Unit 3: Negotiating Compensation
Discussing salary requirements during the interview can be tricky. Potential employers may ask you for your salary requirements during the initial telephone screening or during later interviews. Prepare for this question by researching what comparable employers pay workers with similar responsibilities and qualifications in your area. Be prepared with a response even if your plan is to avoid giving an exact figure.
Some suggest giving a salary range so you have room to negotiate after you have received a job offer. Others recommend giving one salary amount you would be happy to receive since the employer will likely offer you the lowest figure you give in your range anyway. Still others say you should never be the first to give a figure. Press the employer to give you an offer first, since their number could be higher than what you had anticipated. Then, you can still negotiate for a better compensation package. In this unit we look at salary negotiation in more detail.
Completing this unit should take you approximately 1 hour.
3.1: Salary Scenarios and Questions
What are your salary expectations? Most interviewers who are considering hiring you will ask you this question. Your research and preparation will help you give a reply that moves the discussion forward to your advantage. For example, you may be more interested in quality-of-life issues, perks, and benefits than in salary. On the other hand, the salary amount may determine whether you accept or reject an offer. In either case, you should formulate a response that aligns with your strategy for obtaining the position of your choice.
3.2: Researching Your Best Salary
Employers do not base their decisions to grant interviews or make job offers on magical thinking. Their decision-making often relies on the research and preparation you, as the candidate, perform. The U.S. Department of Labor is a comprehensive source for salary information. The video that follows offers tips for learning how to negotiate for an hourly wage position.
3.3: Negotiating Job Benefits
When you are negotiating your compensation package, think about what is important to you, since you may be able to negotiate for other benefits in addition to salary.