There are so many aspects to consider about a position before you even think about salary. Is the job a good fit? Can I see myself working with this team? Is there long term growth? However, it is also important to keep your salary requirements in mind so you can know how to negotiate or when you should walk away. Here are some tips to keep in mind when it comes to discussing salary.

  1. Don’t bring it up at the interview. There is an unspoken rule that the first person who mentions money loses the game. Talking about money at the interview, unless directly asked, can make you seem like this is the only important thing for your decision. Interviewers want to know about your skills, how you can benefit them, and what your long term goals are so try to avoid this conversation at this time.
  2. Conduct research. You may be able to find out more information indirectly. In your research of the company before your interview try to find out what the salary ranges and benefits packages look like for employees of the company. Reach out to former employees on LinkedIn to get a feel for their experience.
  3. Don’t be overly bold. It is considered bad form to ask directly about salary in our culture. When you’re speaking with current and former employees of the company you may want to start by finding out about their position, the company values, and the job satisfaction. Toward the end of the conversation ask something like “I understand this can be sensitive but could you tell me if the salary is competitive for this type of position in our market?”
  4. Determine your walk-away number. Before you ever step foot in the office for an interview come up with your salary range. Figure out the very lowest number that you will accept that can pay your bills and offer some savings. This is your “walk away” number. If the offer is below this you have two options. You can begin the negotiation process with strong evidence in your favor or you can thank them for their time and indicate that this would not be a salary that you could accept.
  5. Refer someone else. You may want to end the discussion with good will if it turns out that you aren’t able to accept the job offer. Send them some names and contact information of individuals in your professional network who you think might be a better fit for this opportunity.

Are you worried about discussing money with your next potential employer? Contact Harvard Resource Solutions to learn more ways to negotiate.

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