Looking for employment can be intimidating and tedious. The interview process can be nerve racking whether looking for a “dream job” or just looking for something to gain experience. Whatever the reason for the search, there is always a common goal: money.
Let’s get real: Do you believe people dream about making just enough to get by? Truth is, we all want to make enough to live comfortably and securely but most would feel better with a cushion. With so much stress going on, how does one approach salary compensation during the interview process?
Postpone the Talk
Most career experts suggest you let the company approach the subject. Don’t walk in to an interview and automatically say “I want this much,” especially during the initial meeting. Try to leave negotiations for a second interview. Bringing up pay rate too early in an interview can be a major turn off and may turn uncomfortable into disaster. If the company brings it up, let them know you are interested in a mutually rewarding career and try to leave it at that until later in the interview process.
Know the Going Rate
When approaching any interview, research the industry, job posting, and the company. Learn as much information possible in general as well as position duties and requirements. Research what the average salary is for a person with the same title in the area and experience. Use websites such as Payscale.com and Salary.com. Onetonline.org can be a good salary staring point. But remember these sites offer a general scale; the company you are interviewing for may be higher or lower. Being prepared can better the negotiation process.
Know Your Worth
Use your skills and prior achievements to your advantage. Sell the company on the skills that will be useful to them and advise them of how you plan on using your skills to better the company. Let the employer know you are there to help the company succeed and back it up with the abilities you possess and how they will be useful to the company’s productivity. You have to sell yourself to prove why you are worth more than the person waiting in the waiting room for the next interview. If you sell yourself as an over achiever and one who can positively affect the bottom-line, the company will be more prone to pay top dollar.
Consider All Benefit Factors
Most companies have a specific salary range and rarely go beyond the maximum. It is important to not just consider salary, but all benefits the company has to offer. If the employer isn’t willing to pay the specific salary you were hoping for, you may be able to negotiate for items such as bonuses or extra sick time or added vacation days. For many positions, you can even request the company to pick up your cell phone or Internet bill.
Before the interview process begins, research the company, position duties, and salary expectations. Remember to consider all benefit factors and don’t shortchange yourself or let being unemployed make you settle for less than what you are worth.
Until our next career chat, I am