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The Do’s And Don’ts of Salary Negotiation

Posted by | May 20, 2013 | Interview Tips for Graduates


DO your homework: many people are at a loss of words when they are asked about their salary expectations. It’s better to do your research about what the market rate for your prospective position is rather than concoct an impromptu answer.  You can also get in touch with recruiters and approach people in your network of friends and colleagues who would be willing to share salary information with you. Using all that salary intelligence as a baseline, you can tweak it according to your own experience and qualifications and come up with a narrower range that you can confidently pitch to the potential employer.

DON’T say yes too soon: Accepting the offer put forward right away is inadvisable. Usually fresh graduates and job-seekers who are relocating to a different geographical location make this mistake. Weighing the salary offered against your actual worth is important. Do not say yes unless you feel that the offer is reflective of the value you will offer to the firm. Not speaking up might lead you to feel underpaid, and receive lower increments and a slower salary growth as you move up the career ladder leaving you stressed and demotivated.

DO consider other benefits: To look at salary alone and ignore other benefits is also a common error while negotiating salaries. Other factors should be considered like insurance coverage, the option to have flexible work timings, maternity and paternity leave, paid vacation days etc. These factors have monetary value attached to them and should be grossed up with the salary figure to measure the value of your package.

DON’T make unreasonable comparisons: Salaries may differ from one industry to another. Comparisons should be avoided in such cases and salary negotiations should be based on research conducted for the particular industry in question. For example, comparing the salary of an administrative assistant in a school to that in a telecom company would be an unreasonable thing to do.

DO wait for the right time to bring up the salary topic: Talking about the salary too early in an interview is not advisable. Market yourself as a worthy candidate and if the interviewer is genuinely interested in hiring you, they will bring up the topic themselves at a later stage of the interview. Take the cue from there and quote your range. If you have previous work experience, a good rule of thumb is to ask for a 20% increment over your last salary figure as the minimum expected salary.

DON’T give a specific salary figure: Always try to give a range, as it gives more room for negotiation. If the employer is offering something below your minimum, negotiate on the benefits

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