Salary Negotiation – how to make the most of it!

You are in the final interview…

You know it is going well…

The senior partner opposite you asks you what you are hoping for in terms of salary…

Do you answer?

Well, obviously you have to answer, if you don’t want proceedings to end right there and then, but HOW you answer is the key!  Number one rule?  Do NOT give a number!

The main thing here is to establish a sort of bond of trust between you and the partner.  On your side, you need to show her that you know what you are worth, and that you trust her to recognise that in a fair way.  On her side, she  needs to know that you are confident, and will take no nonsense.

How do you achieve this?  In my experience, the very best way is to look her in the eye, calmly, and slowly say the following words:

“I know my value, and I am sure I can trust you to offer me a fair market rate”.

You then smile, and keep on looking her in the eyes, for as long as you can bear it.

That is all.  Do not be pushed into revealing your last salary, nor what you think you want.  Or at least, not at this stage.  Tell her you will review the offer when you have it in writing, and see if it fits, overall, with your expectations and abilities.  She won’t like this, but it is the best way to open negotiations!

Try it, next time you are fortunate enough to be in this position, whether it is for an MBA role at Facebook, a first graduate job, or even a high school summer holiday job.  The more  you practice early, the more likely you are to pull this off when it counts!

For more hints at negotiation, especially on how to continue this particular dialogue, look out for future articles in BecomingGlobal.  Sign up here to get free daily messages, direct to your email inbox, so that you never miss one!