Karen James Chopra: I am Karen Chopra. I am a career counselor in private practice in Washington DC and now we are going to talk about how to go about negotiating the offer and closing the deal.
Host: When during the interview process should I start negotiating salary?
Karen Chopra: You want to wait until they have made you an offer. You have actually no leverage to negotiate that salary until they have decided that you are the candidate. At the moment they have decided you are the candidate, you actually have a tremendous amount of leverage. They have decided that they want you, they have decided you are better than all the other candidates out there. They are starting to fantasize about all the work that's going to move off of their desk and on to your desk as soon as you say yes.
So they are really really interested in making sure that you say yes at this point. So they will do anything they can, anything that's within their power to give you what you want but only once they have made you the offer. So to the extent that you can, you really don't want to spend a lot of time talking about salary in the interview. If they say this position pays 55,000, you say that's good to know and move on. You don't want to say that's not enough, you don't want to say that's great, you just want to say that's good to know and move on to something else because this is not the time you want to get into salary numbers. If they ask you what your salary requirements are, similarly, "Oh, it's too early to be talking about salary, let's talk about something else.
" So wait until there is an offer on the table before you start to negotiate.