Whether you are asked at the start of a job interview or just before the meeting is about to close, executives are always looking to ensure that their response hits the mark when that question arises during the interview: What is required to get you on board? (or in other words, how much will you cost?)
There is no doubt that it is important to get it right when seeking to effectively negotiate on salary & package. This is a fine balancing act where if your demands are considered excessive the employer will move on to the next candidate. On the other hand, negotiate too little, and you will miss out on ensuring an alignment with your true market value.
Responding competently to the question on remuneration will ensure you get the deal you want and truly deserve. You must focus on the opportunity and the potential value you bring to the table rather than what you will cost. Here are some tips to help you negotiate this delicate interview question with effectiveness, confidence and tact.
1.Understand your value. Investigate and carry out salary benchmarking to identify what similar roles are currently commanding within your sector and geography. Prepare in advance with facts and figures which highlight your potential value to the employer. Whether you illustrate your value in terms of cost cutting or revenues generated at a competitor, you must show that you want to be rewarded for superior performance whilst having a package aligned with your true market worth. Through accurate salary benchmarking for the role, in the geography and industry in which you’re applying, and not seeking way beyond that figure, you will create confidence, demonstrate integrity and a real desire to close the deal on a win-win basis.
2.Establish a bottom line. Determine how much you want this role and to what extent you will be able to add value and continue to progress in your career. Set a bottom line in your mind as to what you might be willing to accept in terms of package to take the job. Consider also what you may be willing to negotiate to make those numbers work for both yourself and the employer: assess stock options versus salary or education opportunities versus holidays.
3.Emphasize a smart investment, not expense. Reveal how you will be able to directly contribute to the bottom line through revenue generation, improved productivity or cost reductions. Highlight examples from past and present which show the impact you have had on the bottom line. Use tables or such illustrations to highlight in benefit driven terms your achievements, outlook and the impact your expertise can have on the hiring company.
4.Do not pinpoint an exact number for your target salary. Indicate rather a range that will allow you more scope to negotiate your package in terms of bonuses and other benefits. If you have done your homework and are talking with a well matched high potential firm who has understood the value you can add, remember that no two candidates are the same and it pushes the hiring company to react and secure your services and make an offer before you name a figure.
5.Demonstrate a “Solutions” approach. The hiring firm must really see that you want this job and can deliver. Drive home this message showing your commitment to the opportunity. This could be by demonstrating solutions to some of the challenges which you are aware the organization is facing. Let them know that you are confident that if they agree to work together, you can make this happen. The focus again must be on your potential impact as a real team player from the start.