The rules of talking about benefits and salary in the interview

Ok, so benefits and salary are important. Maybe to you they are the most important thing, and that’s ok. But sending that message to the interviewer is bad interview etiquette, and will seriously affect your chances of success. Like much of the interview there are a set of unwritten rules you need to follow. Well not anymore. I’ve written the rules when it comes to benefits and salary right here for you.

1) Know what you want

What do you want for the right role? It may sound obvious but it’s important to be as specific as possible from the outset. If you don’t know what you are looking for, you aren’t likely to get it.

Do your homework and find out what you are worth in the marketplace. You can find some useful salary survey guides on the web, but one word of caution. In my experience employers tend to look to offer at the lower end of the scale, so you had better know yourself, what you expect and what you need.

2) Its about what you can offer them first

Right now that’s enough about you, for now at least. Remember that talking “me, me, me” is dull, dull, dull. Before you can get down to what matters to you, you have to give the interviewer what they want, and prove you are worth what you are looking for… this and the key to the package you want is firmly in your hands.

3) Timing is everything

There is most definitely right and a wrong time to talk salary and benefits. Never bargain before you have a bargaining position.

Your bargaining power increases the further you progress through the job interview process. When you are just a faceless name on a resume what you want is immaterial. Further down the line, when they have decided you are the candidate they want to hire they will be all ears. It's just a question of timing. It makes sense to wait until you really have their attention doesn’t it?

First things first. Focus on your job interview preparation to put in that all important great interview performance.

4) Know how to negotiate

Negotiation isn’t an art, it’s a science. You need to know how it works if you want to get the deal you are really looking for.

Click here for part 2: salary negotiation

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