Many senior IT executives find it uncomfortable to negotiate a salary, especially during a face to face interview. This means that candidates can focus too hard on selling themselves during an interview for a much-desired position, eventually accepting a low starting salary if they’ve gone in unprepared. We are happy to discuss your salary expectations and also discuss this with the hirer on your behalf. It's always best to talk to us first because we know the client's history and culture. You need to be confident that salary negotiation in interview is acceptable first!
However, it’s important to bear in mind that most panels will expect some negotiation on salary. If it means you’ll feel sufficiently valued and therefore put more into the job, then a chunkier starting salary is actually a win-win situation for both parties. We’ve put together our best tips for negotiating the best possible package:
Know your worth
This should be part of your interview preparation in any case, but it’s worth thinking about how your professional skills and accomplishments could be used as support for a more generous salary package.
Do your homework
Make sure you’ve thoroughly researched the salary range for the position you’re going for, both at the company in question and other, comparable organisations.
Comparing salaries in job advertisements, talking to contacts in similar industries and jobs to discover what your ballpark salary should be and looking at online salary surveys are all excellent ways to get a clearer idea of your market value.
Delay salary talk as long as possible
This is where a rigorous interview rehearsal can prove invaluable. Often, interviewers will want to bring up the salary question early so as to avoid interviewing someone who’s out of their league, and are also very likely to home in your previous salary in an attempt to keep your expectations low.
With this in mind, it’s crucial to think about how to politely avoid discussing salary until you have a job offer, to encourage the interviewer to reveal salary before you and think of ways to keep past salaries under your hat if they raise the topic. If you do have to disclose previous remuneration, saying something along the lines of “Of course, I wouldn’t consider that an acceptable amount by today’s standards”.
If you’re pushed to come up with a desired salary range, you can always ask “What’s the salary range we’re talking about?” or “I’m looking for compensation that’s comparable with others with my qualifications and experience.” It’s also acceptable to identify a pay range rather than a specific figure.
Think about the whole package
The salary itself isn’t the be all and end all. Other elements such as bonuses; shares; stock options; travel allowances; commuting costs and holiday allowances may also sway you when considered alongside your wage. It’s crucial to look at the bigger picture as some of these can bump up your overall package considerably.
Keep it friendly
For some candidates, there can be a fine line between negotiating and attempted bullying. For example, if a company asks about your other offers, tell them, but be wary of volunteering this information aggressively – it can all too easily backfire. Remember, salary negotiation is a quest to find a package that everyone is happy with, so make sure you make the potential employer feel you’re working towards a common goal.
Always take time to think
There is absolutely nothing wrong with asking for 24 hours to think about a job offer, while remaining thankful and enthusiastic of course. Interview adrenalin can seriously distort your thinking, and something important may well occur to you after the interview itself.
Make sure you get a signed agreement drawn up once an offer is agreed. It’s absolutely essential to get everything in writing, and quadruple check that it covers all the elements you’ve negotiated.