Negotiating salary

You have been called back for a second interview, and feel confident you are about to receive a job offer.

Fantastic work – but what if you expect a higher salary to the one on offer? On one hand, you don’t want to rock the boat and put yourself out of the running, yet you don’t want to be left short-changed.

Here are some tips on how to make the process run smoothly - and in your favour.

1. Do your research

Try to find out about the pay scale of the company, and find out the industry standard salary for the job. If the company usually hires from within, you may have to accept an entry-level salary with a view to working your way up through promotion.

2. Keep your cards close to your chest

While you must have a clear idea of your salary requirements, refrain from mentioning them on any forms or in the interviews. You want to be considered for the role based on your skills and experience before discussing money. You also don’t want to be locked into a lower salary than the company may have budgeted for.

3. How valuable are you?

Do you possess skills and experience this company would love to have on board? If you feel you could be in high demand elsewhere, use this as leverage but use it carefully. You could mention you have other interviews lined up - but don’t appear too confident.

Cite accomplishments and successes in your previous jobs, quantifying them in terms of cost savings, sales targets achieved, increased productivity etc. Mention any performance bonuses you received. Let it be known that you are a high achiever and an asset to any company.

4. Play the game

If, from your research, you know that the initial offer is low, you now have to tread carefully. You may request a 10% increase, but have to accept one of 5%. Most companies expect negotiations and will have budgeted for them.

If you really want the job, discuss with them the possibility of performance-based bonuses, and ask what promotion opportunities exist within the company. Rather than appearing greedy, you will come across as someone willing to work hard to achieve your ideal salary.

If they refuse to budge on their offer, you could take a gamble and walk away – they may call you back with a higher offer.