In your job search, you’ve likely visited your share of employer websites. If you’ve been at it for a while, you’ve also probably applied for jobs online. In other words, you have endured the seemingly endless procession of screens, asking you increasingly private and confidential questions. It’s part of the process. And if you want to be considered for the job, you accept that you need to answer them. After all, “it’s policy.”
Today’s Minnesota jobs market favors candidates, but finding a job can still be a daunting prospect for many applicants. For ‘first time’ job seekers one of the most difficult aspects of the entire hiring process is salary negotiation.
In recent months we’ve seen a rise in the number of counter-offers offered to candidates as sought after skills becoming harder to find. As the labor market improves, we expect to see the number and strength of these counter-offers increase.
Whether you’ve been in the full-time work force for a week or a couple of decades, you’ve probably noticed that there is no shortage of “career advancement” advice out there. But have you noticed that most of that advice is pretty narrow? So narrow, in fact, that it goes in one direction only: up, up, up. Any great career coach, recruiter or mentor can give you solid advice on how to ascend the all-important promotion track. But what if you love what you’re doing right now? What if you don’t have the skills – or the aptitude – to take on that job one rung up the corporate ladder? Conversely, maybe you’re one of the growing number of successful professionals who are more than qualified to succeed in that bigger job – but you just don’t want it. You may fear that it would rob you of precious family or social time.
The interviewer asks, point blank, “what is your salary requirement?” And there you are, trying to present yourself as forthright, easy to work with, and clear about what you need. It’s a tricky business, refusing to answer without looking rude, unprepared or both. With thoughtful preparation, a little online homework, and careful scripting, you can navigate your way through these discussions masterfully.
How long has it been since you last had a raise at work? We know from experience that companies are slow to increase remuneration levels, even with the increased signs of life in the employment market. If you feel undervalued, underpaid and long overdue a raise, don’t rush in all guns blazing. Take a deep breath and consider our advice below:
The salary question is a stressful one. But it doesn’t have to derail your job interview. With some thoughtful research, honest soul searching, and careful scripting, you can answer the question with poise every time. Follow these steps.
“What are your salary requirements?”
That question – or any of its many variations – initiates one of the trickiest, most consequential decisions you’ll have to make when communicating with a potential employer.
How should you respond?
With forethought, a well prepared answer, and a clear, confident tone, sure.
But what should you say?
That depends… on a number of factors.
If you write “salary negotiable” on the application, it might keep you in the running and buy you some time to figure out a more specific response. But employers are looking for candidates who understand the market, know themselves, and are confident placing a dollar figure on their professional worth. If you just keep dodging the question by saying it’s all negotiable, you look timid and unprepared for the actual negotiation.
At the same time, your answer need to vary from employer to employer. Here’s how to determine – and adjust – your response for each opportunity:
And The 7 Steps You Should Take Instead
There are very few moments in a job search as thrilling as learning that the employer of your dreams is about to extend an offer.
The longer you’ve been job hunting, the sweeter it is when you hear the words, “we want to extend an offer…” Yes! You’re in the final lap of the race. But it’s not over yet. So don’t lose your focus now. It could end up costing you, big time.