It doesn’t happen often in the job-finding process, but sometimes in the late stage of an interview, the hiring company poses a loaded question to its interviewee: How much would you like to be paid?
Wage negotiations should be a relief to jobseekers — a chance to carve a benefits, vacation and salary package to their specified needs — and yet the prospect of playing paycheck poker can spook even the most tested veterans of hiring rituals.
The point to remember, negotiation sharks say, is that the coffee-cup-clenching HR reps on the other end of the conference table are equally nervous.
“It’s nerve-wracking for everyone,” About.com career planning guide, Dawn Rosenburg McKay, notes.
But it need not be so for you. The best way to give yourself confidence, and leverage at the negotiation table, McKay says, is to come in with a clear idea of what you’re likely to walk out with.
“Unfortunately, most people kind of wing it,” says Ron Krannich, author of “Dynamite Salary Negotiations.” “You should really go in with an idea of what the salary ranges are for that area.”
But don’t stride into the room ready to hammer a hard bargain. Your first task is to sniff out what your future company is willing to pay.
“They’re liable to throw out the question ‘What are your salary expectations?’” Krannich warns. “Just throw it back: ‘What do you normally pay for someone with my qualifications?’”
If they give you a range, “put their high figure at the very bottom of your range,” he says.