Let me ask you a simple question: By how much was your final salary sliced off from what you had quoted at your job interview? Think it is the norm? Think again! Here’s how you can negotiate your expected salary the next time, and not be at a loss anymore:
1. Look Up A Suitable Time
After you get through the first face-to-face/telephonic interview, you may broach the salary topic. There’s no sense in bringing up the business of rupees if you aren’t interested in the job or if the HR screening folks aren’t interested in you.
When somebody calls you or invites you for a second interview, that’s the moment to share your target range. This is also the moment when you have to take a call — that if the company is not willing to pay you what you need, then why waste resources and time to accommodate their request for a second round?
2. Practice the Script
A typical example of how to bring up the salary question can be:
Sonia, the COMPANY HR: So, after our meeting last week, I had a chance to speak to the concerned person, and show him your resume. He finds your profile impressive. Can I arrange a meeting with him? Will Tuesday at 3:00 p.m. work for you?
YOU: Thanks, Sonia. I’ll have to check my schedule. Before I do that, is this a good time to check on the compensation range for the position — and are you the right person to have that conversation with?
As soon as you broach the salary topic, the HR is almost guaranteed to ask you what you were earning at your last job. You don’t have to part with that information, and it is not even recommended that you do, as your negotiating leverage goes down the drain the instant you blurt out the details of your most recent comp package.
Feel bad about it? Now, is the HR going to tell you what the company paid the last guy in this position? Highly unlikely. So why should you give up your own compensation details? You don’t have to — do this, instead:
SONIA: Yes, let’s talk about the compensation to make sure we are on the same plane. What were you earning at your previous firm?
YOU: I’m focusing on jobs in the ₹50-60K range. If that’s going to work for the manager, then we can take this further.
Sounds too bold? Well, here’s the truth: most firms close in on a salary package less than what they had earmarked for the position earlier. But make sure you calmly and pleasantly hold your ground compensation-wise.
3. Seal The Deal
Let this script guide you how to close the deal:
Rohit, the Business Head: So, I’ve spoken to people I had to, and carefully considered everything. Now, I’d like to make you an offer.
YOU: Fantastic! I’m excited. Can you share the details with me?
Rohit: Yep. The base is ₹45 K, a little lower than the number you mentioned but a decent place to start, I think. If you do well, you will be duly compensated for it. Sonia (HR) has the details on the breakup, so you can connect with her further on this.
YOU: Okay, great. Thanks a million for that. I’m excited to jump in. I have a lot of ideas. Is now a good time to talk about the package?
Rohit: Er…what about it? I hope it works for you. I have a strict budget.
YOU: I understand. I know budgets are tight. I’m avid to take the job. We’re however, a ways apart on the compensation. Can we get creative and see whether we can bridge the gap?
Rohit: How big a gap are we talking about?
YOU: I’m pretty set on 60 K, and the forty five offer has a 15k gap. Could we bridge that gap please? As for the bonus next year, we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it?
ROHIT: I might be able to stretch it to 55 then.
YOU: That’s pretty close. Thank you. Now, would you like to be treated to some brilliant coffee sometime?
ROHIT: Oh yeah, Starbucks – that’s perfect. I love it. Well, terrific! I’ll revise the offer letter and get it over to you.
Once a firm has decided to hire you, they’ve already made an investment in the relationship. It’s worth something to them to close the deal. Don’t sell yourself short on the job market. You have talents that employers need, and you should earn what you rightly deserve!
Don’t ever feel that you have to beg and grovel for a job. You’re a professional, and you’re worth whatever you’re asking for.