How to communicate your salary expectations?

The seven most important questions about salary
One of the most feared questions asked during a job interview is the one  about expected salary conditions. Should you ask for less or, strategically, rather for more than you really need? How to negotiate better salary conditions?

1. How can I determine my price on the labour market?

  • First you should gain insight into salaries in the sector you work in.
  • Check a salary survey, for instance
  • You can also find information about salaries in job advertisements.
  • Ask your friends and acquaintances who have similar jobs.
  • Ask about your price during your job interview.

2. Which criteria determine my price if I am a graduate or already have some work experience?

  • The type of your experience. The most valuable one is experience relevant to your job position, for instance from the field of administration, customer service or commerce.
  • Language proficiency.
  • Personality traits for the given position.
  • The ability to sell yourself and convince the interviewer of your motivation.

Don’t forget:: don’t be afraid to sell your achievements, education attained and, most importantly, your diligence which you can prove by, for instance, participation in school or out-of-school projects, foreign internship, etc..

If you are a more experienced candidate, your price depends on:

  • The quality of experience, stability, progress and achievements you have reached with your previous employers.
  • Your versatility. People who can hold cumulative positions are very valuable nowadays.
  • Knowledge of the market and customers in the relevant sector, or well-established contacts.

3. When should I start to negotiate my salary during an interview?

Salary is often discussed in the second or final round of the hiring process . Before you start the negotiation:

  • Find out all the information about the scope of work and responsibilities in the given position.
  • Have a clear vision of your salary – at least about the range you can move in.
  • Zistite si informácie o možnom platovom raste vo firme, ako aj svojej dlhodobej perspektíve.
  • Find information about possible salary growth in the company and your long-term prospects as well.
  • Gain insight into your competition. Try to assess to what extent you meet the criteria for the position. If you know that there is little competition for the given position and your chances are high, the odds are in your favour.

Don’t forget: Being pushy at any cost might not pay off. If you do succeed to negotiate above-average salary conditions, you haven’t won yet. The employer will most likely place high demands on you after you start and you will be under more pressure to justify your price.

4. How to proceed in negotiating your salary?

  • Wait for the offer from your potential employer.
  • If you are urged to express your expectations, tell them an amount that is satisfactory for you, but also mention that you are open to further discussion.
  • If you are not sure whether the offer is adequate, take time to consider it.
  • Consider also other circumstances, such as, long-term prospects, working environment, and employee benefits.
  • If you are meeting several representatives of the company, do not change your salary expectations. That might look speculative.

Don’t forget: If your future employer feels that the salary is on the high side, don’t tell them that you have just taken out a mortgage and want to repay it as soon as possible. Use relevant and objective arguments highlighting your long-term potential in the company as an investment into the right person.

5. How should I determine the minimum level of my salary?

Don’t underestimate yourself! It may seem as low self-confidence or desperation. It could also be the reason for your rejection, or the employer could use it to your disadvantage.

6. Should I ask for more during an interview and then perhaps lower my expectations?

It’s always better to be in the negotiating position. You should deal with the salary issue in the final stage when it’s clear that you have been chosen for the job. Convince them of your value and that the position is tailor-made for you. If you succeed in that, you can aim for higher salary.

7. When can I ask for more?

Give yourself some time to get familiar with your new job and prove your skills and abilities. Your salary can be re-assessed after the first employee assessment. At that time, you will already feel comfortable in your position and you will be bringing the first results. If the employer promises salary hike after probationary period, have it confirmed in writing.

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