What's the most nerve racking part of an interview for you? Is it that initial meeting? Or those vague questions you're unsure how to answer?
For many candidates, one of the trickiest parts of the hiring process is discussing pay. When it comes to salary, certain tact is required and negotiation skills are key.
Fortunately, our team at KLC Recruitment has years of experience training candidates in how to navigate even the toughest interviews. Here are some of our tips for talking about salary.
Tip 1. Try not to be the first to discuss money
The employer will already have a range in mind that he or she is willing to offer for the position, which is why we encourage candidates to avoid being the first to discuss pay. By stating your preference too quickly, you risk selling yourself short or ruling yourself out.
By stating a number too quickly, you risk selling yourself short or ruling yourself out.
Unfortunately, sometimes employers do ask what you're expecting to earn or – even sneakier – 'What did you earn at your last job?'. Generally, money talk tends to come towards the final interview, but some employers will ask earlier so be prepared.
If you're asked about salary, make it clear that you're flexible and then ask for their range. From there, be prepared to discuss why you think you belong at the upper end of that spectrum.
Tip 2. Be able to back up any pay request you make
That said, if you plan to request a certain amount, you need to support it.
This comes down to understanding your unique skills and differentiators. Ideally, bring up tangible things, such as:
- Certifications and accreditations,
- Experience with particular software and equipment,
- Management roles,
- Leadership roles,
- Professional development.
Mentioning soft skills – such a strong work ethic and a positive attitude – is also important, but isn't as valuable during salary negotiations.
Tip 3. Do you research and be realistic in terms of money
Before going into any interview, you should have a general understanding of the salary range. At KLC Recruitment, our team works closely with candidates to understand their expectations and wouldn't put you forward for a job that's well above or below your needs.
Determining those requirements, however, is up to you, which is why we encourage all of our candidates to think critically about their budget and lifestyle before beginning their job hunt. Consider how much you need to live and support yourself comfortably. What have you earned in past roles? If you're changing careers, you may need to prepare for a dip in salary. Defining a walk-away point is also essential.
Tip 4. Practice your negotiating skills
Few people were born natural negotiators, so make you sure you practice beforehand.
Write out that list of special skills we mention above as well as your response to questions like 'What were you expecting for pay?'. This will help ensure you don't trip up in the moment. Practice them with a friend, in front of the mirror and, of course, with us during in-depth interview techniques training.
Some of our top tips for strong negotiating?
- Listen carefully – Don't get so caught up in your response you forget to hear the initial statement.
- Be confident – Know your worth and convey it by speaking slowly, concisely and even positioning your body assertively.
- Don't take it personally – At the end of the day, salary comes down to the hiring manager's budget, not his or her perception of you.
Finally, accept that it's not all about money. There may be other factors that make a job worth taking, including great benefits or the opportunity to gain important experience. The team at KLC Recruitment can help you think critically about this when you're weighing up jobs. To find out more, reach out today.