Negotiating salary during interview

does anyone have tips on negotiating a salary during the interview?

I’ve always had trouble thinking of safe number to give whenever I’m asked. I received an invitation for an interview and in the job description it says that the salary is to be negotiated, I don’t really have a big portfolio and my work experience is close to none. I know that underselling yourself will show the lack of skill I posses and overselling will just get me rejected… how do I approach this?

I’m applying for a web programming job that specializes in PHP. Will saying that I don’t care about the money and the experience is all I want a good or bad idea?

It’s a bad idea to undersell yourself. A good working relationship needs to be fair. At the very least, try and determine what your market rate is and what the market rate for that position would be and use that as a guide.

Research median salaries for the job you’re interviewing for in your region…

Find the number and ask for 10% more. The employer will offer 10% less. You’ll settle in the middle.

If you feel you’re especially qualified, ask for 30% more, and you’ll settle at 10% above median.


hey guys, thanks for the tip. I’ll ask some friends that do the same work as me for comparison, Hopefully the employer will give me some clue as to how much he’s willing to pay.

thanks again

Don’t ask friends… there are plenty of good websites that have much better numbers than they can give you… is one (but requires a long survey process to get your #s)… I’m sure there are others.

Definitely doing a internet research on salary is a must. Still, I’d try to turn the question to them.

“What’s your salary range limit?”
“What’s the typical salary in your company who has similar experience and skills?”

That would be optimal. My last salary discussion, I asked “What’s the salary range for this job?”. He said “A to Z dollars” and I said, “Z dollars”. Done deal. Still if you give the numbers to them first… you already lost some ground…but typical avg salary on the internet is fairly accurate.

I disagree entirely… that’s giving them control. You didn’t negotiate… you allowed him to establish your price, and basically gave a “yes/no” response. In reality, “Z” was probably less than he was willing to pay, unless he was a complete fool. And what if “Z” is well below your desired salary? Then you’re screwed. Every time I’ve asked that question, I’ve regretted it, because it allows the prospective employer to establish a set range, and it’s then either take it or leave it… negotiation is quite a lot harder after the price range is established.

Likewise, if you wait for them to raise the topic, you’re giving them complete power. They’ll likely ask something like “What did you make at your last job?” to try to establish a range… if this question comes, and your last job didn’t pay you enough, respond with the median value (lie) or say something like “not nearly enough to keep me satisfied, which is why I’m here!”

The way I approach it is by trying to raise the topic first to the interviewer before they’re entirely ready. I’ll wait til I’ve answered most of their questions, and when they make a comment expressing interest in engaging me, I’ll say: “Great! So let’s discuss salary.” They’ll often reply along hte lines of, “Did you have a number in mind?” Now the ball’s in your court… “Yes, I would ideally like $xxxxxxxxx + full benefits; that’s the number I’d be completely satisfied with.” You’ve now said a lot. You’ve given a lofty number, probably more than they hoped to pay, but you’ve said “ideally” which implies you’re open to negotiation, but you also threw in “completely satisfied” which implies you won’t be completely satisfied with less. Negotiations are ON! :smiley:

Being able to say with confidence a number that you want / expect will give the employer significantly more respect for you, and will strengthen your case in negotiations.

I guess we can agree to disagree. If you say

“Yes, I would ideally like $xxxxxxxxx + full benefits; that’s the number I’d be completely satisfied with.”

I’m sure you’d give about 10% more than what you expected but it is entirely possible that your desired salary be a below average compare to other employees. Also, if you aim so high then you may get immediately rejected because that number is way too high. This is why you ask them and it’ll be the same thing. If they offer a salary that is way too low… you’ll immediate reject the job. If they do give 1 number, then you can safely assume they can bump that up at least 5~10%. Of course, they may give you a salary so high that you’ll be surprised… of course…try to keep it calm and still try to negotiate. By giving them your “ideal salary” number, you already told them your maximum range…

I’ve never had any of the issues you’ve mentioned above, and I’ve always been the highest-paid of my peers in every job I’ve had. Take that for what it’s worth. You start with the assumption that numbers are set in stone. That a huge disparity in expectations has no middle-ground. That stems from fear of negotiation. I’ve never walked out on an employer or had them terminate negotiations due to disparity in figures. There’s always room for negotiation. If you start too high, you’ll ALWAYS be assured that you will get the best possible offer out of them, assuming you approach the negotiations correctly.

This is completely opposite to every negotiation approach I’ve ever heard or used. Letting your negotiation partner ‘go first’ is a classic tactic and is an excellent starting point for negotiation.

Bad idea to say experience is all you want. I hire people all the time and that would get you the bare minimum.
Ask for the mid base salary for PHP programmers in your area with re negotiations in a short period of time. If you make them money they should have no problem giving you a raise. An interview shouldn’t be an adversarial thing. It should be a meeting of the minds and both parties should leave it feeling good about it and that the relationship will be mutually beneficial, that’s ideal.

“Negotiation” is what happens when there’s a disparity between asking and offer. Whether you go first or they do, the asking and offered salaries will both be voiced before negotiations begin.

If you did your research properly and went in knowing 1) what you’re worth, and 2) what the company can afford for your position, there’s no reason for you to wait for the offer.

Personally, I’ve found that most interviewees will wait for an offer before deciding what they want to ask, and will base their “negotiation” on where the company sets the bar.

Really, the most important thing is to know what you’re worth to the company before you begin negotiations. Then you won’t have to rely on their offer to be prepared to negotiate, and you’ll be able to drive the negotiations in your favor, no matter who “goes first”.

I’ve gotten an interesting comment I haven’t head any other job recruiters until now. Mind that I only have 3-4 years experience in my field, but in some past jobs I was underpaid.

I told this recruiter, after going over my resume, that I’d am aiming for $XX an hour. She asked how much I was making at the longest job I held (2008 to early 2010) and I said “$YY an hour but I considered that too low for a contract rate, and I never got a raise”. She told me that despite my demand for $XX an hour, that I should stick close to $YY because clients will find it suspect to make such a jump.

My suggested rate was right in the typical range for people with my experience, but because my last job greatly underpaid, I was given the advice to stay low for a while, despite still working for below average rate at the next job, rather than make a large skip to the average rate. Was she right in suggesting this or not?

Thats ridiculous. Your value = your market rate adjusted for your personal skills/strengths

Recruiters are like real esate agents. They claim to have your interests in mind, but their real interest is to close a deal.

Its not legal in the US for employers to ask previous employers how much you made. So always ask for what you want and if someone ask about your previous salary lie. I mean, it has to be within reason but the only way they can figure out how much you made legally is to rely on what you say.


At what cost honor

Mahatma Ghandis seven deadly sins (heres #6)
Commerce (Business) Without Morality (Ethics)

This is true

Too bad 4 out of 5 job ads I respond to are posted by recruiters and third parties, and not from the clients themselves :confused: I guess in IT, it is the nature of the beast.

That doesn’t matter and its not really how it works.

A recruiter receives a job requisition from a client. It’s the client who is hiring not the recruiter. Their job is simply to get and screen candidates based on loose requirements. The recruiters don’t control your resume, your salary, your interview or your strategy. They will place whatever candidate the employer wants - they are middlemen.

When a recruiter calls me about a contract, I treat them as if they work for both me and the hiring party. Essentially that is the case - either that or they work for neither of us. They have no stakes in the game, ony to fill the job requisition with whatever the hiring party wants, and a recruiter is never the hiring party unless they are expanding the recruiting team.

I just got a new job (again!). I did the same process. I asked them directly what’s your salary range and benefits. Once “they” tell me what it is then I replied

I want maximum salary range and 2 more weeks of vacation then we got a deal… after 2 hours it’s done deal.

For me, it was the recruiter who are the hiring party.