The topic of compensation can be very sensitive and unnerving. Both you and the company must arrive at a figure that is fair and acceptable. We have compiled a strategy for handling the money issue during the interview. If you can assert your individual needs while also understanding the position of the company, you will already be on track to becoming a valuable asset to the company. We assure you: there is no need for nervous glances or hand-wringing. Have confidence to show your worth.
Key points to remember:
1. Know that companies want to make a fair offer
They want to bring new employees on board at a salary level that provides incentive to leave current employer and take a position with them. Companies also want to offer compensation that is consistent with the company’s existing salary structure for that position.
2. Have realistic expectations
The days of 15% and 20% compensation increases are gone. Inflation rates are down, all corporations are more conscious of maintaining consistency in existing salary structure, the economic growth in many industries has leveled off, and the competition for better positions has increased. Reasonable (though not guaranteed) percentage increases range from 5% to 10%.
3. Remember that you are there for the position and opportunity
No amount of money will turn a bad job into a good job. A quality position with quality people in a dynamic work environment offers intrinsic rewards that money can’t buy. Carefully question companies offering salaries significantly above fair market value, there is always a reason!
4. Be flexible. Consider all of the options on the table
Compensation packages are often a combination of salary, bonus, performance review, benefits, title, and other perks.
5. Avoid giving a specific number
If you are asked what salary you are looking for, try to avoid quoting a specific figure. Try something like this: “I’m very interested in working with you, and I feel I can make a meaningful contribution. I am currently earning $ ________ per year and would entertain your very best offer.” If at all possible, do not name a figure. When asked the salary you desire on an application, write “OPEN” so you do not lock yourself into a number.
6. Restate what you are earning
If you are once again asked about compensation later in the process, you want to restate what you are earning and ask what the position will pay.
Interested in learning more about how to ace your next interview and land yourself in the right job? Partner with ICS by applying with us to learn more.