Salary Discussion during Job Interview

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salary discussion during job interview

Salary Discussion and Advocating for yourself can be Challenging!

Should you negotiate your salary?
The answer is yes!

Some facts to consider

  • Fewer than 40% of workers negotiated salary after receiving their last job offer
  • 50% of men and 70% of women have never negotiated salary
  • The median salary for women is 22% less than for men
  • Many hiring managers expect some negotiation

Before salary discussion in an interview, do some research:

As your salary discussions with HR, or the hiring manager progress, do your research. Salary information including salary bands are found in websites such as PayScale and Glassdoor.
You can check by job title and target company. Postings for job openings and industry association sites are good sources of information.
If you can’t get an exact number, you will find a salary range. Many LinkedIn job postings will give you salary ranges.

Speak with someone you trust about the job opening: 

  • Close contacts who will be honest with you
  • Someone in the industry – possibly a style=”color: #4cb848;” hiring manager who will have a sense of salary level and range
  • College alumni working at the company

Consider your goals and personal financial situation:

  • Can you afford to live at the lower end of the salary range being offered?
  • What salary will you accept?
  • What factors are most important to you?

Evaluate the Total Offer – Look beyond the base salary:

In addition to the salary, and job title, you should evaluate the total offer

The components of a compensation package can include:

  • Health care coverage – medical, dental, your contribution, family coverage
  • Vacation, sick, and personal days
  • Bonus potential – what is the target and how can it be achieved?
  • Company sponsored savings plans – 401 K’s and any company match
  • Type of pension plan – defined contribution or defined benefit
  • Long-term incentives – stock options, shadow equity, performance contingent shares
  • Reimbursements for daycare, transportation, parking
  • Maternity/paternity leave and flexible work arrangements

Non-Financial Factors to consider in your salary discussion

The salary may be great, but keep in mind:

  • Physical location – downtown or suburban office park?
  • Commute time and cost – do you need a car or is there public transaction?
  • Work environment – open floor plan, cubicles, hot desk
  • Opportunities for learning and advancement
  • Corporate culture and style
  • Potential for advancement and learning

Planning the salary discussion:

Once you have researched and considered the total offer, you need to plan the conversation.

  • Express your interest in the role; be positive and enthusiastic, not combative or aggressive
  • Ask for any clarification surrounding the salary and benefits being offered
  • Articulate your goals and briefly present any research that supports your goals
  • Consider how the person you are speaking with communicates and receives information. Try to match your style to what will be most comfortable for them
  • Agree on a time frame to continue the conversation if no decision is reached
  • Thank the hiring manager for the opportunity to discuss your goal

I was proud to be part of a panel organized by the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, St Louis Chapter, discussing this important topic and offering ideas and strategies for negotiating your salary.

Contact us if you have more questions or would like to discuss salary negotiation further. We look forward to speaking with you!

About the Author

Debbie Matson is a Career Coach, Recruiter and Founder of CareerAmplify. She has an MBA from Cornell University and is a certified Executive Coach from Columbia University Teachers College. Her passion is empowering students moving from academics to full-time employment, and helping people at all stages of their careers find the next great job.

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