Negotiating the best offer-how to be successful!

Negotiating the best offer-how to be successful!

Everyone wants to get the best offer they possibly can during the offer stage of the interview process. What many don’t realize, that the negotiation process really begins during the screening interview when you are asked about your salary requirements. 

Before the interview process begins: 

  1. Identify what you want and need in your next role: If you don’t know what type of job you want or the company culture that best suits you, can you really do a great job in the interview? It is imperative to identify what you need and want, so future interviews will serve their purpose and not be a waste of time for both you and the company. It is important for women to work on letting go of any limiting self-beliefs that could get in the way of a great career, benefits and equitable salary for the position you are seeking. 

  2. Do your research: Understand your market worth. In your current/last position evaluate if you were paid fairly, over compensated or under what the market is willing to pay for someone of your background and years of experience? By knowing this in advance, it will help you answer the ‘money question’ and be more confident in the negotiation stages with a “I am worth it, and I know my value” positive attitude. 

  3. Learn how to answer the “money question” in the screening interview:   When you are asked by the hiring managers or recruiters – “What are your salary expectations “what did you make in your last role?” (illegal question to ask in MA) – make sure you have your answer ready. The wrong answer can knock you out of the interview process before it even begins.  The answer for your salary expectations can be, “I don’t have a set figure in mind because I do not know enough about the role, responsibilities and challenges. Can you give me what the range is for this role?”  Keep in mind, the one asking the question just wants to know how close they are with your expectations. If they do respond and the range is within your salary expectations, you can respond with “that is within my range.” DO NOT START NEGOTIATING UNTIL YOU HAVE AN OFFER! 

  4. Prepare, prepare and prepare: Make sure you can answer anticipated questions by providing concrete examples and/or stories that best demonstrates your experience. This will prove to the hiring manager you bring value to the organization by having solved similar problems in the past. 

During the interview stage:

  1. Ask courageous questions: Asking questions that are thought-provoking will help you decide if the role and company are a good fit. It will demonstrate you are “authentic”, and the hiring manager will appreciate not only your skills and qualifications, but you ‘the person’ as well. 

For example, if you are looking for a flexible work schedule, maybe not in the first round of interviews, but in the second round, you should ask questions how does this company supports work- balance? Can you give me an example? 

Therefore, if you receive an offer and one of the things you need to negotiate is a bit more flexibility; this request won’t come as a surprise to the hiring manager since you’ve already asked question about this area during the interview.

  1. Be self-aware of your answers and body language of the interviewer: Many times, interviewees think the interview went well, but are unable to articulate ‘why’. The  job seeker may not be paying close enough attention to their answers and non-verbal body language of the interviewer. Does the interviewer’s body language say they, in fact, are disappointed with your answer?  This will become important as you write your post interview notes.  You can ask “does that answer your question, or can I provide more detail? 

After the interview:

  1. Write compelling thank you notes:  Write insightful, unique and persuasive thank you notes to each person with whom you interviewed expressing your interest in working with them, the role and the company. Each note should be specific to each person as some individuals will compare notes, and if you ‘cut and paste’ your thank you notes, you are showing them you cut corners even before you are hired. You want them to say to the hiring manager, “Hire this person… now!” Sending a handwritten note after an email will certainly impress the hiring manager. Go above and beyond what others are doing. 

The Offer: 

  1. Congratulations!!  If you have completed all the steps to the best of your ability and have increased your chances of negotiating with confidence.  

  2. Role play with a colleague negotiating the offer based, on your needs and wants. Being prepared going into a negotiation conversation could increase your chances of getting the best offer and the one that is right for you! 

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