You have your dream interview lined up. But how do you ensure that you get the best possible salary?
While the pay for junior-level positions is typically fixed, mid- to senior-level employees and managers have more flexibility to negotiate their salaries. Here are some tips from recruiters and human-resource managers that can help improve your chances of snagging a high salary.
1. Research, research, research
To get a better salary, begin by figuring out what's the highest you can get. 'Do good homework on what are the prevailing salaries for a similar role in the industry,' says Sanjay Pandit, managing director of recruiting firm Manpower Services India.
This is easier said than done, because companies don't exactly publish their pay scales in the newspaper.
Ask your friends or trustworthy colleagues about potential salaries for someone with your relevant experience and skills. If you are working through a recruiting company, they might be able to give you a range.
Finally, you can try using networking web sites like LinkedIn to connect with people in the field or company you are applying to, who in turn could provide you with some guidance.
It might help to dig through the annual reports of the company you are applying to and read recent news reports, in order to figure out how the company is doing financially. A larger and more successful company can afford to pay higher salaries than a smaller or struggling one.
2. Curb your eagerness
As with any negotiation, if you convey your eagerness for something, you lose your bargaining power. 'Whoever shows more interest always gets less,' says Sanjay Muthal, managing director of executive search firm NuGrid Consulting Pvt. Ltd., in Mumbai.
Candidates need to strike a balance between appearing interested in the particular job, and not appearing too eager.
Mr. Muthal advises talking about macro issues such as the role you're applying for and potential responsibilities, rather than discussing the nitty-gritty of expected pay. 'If you generate a terrific impression, then salary follows,' he says.
3. Wait to be asked
Candidates should not begin the salary discussion because that makes them 'come across as being too money-minded,' says Zak Parker, regional HR director of North Africa, Middle East & Southern Asia for security services firm G4S PLC.
Wait for the company to start the salary negotiation. It might help to delay the discussion till all interview rounds are over. The further along you are in the interview process, the more interested the hiring managers would be in you. That puts you in a better position to ask for a higher salary, because the manager might go back to the human resources team or the budgeting team to ask for more money for you.