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How to Win A Salary Negotiation

Posted November 21, 2018

The dreaded salary negotiation. Interviewers don’t like talking about it— and interviewees certainly don’t wake up thinking “I’m so excited to barter over my worth today!”

That’s probably why many people avoid the negotiation process in their interviews altogether, with only 30% of women and 46% of men having those tough conversations, according to Forbes. What’s worse is that this accounts for millions of dollars in lost revenue across a lifetime— that’s right, millions.

Don’t sacrifice your value to avoid a tough discussion. Come to your interview prepared to push for the salary you deserve.


Sell your Value with Results

Establish that you meet more than just the minimum requirements for the role. Why would an employer pay you more if you are anything less than extraordinary? The company likely has a list of perfectly qualified applicants who would be happy to accept their offered salary. To be considered for a high wage, you need to stand out.

Whether it’s the unique interview questions you ask, or the way you address your biggest weakness, sell your value. Focus heavily on your results, instead of discussing boring, mundane job responsibilities. No one cares that you filed that paperwork, but they will care if you had the top sales last quarter!

If you are feeling shy about talking yourself up, let others. Ask your coworkers and close professionals to share what makes you different. Then, come interview time, say something like “My last boss told me no one can get him the data he needs faster, or more accurately, as I can. I always have the report on his desk, early, so he has time to prepare.”

Even better, demonstrate results using data to prime the interviewer to be thinking about numbers. “My last boss crunched the numbers and told me I sold $$$, the highest yearly sales to date.” Remember, demonstrate your direct influence, how you went above and beyond to drive results, and nix the laundry list of daily tasks.


Always Press the Interviewer to Say a Number First

Some job postings will list the role’s salary up-front, or offer a range that’s dependent on your experience. In these instances, you have an advantage. You can negotiate without fear of seeming greedy or undershooting the position’s worth.

It’s those interviewers, however, who ask what salary you’re seeking outright— without giving you any indication of what they are willing to pay— that present problems. Always push the interviewer to say a number first, or at least give you a range.

When put in the hot seat, you could feel pressured to blurt out a wage that’s too high or too low, and negatively impact your shot in the running. Instead, when pushed, simply say, “I’m negotiable depending on the range you’re offering. My first priority is to find the right fit.” This demonstrates that you are flexible and willing to discuss salary if the role is appealing, but sets your standard: give me a range and I’ll give you a number.


If Pushed, Share the Top Third of your Positions Industry Average Range

Some interviewers may dodge around the salary question, especially if they feel you are worth more than they can offer, but really want you in the role. Everyone’s got an agenda. Some companies are looking to save a pretty penny, others simply have a set budget. Regardless, you must demonstrate the worth of the position, and of yourself, exclusively.

Come with market research, printouts from Salary.com or another source, that outline the industry average for your position. Many of these sites will let you filter by region or area, so you have the most accurate reflection of both the statewide and city averages. When pressed for a salary requirement, say “I’m being considered for positions in the range of $$$, but, again, I’m negotiable.” Only pull out your printed pages if they question this figure.

Always give the interviewer a range in the top third of your position’s industry average. Don’t make the mistake of shooting low or mid-range to play it safe. The worst they could do is negotiate you down, and your number—though higher— will not be outlandish when supported by market research.


Emphasis you’re Looking for Fit, More So than Money

We can’t say this enough: the conversation shouldn’t be driven by money. By adding phrases like “But culture really influences my decision the most” or “At the end of the day, I want to help these people” in tandem with salary talk, you’re establishing that wage isn’t a leading factor and giving the interviewer a glimpse into your values.

That’s what’s going to set you apart from the other candidates and make the company more willing to front the extra cash to have you on their team.


Showcase your Personality

It all starts with your resume, and how you sell your value in the language you use. Then, come interview time, the right words also separate you from the vast pool of applicants.

Most job boards don’t really account for personality, but that’s what forms a powerful connection. Showcase your unique personality and match with the right companies with a GoGig account.

We use a special algorithm to pair you with hiring managers who share similar personality traits, based on the language you share on your profile. Best of all, it’s completely fee. Sign up, today.

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