so you can negotiate in person. When you meet, tell the employer that you have thought it over, that you greatly appreciate the offer, but would like to know if there are points that are negotiable. You might say -- Female Speaker: I was hoping that with the expertise and history of results that I would bring to your company that you would offer me a higher base.

    Laura Decarlo: You might bring with you supporting information to add credence to your request. For instance, a Marketing Director might create a marketing plan to show her ideas for the company. If there appears to be limited negotiation opportunity, don't give up. Ask about the possibility of being given a different job title or classification or incorporating other performance based pay incentives, bonuses or reviews, beyond what has already been discussed. Hopefully, you can turn in your offer into the dream opportunity you were seeking.

    But don't be afraid to walk away if you cannot negotiate a realistic offer that you deserve. You now have the steps necessary to go out there and ace your job interview. If you prepare effectively and strategically, the perfect job is out there and you will land it soon.