“So, what are your salary expectations?” You know you are going to get asked this at some point during your job search. And yet for many, being asked this question is still enough to make you shift about uncomfortably in your seat.
You’re not alone; many candidates find discussing their salary expectations a daunting prospect.
Tips for your wage negotiation
To help you prepare for these conversations and confidently ask for the salary you want and deserve, we have shared the following advice:
Know your worth and your priorities
Determine your ideal salary before meeting with a recruiter or hiring manager. How do you put a numerical figure on your skills, experience and potential? There are a number of factors to consider here. Think about your desired job title, location, industry, company size, skills and level of experience. Then consult a salary guide to ensure your salary expectations are in line with current market rates.
Is the offer lower than what you have in mind, then substantiate in a businesslike manner why you believe that the salary offered is lower than the salary you wish to receive.
Remember that salary is not the only thing important. Secondary benefits can also be used during a negotiation. Take into consideration your other key criteria for your next role, such as flexible working, bonus schemes, training courses and so forth. Some organisations may not have the resource to pay you your desired salary, particularly if they are a start-up or a not-for-profit, but they could meet your other career needs in terms of progression opportunities or work-life balance. The key is to assess your list of “must-haves” for this role, and identify where salary sits on this list.
Be ready for wage negotiation during the interview
Be prepared to discuss your salary. Go into the job interview with a clear idea of your salary expectations.
Make sure you communicate confidence in your salary discussions by sitting up straight, making eye contact and answering simply, avoiding filler words such as “just”, “might” “like” and “um”. For instance, rather than saying: “I feel like I want X amount ideally, just because of Y and Z. But what do you think?” it is better to state: “I am looking for X amount”.
Being clear on when and how to talk salary is essential to your career, whether this is when you are applying for new roles or asking for a pay rise in your current one. It takes practice, but you will soon find yourself able to confidently and assertively start your wage negotiatoin and ask for what you deserve both now, and throughout your future career journey.