For those not changing jobs regularly, salary negotiations with prospective employers can be a difficult situation to navigate. Setting an unrealistic expectation can potentially scare off a future employer yet setting the bar too low can leave candidates feeling undervalued. Preparation is key, mitigating against the potential pit falls candidates can face while ensuring you put yourself in the best possible position to be hired. Here are a few tips to help you prepare:

Do your research

The recruitment market is constantly in flux as wages adjust with employer needs. To accurately determine your own salary expectations, you must first understand the market wage average for your experience level. Take some time prior to making applications to explore job adverts, taking note of the salaries offered for your desired position within the geographical location you are looking for work.

Evaluate your own career development

Your own career development is an important consideration when determining your salary expectations. If you have been in the same position for a long time, you may have gained considerable experience and training that could result in a larger salary increase. The reverse may also be true. Therefore, having a reasoned assessment of your own career growth can help set reasonable expectations while also assisting your interview preparation.

Prepare an answer

Once you have an updated knowledge of the market you can begin to prepare an answer to the question ‘what are your salary expectations?’ Consider the best way to frame your answer. For example, you may wish to explain that you hope to get better acquainted with the role during the interview process but more generally suggest the range you’ve determined.

Try to avoid common mistakes, such as stating an exact figure or stating an unreasonably high salary. These scenarios can risk deterring a potential employer from continuing the hiring process due to having no reasonable hope of meeting your salary expectations.

Be confident, concise and polite

When actively negotiating with a potential employer it is important your arguments are well reasoned and concise. If you can justify your salary expectations politely, not only are you more likely to achieve your expectations, but you will also portray confidence and an ability to be professional.

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