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Monday, 25 August 2008

Negotiating Your Salary During The Job Interview

Written by Tony Jacowski
Ideally, the mutually-accepted final salary structure will be the outcome of a successful interview process. However, your expectations must be realistic. A little research on deciding upon the expected salary will be helpful.

A realistic assessment should be done to calculate your worth as an employee, which should be tested against the present market or industry standards.

Several factors such as type of industry, kind of work, geographic location, supply and demand, or simply the growing need for a professional workforce in a specific industry play an important part in salary considerations.

After preparing yourself in these areas, it will be helpful to follow a three-point formula for the actual salary negotiations during the interview.

Never Be the First to Bring Up the Topic of Salary

Do not rush to bring up the matter of salary in your interview.  First, let the employer decide whether you are suitable for the position. Eventually, the topic will come up in the interview - but avoid starting it if possible.

You will blow your credibility if you start the discussion by asking for a particular figure. This gives the impression that salary is your major consideration in applying for the job.

Just as in a card game, it is always best to hold your trump card until it's time to play it. Announcing your anticipated salary early in an interview may very well eliminate your chances of getting the job, especially if the figure turns out to be too high. If you have set your limit low, it eliminates the opportunityof getting a higher figure if the employer is already thinking of one.

Therefore, it is best not to include salary expectations in your resume unless salary has been specified in the job-opening announcement.

Do Your Homework

Some background research is needed before the interview. Explore details such as average salary for that position in the job market, and evaluate your experience, expertise and educational qualifications.

Other factors to take into account are the reputation of the company, the status of the position offered, and the geographic location.

The perks that come with the salary, if any, should also be considered. Feedback from friends working in that company or colleagues working in the same industry is helpful in getting such details.

Don't overlook websites that deal with employment and job opportunities.

Do Not Jump At the First Salary Offered

Don't grab the first offer instantly. Take time, a couple of days perhaps, to consider the offer. Consider some hitches that might go unnoticed. Review the offer; consider all the possible aspects as well as your chances of getting ahead in the position before accepting it.

If you find it doesn't meet your expectations, let the employer know the salary you anticipate and justify it by pointing out the requirements of the position and your experience and expertise for earning it. This may not always result in getting you your asking salary; it's entirely likely that you may need to negotiate and come down a bit. Even if that happens, you will come into the position with your own self-worth established.

Like marketing, successful closing is important in an interview. If you are marketing your worth in an interview, make sure to successfully close the deal and negotiate your salary.

Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal.

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