Ask Abbie: Tips provided for negotiating salary

Published 10:43 am Saturday, June 2, 2012

Question: Do you have any tips on how to negotiate salary for a new job?


Answer: Consider whether you are in a position of power. If you are in high demand elsewhere, you have leverage.

Draw attention to it, but don’t overemphasize the point to avoid acting overly confident or cocky. It’s OK to mention that you have interviews at other companies, but don’t try to force a favorable decision.

Avoid being the first to propose a salary figure. Tell them you are interested in a mutually rewarding career with the company and are sure you can agree on an acceptable compensation package.

If backed into a corner, introduce a salary range based on your research, but make it clear that it is “up for discussion.” Don’t ramble, say what you need, then be quiet and listen. Be ready to negotiate.

Listen to how the offer is presented. When the interviewer or prospective new boss states a salary figure, nod your head to signify you’re considering it, but keep quiet. If they’re low-balling you, the figure could make a quick jump in those few moments of consideration.

Consider agreeing to start at the salary level they are offering as they offer additional bonuses for specific accomplishments. Be prepared to define them.

Money is important, but consider the complete compensation package. Negotiate other perks and benefits and get them in writing, including frequency of potential salary increases.

As with any negotiation, your goal is to create a win-win situation.


Question: I am going on my first-ever interview for a new office manager position.

This opportunity would be a step up for me from my current position and also would be in a more friendly work environment.

I have no idea what to expect from this interview, or what type of questions I may be asked. Do you have any suggestions?


Nervous But Excited


Answer: First, I want you to prepare your “elevator speech.” This is a two-minute sell-yourself-for-the-position speech. Elevator because you have a captive audience for about two minutes as you ride together.

Sell why you know you are the best candidate for the position and what wonderful benefits your work ethic and positive energy will bring to this company.

You have to believe in yourself because your confidence or lack thereof will be sensed by those interviewing.

Once you have worked through this two-minute preparation and built your confidence and have convinced yourself you are the best person for the job, there is no question they can ask you will not be prepared to answer. Good luck!