Interviewing for any position can be stressful. For job seekers, discussing starting salary can lead to heightened anxiety about an interview’s outcome. However, despite the discomfort, discussing starting salary – and being prepared to negotiate – is a must. Without discussing salary during an interview, you’re much more likely to be dissatisfied with your compensation later. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to ensure you’re well-prepared to discuss salary and able to make a strong impression.
Before interviewing for an IT position, do your homework. Research the company you’re interviewing with and their industry goals. Identify your strengths and weaknesses with regard to the available position. Also, review the average salaries for IT professionals working in this specific industry. Entry level salaries may be higher or lower depending on specialty. To make an on-the-spot judgment about a position’s salary, it’s essential to walk into an interview equipped with this information.
Make Sure the Timing is Right
Asking about starting salary in the very beginning of an interview nearly guarantees an awkward interview. First, it leads the interviewer to think salary is the only aspect of the position you care about. In addition, asking salary questions before you’ve discussed the details of the position gives the impression that you’re desperate – a red flag for many hiring companies.
Hopefully, the person interviewing you will bring up salary first. If that doesn’t happen, wait until you have a good grasp of what the position entails before asking. Ideally, the best time to bring up starting salary is sometime between the middle and end of your interview.
Ask about Pay Range
Instead of asking for a specific number, inquire about the expected pay range for the position. Asking about a pay range, as opposed to an exact figure, makes approaching the subject of salary less intrusive while providing you with an idea of what the company is willing to spend.
Based on the range you’re given, is this range appropriate for your level of experience and skill set? Even if you’re offered a salary near the high end of this range, will you receive what you’re truly worth? These are important questions to silently consider before starting the negotiation process.
Leave Room for Negotiation
Discussing starting salary at the right time leaves room for negotiation before the interview wraps up. Some experts believe that negotiation during an initial interview is essential, while others insist you wait until you’ve received an official job offer. By doing your homework, however, you’ll be prepared to negotiate whenever it seems appropriate.
Often, getting information about potential salary range is enough to guide your decision-making process. When negotiating during an interview, opt to negotiate for a higher base pay instead of bonuses. This leaves room to negotiate for bonuses later, long after you’ve become established with the company. If you choose to wait until you’ve received a job offer, review the entire compensation package offered – and get those offers in writing.
For more information about getting ahead in the IT world, contact IT Accel today!