Many candidates feel uncomfortable discussing their salary during the interview, and end up accepting the first salary offer they get. But negotiating is definitely a good option. Not only can it result in a better starting salary and benefits, but will also affect the subsequent salary raises. Following are a few tips that will help you negotiate efficiently.
1. First of all, you need to know your market value. Know what you are worth before negotiating your salary. Talk with friends who have similar jobs. Approach agencies and recruiters, and people who work in equivalent positions. Keep in mind though, that salaries often vary according to location, and the cost of living.
2. Whenever possible, try to get the employer to state the salary information first. If they indicate a certain range of pay, you should ask for a salary slightly above it.
3. Most of the times however, the employer will ask you to state your salary requirements first. In this case, you should be as non-specific as possible. Be skillful and dodge the money questions when they come your way. Another way is, instead of an exact amount, you can give a range instead of an exact figure. Be careful to convey the attitude that the job is more important than the money.
You can say something like, "Although money is an important factor, I am very interested in this opportunity to work in your company, as it gives me a good exposure to the field I am very interested in, and also my qualifications will match your needs.".
However, if you are not satisfied with the negotiation, then it will be a good idea to consider other offers or continue looking for a more suitable position. Do not make the mistake of accepting a position that you are unhappy with. Many a times, saying no to a salary offer in an interview can actually trigger the interviewer to place a counter-offer, with an increased salary offer. Although, this is related to how impressive your credentials are, and will not happen every time.
At the same time however, keep in mind that competition in today's economy is very tough. It might not be difficult for the company/employer to find someone else to fill a position that you turned down. Therefore keep your expectations realistic. Once you have been working for that employer for a while, and have proven yourself to be a valuable commodity, you can attempt further negotiations.