Negotiating Your Salary Before Joining a Company

Before you even imagine negotiating pay on the interview table, you should first see when to start negotiating. The timing is more valuable than the process itself, and secondly, it also depends on what offer has been made on the table. Once the proposal has been laid out, you can now put your first foot forward and unleash your negotiating skills.

Note that in the case of multiple-stage interviews, this could come in after you have been filtered from the first batch of candidates and shortlisted as a worthy candidate. Technically, they want you in but will have to sort out the remunerations and/or benefits the company has to offer. Here are 6 things to remember when negotiating for your pay before you join a new company.

1. Gather Information

When it comes to pay negotiations, many interviewees fail to settle on a figure and thus get nowhere. The reason why they fail is they don’t gather enough information either about their own skills, or about their potential employer. You have to know what your company has been paying for the position you have applied for. Even if you don’t, at least know what the competitors are paying for the slot.

Secondly, you should also have a little knowledge about the demand of the skills you possess. Is the requirement dying down, or do you possess enough qualifications and experience that might give you a leg up? Analyse and then see what you are worth before you start negotiating for a figure.

2. Do Not Mention A Figure

No matter what may happen, don’t put down a numerical figure. Your interviewer may resort to odd tricks to push you to commit. You might be asked questions such as, ‘what is your expected salary’ or, ‘what is the payment you can start with’.

Giving a range below the industry average (see #1) may be of a disadvantage to you. The company might have a higher budget, but since you quoted a lower figure, the company makes a save by pushing your price further down. Give too high and you may feel offended with the cuts they take liberties with to find how low a figure they can get away with.

The trick here is to answer in the affirmative. You should say ‘I will accept your best offer’, instead of naming an amount. This method will actually coerce the interviewer to offer you their best salary package. Moreover, you also get an edge to deal according to your needs.

3. Go For A Win-Win Negotiating Style

From what I have seen, I have noticed that interviewees consider mediation as a lopsided game. They jump inside the interview room believing it is either you or me. But in reality, salary negotiations should be based on a win-win formula. The company will never want to waste money by overpaying you. Similarly, you will never want to see yourself working for a company if they underpay you. A balanced approach is ideal for a successful negotiation process.

As an interviewee, you should know that companies usually start the salary negotiation from a little lower than half the amount of the salary assigned to the prospective employee’s position. Many companies follow this trend to determine salaries for positions, especially in the higher level or for positions that are not advertised.

Timing Is Everything

If the candidate doesn’t bargain here, he is left out because the company gets the impression that he is hungry for the job no matter what is offered. Now it’s up to you how to negotiate it to a range suitable for you. If you believe that the offer made is not terribly far from your expectation, you can barter your way to get what you want.

However, there are times when negotiations may not work out in your favor. When that happens, you should put that behind you and look for other job offers.

4. Don’t negotiate as a loser

You will never get your dream job if you negotiate with a losing attitude. Your attitude will come to the fore, and the company will have an impression that you are dying to get the offer. Your anxiety can ruin your party before it had even begun.

Instead, make your company wait a while before you commit to anything. Let the interviewer ask more questions. The waiting game will help you to arrange platforms to negotiate your way up. It will also keep the interviewer guessing.

He may even become more flexible and raise the salary range, even though, he may not commit anything verbally. But if he drops the shield it will give an indication that he is ready to talk to you at your own terms.

5. Make Your Decisions Based on The Offer Letter

The offer letter can lead you to a better compensation package. Sometimes, the company may want to spend less, but they compensate through other channels. The firm may give you better pension plans, or they may have other fringe benefits waiting for you, such as transport allowance, dental or eye care, flexible working hours or compassionate leave.

It is crucial how you view these benefits. If you do not consider these benefits suited to your lifestyle, negotiate for the best offer. It is, therefore, important, to take time and read through the offer carefully before you decide to say yes or no.

6. Maintaining and closing of negotiations

Many interviewees focus too much on financial sums while negotiating. Your focus on money may drive you out of your track, and you may omit the basics. It is noteworthy that you navigate the attention of your interviewer towards how valuable you can be for the company. If you are unable to prove your worth, all your negotiations will be a complete waste.

Therefore, assess your negotiation style during the course to see if you are doing the right things. Your attempt to assure the interviewer of your worth will facilitate the negotiation process and it will also impress the interviewer. Leave them with the impression that you are not only concerned with the salary, but also with the value you can take into the company if they take you in.


No matter how hard you negotiate, but when the negotiations get over, it’s truly over. Remember to never finish your negotiations on a discord. You never know, one day you might be negotiating again with the same individual in a different company.