Talking About Money at the Interview
By Cheryl Stein
Monster Business Coach
One of the most uncomfortable things to talk about is money. Our society doesn’t make it easy. We have trouble asking people how much they have paid for things. We have trouble asking people how much they make. Worse than anything, we have trouble negotiating salaries because a salary is an actual measurement of what you are worth.
It is almost a numerical value of how much self esteem you should have. People are afraid to ask for too much, not wanting to sound like they are too self-assured and not wanting to price themselves out of the market. People don’t want to ask too little because then they have shot themselves in the foot.
Salary negotiations are particularly difficult when you are interviewing for a job because you don’t really know the inside scoop on the company and have to do a lot of thinking on your feet as you try to gauge how they will react to what you are asking for.
Many experts will tell you that you shouldn’t be the first one to mention a monetary figure when you are negotiating salary. They will tell you to try and have the interviewer make you an offer first. I am here to tell you that most of the time, that will be impossible. You are interviewing with them. They have a job. You don’t have the job. Who do we think has the power here?
Do Your Research
The only tool that you have in your arsenal to figure out what figure you should be getting for the job that you are interviewing for is to use your network to find out how much people are making in the same company or in a similar job at another company. The more you find out, the better off you are. Interviewing with any company should be approached like writing a really hard test. You need to study for it if you want to pass. Have a look at Monster's Canadian Salary Wizard Tool.
Use Your Words
When given an offer, ask if there is room for negotiation. Different places work differently. In some cities or at some companies, an offer is an offer. Take it or leave it. In other cities, it is a jumping off point. Do your homework to find out if there is any wiggle room.
Learn their 'Lingo'
Learn about the company and spit their language back at them. In school they told you not to paraphrase, in interviewing it is the way to go. Read up on them. Check their mission and/ or value statement. Take their words and say them in a different way. You will seem like you fit right in, and way worth the upper limit of what they can offer you.
Look like You are Worth the Investment
Dress well. Smell good. Believe that you are worth it. If they sense that you have confidence they will want you and feel that you are worth whatever they have to pay you to get you. Well, more like whatever they can afford to pay you to get you.
If they won’t budge on the money, make them move on other things- like not making you work a full year for your two weeks of vacation or letting you leave a little earlier on a Friday every few weeks. There are lots of things that you can ask for. The worst that can happen is they say no.
Salary negotiations are not fun and they are not easy. Be prepared. Knowing you stuff may make all the difference between getting a great salary and kicking yourself for not getting enough.