Do you feel uncomfortable with the salary negotiation process? Here are some commonly asked questions along with the answers.
How do you correctly estimate your worth in the marketplace?
Do your research. Salary.com and Payscale.com are good places to start. Also make sure to check salary surveys done by professional associations. You can find out which associations are linked to your field by using the search engine at this URL: http://www.asaecenter.org/Directories/AssociationSearch.cfm.
How do you determine what the going rate is as far as salary is concerned in a new geographic area?
Same as above. Some professional associations break down the going rate by geographic location. Also, refer to http://cgi.money.cnn.com/tools/costofliving/costofliving.html.
How do you answer the question, What are you looking for in terms of salary?
It´s best not to answer this question. Giving a specific answer can knock you out of the running, especially if you answer this question before you have received an actual offer. Try to delay answering any questions about salary until you are offered the position. One way to put off answering this question is to say, I´d like to hear more about the position first before we talk about salary.
If you are pressed to give an answer, give a range, not a specific dollar amount. A good way to phrase it is, Based on my salary research, I know that the going rate for someone with my level of experience in this geographic area is between $____ and $___. This subtly lets the interviewer know that you know what you are worth in the marketplace and at the same time gives you room for negotiation because you haven´t locked yourself in to a specific dollar amount.
What exactly is negotiable in the salary negotiation process?
It depends on the position, the company, and the industry. Some things that may be negotiable are: health insurance, vacation time, annual salary review, retirement savings plans, bonus plans, college tuition reimbursement plans, andstock options.
Cheryl Palmer is an Executive Career Coach at Call to Career, a professional career coaching and resume writing firm based on Silver Spring, MD. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.