Just researching what the standard pay range is in your industry and practising asking what you want in salary negotiations isn’t enough. While you might be ready to say “I know the starting salary for someone in this position is XYZ” you may not have prepared for the response being, “This is our best offer, it’s non-negotiable.” It’s not ideal that you get stuck trying to respond or make an at the moment response in desperation if that’s not your desired number.
It’s essential to not only prepare what you’re going to say but also have an idea of how to respond to questions you’re being asked by the interviewer so practice with a friend and don’t be caught off guard! Here are four types of questions you could be asked in a salary negotiation, and how to respond to them like a boss.
- If they say… “What Is Your Ideal Salary Figure?”
While you might assume that the power is in your hands with a question like this, they are leading you into revealing the least amount you’d accept an offer. If you say that you’re hoping for a number that’s in the lower end of their range, they won’t offer you more.
To deal with this question, deflect by stating that you’re after a position that’s a good fit for your skills and that you’re confident that what they are often is competitive. It means you don’t need to reveal all of your cards. Or, you could ask the question right back at them by responding, “Are you willing to share a range you have in mind for this position? I’m confident it’s competitive, alongside the growth potential of the position.” Make sure you know relevant data of market rates for a salary range.
- If they say… “How Much Are You Currently Earning?”
They want to know how low you’re willing to go, so it’s best to avoid giving an exact figure but do not lie. One approach is to say that you’d rather not discuss what your remuneration is at the moment, and the job you’re interviewing includes a broader range of skills and responsibilities which need to be looked at before we can start talking about salaries. Seasoned salary negotiators will often respond with ‘N/A’ on a job application if this is asked in early rounds, so don’t be afraid to stick to your guns on paper and in person.
- If they say… “We Don’t Have Room To Negotiate”
Sometimes, it’s necessary to look beyond the numbers and focus on an aspect of the total package. This could include things like vacation time, flexible hours, bonuses or travel allowances. If you’re not being given something of monetary value, negotiate them sponsoring part of your postgraduate studies or perhaps allowing you to attend courses.
- If they say… “In the Future, You’ll Have Opportunities For Promotions And Raises”
Be specific about setting dates to return to the negotiating table if you end at a stalemate. Saying something like “As this figure is lower than my expectations, but combining that with the chance to meet my performance targets and certain KPI’s, would you consider reopening this discussion about my compensation and raising by then?”
If the answer is yes, get the agreement written into your employment contract and make sure you hit your targets!