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Negotiating a Job Offer: How to Get What You Want

You may have found the perfect job opportunity, but perhaps the salary or hours aren’t quite right for you. You may believe that the only option is to turn down the job if it doesn’t quite fit the bill, however, some simple negotiation could be all that’s needed to get exactly what need out of the role.

It can seem awkward to negotiate a job offer, but if your persuasion pays off, you will certainly reap the rewards in the long term. Before you attend the interview, it’s important to have set ideas on what you’d like to negotiate. All companies will have different boundaries of what they’re willing to compromise, but it’s certainly worth an attempt.

Some of the aspects that may be up for negotiation include:

· Salary

· Hours

· Job title

· Vacation allowance

· Remote work

· Bonuses

· Expenses

If any of these factors are important to you within a job role, here are some tips that could help you get what you want:

Don’t bring emotions into it

Although personal issues such as debt may be the driving force behind how much salary you’re hoping to secure, being too open with your issues may not be the best approach. It can come across as unprofessional and spark concerns. Employers are on the lookout for interesting reasons as to why a candidate should be giving a better offer, rather than feeling as though the candidate is trying to play on their emotions.

Do your research beforehand

To avoid getting into sticky situations, it would be highly advised to read the job description carefully to ensure that you are aware of the salary and the benefits on offer before starting to negotiate. You should also research the average salary for employees and the company culture to determine whether there is any possibility you’ll get what you’re looking for. One of the best tips would be to make contact with past employees and ask if they were able to negotiate on some of the factors that were most important to them.

Be friendly

Employers are hoping to secure candidates who they believe they’ll enjoy working with, so you’ll need to come across as likeable and easy to get along with. This isn’t the time to cause friction between yourself and the interviewer, or you could significantly impact your chances of being selected. In this regard, it’s important to discuss your expectations respectfully and calmly, as opposed to becoming frustrated.

Play it cool

When you’re offered an interview, don’t give off the impression that you’ll be negotiating your requirements at a later date. Employers need to get a good impression of you before you’re in a position to ask if there is any room for compromise on certain aspects of the job. Play it cool and wait until the right moment to discuss your expectations. Coming across as too forceful too early is not a good trait for any potential employee.

Ask for advice

It may seem like a strange stance to take when negotiating but asking the advice of the employer could be a positive move when it comes to getting what you want. After you have discussed the benefits and why you are an excellent candidate for the position, simply tell the employer that you’d value their own personal recommendations. Complimenting the employer is a promising move and instantly proves that you value their opinion and guidance for your future career development.

Asking for more £££ than you want as a tactic

Asking for more than you want is a good way to get more than you bargained for – providing you use this tactic in moderation and don’t overkill it. As with any negotiation, you’re sure to get knocked down when it comes to the benefits you’re hoping to secure, so aim higher and you may be surprised as to what you can accomplish. If you are getting the impression that you have built a good relationship with the employer during the interview, it may not do any harm to give your verdict on what you expect from the new role and whether they can provide it – the worst than can happen is that they’ll make a counteroffer, or just decline. A good way of stating this is by saying that you were 'expecting around the £30,000 mark' if you were actually wanting £28,000 for example. This shows you have flexibility but you're setting a marker. Bare in mind that this works well in appraisals too and shouldn't be used if the salary is set in the job advert, though you can ask if they're flexible on salary to check, but would need a good reason to justify why.

What NOT to do when negotiating

While there are many aspects that you should do when negotiating the various aspects of a role job, it’s important to play the game carefully and with consideration or you may be at risk of jeopardising your chances of getting hired. We’re now going to take a look at some of the key aspects that you should never try and negotiate in a job interview:

Don’t ask for higher than the salary stated

While you may be keen to get as high a wage as possible when applying for a job role, you should never try and barter to get a better salary than the one already advertised. Such a bold move can give the impression of being far too self-assured which can be extremely off-putting to any employer. If you’re not satisfied with the wage, you should certainly question whether it was worth applying for and whether to take the application to the next stage. Employers tend to refuse to budge on salary if clearly stated, so save yourself the time and trouble and apply for a role in which you feel fairly rewarded for your expertise.

Fail to explain you deserve a higher salary

If the salary isn’t stated on the job advert, you may be able to push for the salary you expect – however, it won’t just be handed to you on the plate. You’ll need to prove why you deserve it and how your expertise reflects your desired wage. As salaries are competitive, you shouldn’t price yourself out of the market or you may discover that your offer is immediately refused. If in any doubt, research the job market to get an idea of the figure you should be aiming for and what other companies are paying their employees. You may have to fight your corner to get the salary you deserve, so be prepared to polish up on your persuasion skills and prove your worth.

Lie that other companies wish to recruit you

If you’re not getting what you’re looking for when negotiating, you should never fib that other companies are looking to hire you. This is one of the worst mistakes you can make. Bear in mind that employers won’t feel under threat by the remark or believe you are in high demand– they will simply move onto the next candidate. What’s more, it can also give the impression that you’re not interested in the job role at all and may be inclined to hire someone who will appreciate the job more. If, however, they ask you if you have anything else in the pipeline, you could say: 'I do but I would prefer to work within your company and would be willing to wait (within reason) to see if you could offer this preferred job role first.'

Express that you’re insulted by the offer

Remaining calm in a job interview is crucial if you want to make the best impression, therefore, letting your anger take hold is never going to stand you in good stead. Although you may be downhearted by the offer, don’t show your frustration. You could simply say that you’re interested in the job but the salary may be a problem for you. Talking calmly about bridging the gap between what they are offering and what you expect could be a better course of action.

However, failing to compensate employees fairly in regard to salary and benefits can often mirror poor company culture, so if you’re in any doubt, you may be better off walking away and seeking employment elsewhere.

Accept a bad deal

Negotiating can be a lengthy and tiring process and it can be easier to simply accept a bad deal, rather than fighting your corner. While you may be keen to end the process, never agree to a contract that is not going to benefit you in the long term. It will only lead to poor satisfaction and lack of productivity and motivation, and in some cases, could interfere with your personal life. Consider what you’re willing to give up and what you’re not – and stick to it.

Negotiation is never easy and is not a trait that many people have a natural talent for, however, practising your approach and being firm on what you’re looking for in a job role will give you a better chance of securing exactly what you need from employment. It may be worth talking in more detail with a recruitment specialist as to how to negotiate when it comes to securing a new job and they will be able to provide face-to-face or virtual sessions to help you polish up your negotiation skills. As with anything, the more you do it, the better you’ll become. Remember, that it will feel awkward initially – you may feel as though you’re being forceful and rude by putting your cards on the table and delivering your expectations. However, it will soon become second nature and you could improve your professional life greatly as you move through your career.

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