How to negotiate the best pay possible

At the end of the interview the hiring manager asks you, “what are your salary expectations?” What do you say? How do you respond?

At this point you know the company is interested in you, but you are feeling interpretation. You know a giving a salary too high will put this successful interview into a tailspin. A salary too low will immediately undercut your value and set the wrong tone for this lucrative job.

So how do you handle this situation? In this article, I will take you through some hidden techniques that will help you get the best possible salary?

Before the interview, research

Before you get to the interview, do your research on pay. Even if you have said, “let me get back to you,” you can do a quick estimate of a reasonable pay request.

In order to understand negotiating pay you need to understand the factors that influence pay. Pay has several components to it for example, demand for skills, location, cost of living, tax laws, amount of travelling, employees you will be supervising, your knowledge, benefits, and education.

With technology it is very easy to research salaries for similar roles in your area. Look at:

  • Adverts for similar roles and look at their pay including the company’s own website.
  • Your current or last pay
  • Online salary calculation tools to help in determining salary
  • Market data regarding outlook for your job
  • Company information regarding their outlook
  • Anyone you may know that works for the company

Your current or last pay

From my own experience, your current pay is your starting point. It states your value. Unless you want to take a “step-down” or you are facing redundancy then you should not settle for less than your current pay.

from my experience, when changing companies, it is easy to make a small jump in pay, upto £3,000 with very little issue. However, when the jump gets larger, companies can begin to get nervous because they may feel you don’t have the right experience or they may have to invest a lot into you. If you are going to ask for more than £3,000 then provide evidence as to why you are worth the extra money.

Skills assessment

Next, make a list of your hard and soft-skills. Look for jobs in the market you want to apply with similar skills. Match your skills and experience level with other jobs in the market to come to a reasonable figure for your skills.

Use your network

Friends and those who know the about the company, will be in a good position to tell you about hiring practices and salaries. Even if you do not have friends at the companies you are applying, your network should help you assess your skills worth. By speaking with them, they will help you gauge what is an acceptable pay for the job.

Use the job description

Read the job description. It will usually contain information about salary range or may say DoE (Dependent of Experience).  

What are your salary expectations?

Hard truth, you need to be brutally honest with yourself about what you feel you are worth and what you feel the market, in your geographical location will support.

So, going back to the original question of salary expectations the moment you give a figure you limit you negotiating position. To answer the question there are two possible strategies.

Two Strategies

The two strategies are potential replies to the question regarding your salary expectation.

1. Strategy: Range

The range strategy, basically provides a range that you will consider.

When talking about a salary range, you need to remain conscious of the salary range being advertised and what similar jobs pay in the market. For me, I will use this when I know what the range in pay the market is paying.

The advantage here is it makes discussions easier. However, it limits your pay by locking you into a range and there is a risk that the recruiting manager will opt for the lowest point in your range. Even worse, you may price yourself out of the job.

If you are going to make a range offer, keep the range narrow and make an offer somewhere in the lower 50% and most likely in the lower 25% of the range.

2. Strategy: What I am worth with ….. skills and experience

By asking the question, “what I am worth with… skills and … experience?” Puts the responsibility to the recruiting manager for offering pay. The advantage here it is the recruiting manager is the one who starts the discussion. The risk here is there pay expectation may be lower than yours and you will then be put into a position of trying to justify a higher pay.

Answering the question regarding salary expectations

When pay is within market expectations

If your research and assessment indicate the pay being advertised is within market expectations for your geographical location or there is no pay listed in the job description the best possible answer, “what do you feel someone with …. [list your skills that relate to the job] is worth?” This keeps the conversation fluid and forces the company to make the first offer.

When advertised pay is significantly higher than current or last pay

Typically, there are two scenarios. First scenario, in the UK, this can be due to moving from public sector to private sector. In this situation it is important to highlight you have the skills required and mention you will be leaving the public sector to join their company. Again, ask the question “what do you feel someone with …. [list your skills that relate to the job] is worth?”

Second scenario is a significant upward progression. Again, ask the question “what do you feel someone with …. [list your skills that relate to the job] is worth?” If the answer is less than what you were expecting, then you should answer, “that is agreeable provided there is a review in six months to see if the pay can be raised to …. [lower end of the pay scale].”

When advertise pay is lower than current or last pay

If you are taking a pay-cut it can create the impression you are overqualified, and you will leave the moment something that is more suitable is offered to you. At this stage, if you have not already mentioned your reasons for applying during the interview, you may want to provide reassurance or provide an explanation. Your reasons can include:

  • Less travelling
  • More flexible hours
  • Something that give you more time to spend with your family

In the above sections the question being asked, is what the company feels someone with …. Skills are willing to pay. Here, your skills exceed their pay. So, I believe it is appropriate here to set pay with any other reasonable conditions you feel you may want.


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How to negotiate you salary
Article Name
How to negotiate you salary
If your interview is successful you will be asked about pay, salary. This article provides test strategies to use to help you get the best possible pay.
Publisher Name
Exclusive Career Advice
Author: admin
Before moving to the United Kingdom, I worked in the U.S.A as a supply teacher who primarily taught math and taught at alternative education sites (e.g. juvenille detention, behaviour classrooms, and sites for students that were court ordered).When I moved to United Kingdom I chose to draw on my adaptive software skills knowledge. Whereby I developed administration and IT skills. Through my hard work I progressed into a senior health care manager role.I have several years experience in interviewing, reviewing applications and managing a team. Drawing on my experiences, I have created this site to help you.

9 thoughts on “How to negotiate the best pay possible

  1. Research is key as I said previously as for me it gives you an edge upon walking in. I agree with the list but I would like to add something. ” What will make you not hire me? I know an odd question to ask but it is vital as it gives the interviewer and applicant to clear things up. It will further increase your chances to land a spot.

  2. I will always negotiate my salary according to my worth and skills. If I’m good then I should be paid well

  3. I actually have no idea about on how this is done not until after going through this article. Several times I’ve opportune to read your articled and I have never been disappointed, you guys give it raw and I love it.

  4. This is one article that is really informative especially for us that are job seekers. I will be able to negotiate better with my employers now. This article was really valuable.

  5. I am also a college student and looking for internship so i have to go through this process also thank you for these valuable suggestion about negotiating salary.

  6. I often gets overwhelmed when my interviewer is discussing me about the salary. And seldom have I negotiated about it because there were times when I really needed the job so I didn’t negotiate. But after reading this article, I have gained confidence that I should never sell myself short. I have to fight the salary amount that I deserve.

  7. Thanks for the article.Most times some organization wouldn’t mind paying you peanut even when they know your worth mostly in a country like mine but still I learnt a better way of handling a case like this through your article.Thanks

  8. The issue of salary is a very sensitive one, and sometimes I feel somehow gittery when this section come up in an interview. I try to be modest, so It doesn’t seem I am over demanding. However going by your article, it seems I have been shooting myself on the foot. I would surely take my stand next time I am asked, and defend it too. Thanks.

  9. The points are really worth it for me as a college student. Although, it is very useful for the experienced guy too who is in the urge of a better opportunity

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