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3 Tips for Negotiating Salary During the Interview Process Like a Pro

Zak Brocchini

  • 09-06-2019
  • Blog articles

When interviewing for a new job, you know the drill. Be prepared. Dress for success. Anticipate questions. Know the company. When it comes to salary, however, many candidates draw a blank. Is it appropriate to disclose current salary to a prospective employer? How do we negotiate salary during the interview process that is commensurate with our experience?

Read more: Dress for Success in Your Next Interview.

Salary negotiation is both a necessity and a determining point for prospects and employers. Learn how to navigate these waters with ease.

Focus on Selling Yourself

Refrain from bringing up salary expectations and negotiations at the beginning of the interview. You run the risk of pricing yourself too low or too high, and any number given out can stick as “the number,” putting you in a difficult situation later. Instead, focus on selling yourself as the right person for the job. Salary should only be discussed when the candidate and hiring manager are mutually interested in moving forward together.

When negotiating with the help of a recruiter, be direct about your expectations including current earnings and expected salary. The recruiter will make sure you are made aware of positions that are the right fit and within your desired salary range

Read more: Three Ways to tell If You’re Underpaid Compared to Your Peers

Why It’s Not Just the Money

A new job shouldn’t just be about the money, it’s about a new opportunity.  There are other more intangible benefits you may gain in a new job.  When weighing the total package, don’t lose site of the opportunity.

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that negotiations are only about dollars and cents. You should be considering the whole package – not just the salary. There are other potential points of discussion such as: health benefits, the work schedule, remote work policies, vacation time, and project work.

Know When Not to Negotiate a Salary

There’s an art to negotiating, and there’s an art to listening. Both are crucial to the process. Before you decide to ask for more, consider the following:

Counter with caution. A counter offer is a no. At least, that’s what the other side hears – you are essentially turning down the position and you may lose out for a variety of reasons.

Don’t be overly-focused on money. Remember, salary negotiations include many things. If you are fixated on the starting salary only, you may miss the big picture.

Know the etiquette. Accepting an offer, then declining it later is bad practice; it burns bridges and makes you look bad.

Remember, too, that with more compensation comes higher expectations and a shorter runway.  Before you counter their offer, make sure you are up to the task.

Keep an Executive Mindset


Switch your mindset from job seeker to contributor; You are making a business case that you are the next great hire this company will make.  If you do this well, the company will make a fair offer:

  • Be confident. Don’t walk into an interview with an inflated sense of swagger, but exude a healthy level of confidence by speaking to the value you bring, and problems you’ll help the firm solve. Illustrate how you will be an asset to the company.
  • Time it right. Many say not to bring up negotiations at the end, don’t lead with it, and maybe don’t mention it during the interview(s) at all. That all seems a bit counter-intuitive. Create the right moment, and then discuss sincerely. Think of it this way – don’t lean in for a kiss when someone is offering a hand. Bide your time and wait for the appropriate moment.

Streamline the Process with Expert Help

Athletes and celebrities have agents for a reason – agents are well networked to introduce you to the right people, guide your career, and understand the art of negotiation.  This is no less true when you are looking for a new job.  Work with a trusted recruiting partner like 2Bridge, we will introduce you to the right people, guide you through the process and handle your negotiation; we will get you a better package – drama free.

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