It is exciting to get an offer of employment. But, hold on. Before you begin to celebrate, did you remember to negotiate your salary? Don’t forget, you are agreeing not only to take a job but also to accept a predefined wage.

Is There a Right Time to Mention Money?

There are some obvious answers as to when not to bring up salary. Walking into the opening interview and asking, “How much does this job pay?” sends the wrong message. Conversely, waiting until you receive your first paycheck and realizing it is abysmally low is not a good strategy either.

The exact timing is not as easy to define. It may make sense to broach the topic at the end of the interview process. However, if you have gone through a series of interviews, this may not be clear. Also, you do not want to waste hours of your time and the company’s time only to find the pay is non-negotiable and way below what you would be willing to accept.

Therefore, look for the following two conditions as helpful indicators.

  • when you are sure you are interested in the job
  • when the employer seems to be interested in hiring you.

When Is the Best Time to Negotiate?

According to Paul Hellman, author of Ready, Aim, You’re Hired, the trick is to catch the employer somewhere between the thoughts “We must have you.” and “We got you.” If the employer is not committed to hiring you OR if they know you are eager to sign-on, you have lost some of your bargaining power.

In addition, before negotiating, it is important for you to know the answers to two questions. 1) What exactly does this job entail? And, 2) What other benefits are included? If the job description suddenly becomes more complicated than the original listing, you will want to revise your salary requirements accordingly. On the other hand, you may be willing to accept less money if the position includes items such as a generous retirement plan, health benefits, and flextime.

What If the Employer Brings Up the Salary Too Soon?

Unfortunately, some companies use salary requirements as part of the screening process. Luckily, there are some tactful ways to dodge the question. Try responding with phrases such as, “At this point, I feel as though we still are too early in the process to consider salary.” Or, “First, I would like to figure out what this job involves.” If, despite your best efforts the employer persists, try responding with a range such as $35,000 to $45,000. What should your range be? Search online for “Job Salaries” or visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics to find your best numbers.

Do you feel underpaid in your current job? An employment agency may be able to assist you in finding a more lucrative position. Search United Talent’s Current Openings in West Virginia and Ohio today!