Using the Right Strategy in Salary Negotiation
When you are asked about your salary expectation in a job interview, how do you respond?
If you answer right away without a strategy, you need to rethink your approach.
The fact is that sharing your expectations puts you at an immediate disadvantage. I suggest that you defer a discussion of your salary expectations for as long as you can. Employers use salary as one of the discriminating factors in choosing suitable candidates. They do that to protect the company’s financial interests. Even when a position is advertised with the salary being described as "negotiable", the employer always has a salary range for that position in mind.
Revealing your salary expectation can either push you off the employer’s short list, or it can tell the employer that they will be safe in limiting the upper bound of their offer to you. In either case, you are at a disadvantage.
You should be aware that you cannot make a realistic appraisal of your salary expectation if you do not have the complete picture of the job. There are many factors that go into determining fair compensation. A job requiring you to fly frequently and work overtime definitely commands a better compensation than one with stable working hours.
Therefore, when deferring the discussion of salary, the best strategy is to communicate more about your job motivations and desires to the interviewers. In that discussion, bring up questions about job responsibilities, and inquire as to the upper and lower boundaries for the compensation.
Don’t ever present yourself as having a minimum salary expectation. If you are asked about your expectation, try to respond like this:
"I would certainly like to discuss compensation with you. But before we do that, can you please tell me more about the job responsibilities and any other special assignments associated with this position?"
"I would like to learn more about the job before we talk about this question. Could you share with me some more information about the job?"
Try your best to gather as much information as possible before you offer your opinion. You should always emphasize that your expectations are negotiable, and position your interest on other factors of the job including the possible experiences the job would expose you to, the job responsibilities and opportunities to learn new skills, etc. This gives a good impression to your prospective employer, and gives them an incentive not to discriminate against you because of the salary expectation.
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