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Understand the art of negotiation

Date posted:  4/20/14 08:30:00 AM Learn the art of negotiation and don't settle for a wage that isn't worth your while.

Money talks, but people so rarely talk about it. While avoiding fiscal conversations around the dinner table is all well and good, more people need to know how to discuss money in a negotiation, specifically when it comes to salary demands and requirements.

But understanding when and how to talk about money during a job interview can be difficult. For example, Rodney Hood, a national account executive at HireRate, told Mashable that prospective employees gearing for a meeting with an employer should not bring up salary ‡ during the first interview. Hood said if you go for an interview and the employer brings up salary on the first meeting, you should try to avoid the question.

"Redirect the interview to your accomplishments instead of money," Hood said. "You do not want the company focused on your needs before they are committed to needing you."

Understanding the position and requirements

Forbes said prospective employees should do some homework before the interview ‡.  Research the employer and see how the company reviews performance. This might give you a better grasp on how the company handles promotions, pay increases and other incentives.

You should also consider looking at salary information. Check to see where the company is situated and compare average salaries and salary ranges for similar positions in the area. For reference, you can use websites such as salary.com, payscale.com, indeed.com, careeronestop.org and glassdoor.com.


Salary demands will ultimately come up at some point, so when that happens, the first thing you and the employer will want to know is if you're in the same ballpark in terms of compensation. Some employers might pressure you to give them a number, but it's vital to make sure you fully understand the position before you say anything.

"If the job requires overtime, travel or very specific skills, these factors generally command a higher salary," Hannah Morgan, career strategist at CareerSherpa.net, told Mashable. "Often, these details are not revealed until later in the interview process."

She said if a company tries to pressure you into giving a salary range, there are ways to sidestep the situation ‡.

"My advice is to try stating, 'I am interested in learning more about the full requirements of the job and the benefits package before discussing my salary requirements,'" Morgan said. "If the company still pushes, the candidate should ask, 'What have you budgeted for the position?' Usually the company knows the answer and this provides some frame of reference."

Dealing with and countering lowball offers
Forbes reported that a number of hiring managers routinely offer a lower starting amount ‡ to prospective employees than they are willing to pay. They do this because they assume people will try to negotiate a better deal.

Thus, if you go to a job interview and are offered a lower rate than what you believe is fair for the position, be prepared to sell yourself to the hiring manager. They are offering you the position because they value your skills, so don't be afraid to sell yourself and any specialized accomplishments or training that the company might need.

Hood said you also shouldn't try to negotiate your salary on past wages if the position is not the same, or if you're trying to garner a better wage.

"Instead, position your negotiation to address the value of what you can do for the employer and the value you place on your abilities," he said. "Discuss your salary requirements as they relate to your ability to outperform and exceed expectations."