Interview Tips

Get the Salary You Deserve With These Smart Tips

Show your value, and don’t be afraid of silence at the other end of the line


You’re at the part in the interview process where it’s time to talk money.

While salary negotiations are never fun, they are important to know how to do well: You only talk money for a new job once, and when it’s set, there’s nothing much you can do until your next review period.

To find out how to land on a number that makes you happy, we looked to Quora to see what the business pros had to say.

1. Remember Your Value

“In terms of negotiation strategies, I would encourage you to think about what you want, but perhaps more importantly, why you think you deserve it.” Andy Barton

Understanding your value and what you can bring to the company are huge points of leverage. The company is looking for a solid investment; make sure they understand how you’d help them see returns.

2. Stop Talking

“Ask—and then stop talking. While it may be stressful to wait for an answer after you’ve made your pitch for a higher salary, staying quiet and confident as you wait can be more effective than nervously chattering on or following up too soon.” Pooja Parikh

One of the biggest mistakes inexperienced negotiators make is they don’t welcome the silence in the room—or in the email. If you conducted your salary research and presented your value, then the only thing to do is wait.

Don’t follow up on that email after no response for a day or two, and if you’re in the room or on the phone with the hiring manager, don’t jump in with a lower offer after a moment of silence. There’s an old saying: He who speaks first loses.

3. Remember the Four P’s

“Plan, prepare, persist and be patient. Otherwise you could be leaving money on the table…” Chrissie Mayes

In order to get the most out of a salary negotiation, planning and preparation are key. Before you talk money, be familiar with the salaries in your field and your geographical location in order to bring the most objective information to the deal.

After an offer arises, persist with the negotiations until you’re satisfied (within reason). And, again, be patient! Don’t let any radio silence from hiring managers throw you off your game.

4. Wait For the Magic Words

“Never start negotiating salary until they say they want you, and then don’t be afraid to ask high! If they have gone through their procedure and want to hire you, they are not going to dump you on the spot for asking high. At worst, you can negotiate.” Joshua Fox

Once they say they want you, the ball’s in your court. With any offer you throw out, HR is more than likely going to come back with a counter-offer. Give a number high enough to fall into your acceptable range after the counter: If $50K is the lowest you’ll take, ask for $55K.

5. Be Vital

“Make yourself indispensable. Like in Godfather, make the recruiter ‘an offer he/she can’t refuse.’” Deepak Mehta

Chances are you have a strong—some might say indispensable—skillset; you just need to learn how to market it. If you do a good job expressing what makes you uniquely qualified to fill the role, you’ll have more leverage when the time comes to talk money.

One great way to become indispensable and up your value? Gain in-demand knowledge in skills like Web Analytics and Project Management Methodologies.

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