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An interviewee negotiating their salary

How to Negotiate Your Way to Your Dream Salary after an Interview

Written By MK Career Solutions
Reading Time: 10 minutes

The interview for your ideal job is done. But the salary negotiation is still pending. Now is the time to be sensitive (and smart!).

Let’s be honest, everyone would love a higher basic salary. What most job seekers are not clear on is how to negotiate a higher salary after a job interview is complete. After all, you can’t just blurt out a number and expect your future employer to agree with you. (If only it was that easy!)

Negotiating your salary is one of the most important parts of your job interview. If you don’t negotiate, you could be at a disadvantage for the duration of your employment at your new company. Think about it; any performance based pay rises and after-promotion salary you are offered in the future are all affected by the pay that you accept at the start of your employment. The salary you accept is also likely to affect the salary you are offered if and when you move to a new company in the future. Most Recruitment Consultants speaking to you about new opportunities will ask you what your current salary is, in order to benchmark you for new positions.

Of course, you do not want to give the impression to your new employer that you only care about money, so always wait for the employer to make a job offer first before discussing your salary.

The topic of salary negotiation is something we regularly discuss as part of our interview coaching services. Here are our top six tips on negotiating your way to your dream salary: (You’ll be surprised at how well they work!)

1. Set Your Salary Expectations Beforehand

Being clear on your salary expectations will give you a solid starting point when your interviewer brings up the subject of how much you expect to get paid.

How is your job position usually paid? How do you value yourself as an employer?

In order to be able to make a fair negotiation and determine an appropriate salary, you should compare these values with your own ideas. Of course, the hiring manager will also have their own ideas. Websites like allow you to find average salaries for your preferred roles across multiple industries and countries.

As interview coaching consultants, we recommend that you show flexibility by stating a salary range rather than a fixed figure. This will show the employer that you know the industry and are able to compromise.

2. Negotiate Attractive Benefits

You are much more likely to be successful at a salary negotiation if you discuss additional benefits as well as the numbers.

Do your research before your salary negotiation and find out what kinds of benefits the company offers. Whether it is flexible working hours, further training or working from home, negotiating such additional options will show your employer that you are confident and serious about working for their company.

3. Honesty Gets You Everywhere

It is highly likely that you will be asked about your most previous salary during your interview.

Be honest!

As you know, the hiring manager is asking you this question to be able to classify your position. But your current position offers a clue. If the previous tasks and responsibilities are on a similar level with activities in your new job, you can use your current salary as a guideline – as long as it falls within the market standard.

If your new position requires you to take on more responsibility, this should also be paid accordingly. In any case, it is good if you can justify your salary expectations and not gamble too high. Doing so you may lose your credibility.

4. Ask About the Salary (But Not Too Soon!)

As we mentioned earlier, you should always wait for the interviewer to bring up the subject of salary. But what if they do not bring it up at all? Is it then appropriate to ask about it first?

The answer is yes – just wait until the end of the interview. This will give your interviewer enough time to bring up the subject of salary first and you will show that you are more interested in discussing the job role than your rate of pay!

A majority of just under half see the ideal time for this being at the end of the second interview.

5. Renegotiate

The interview was successful and you are offered a position in your dream job. But the salary doesn’t match your expectations.

What do you do?


Perhaps the job description is more extensive than what was advertised. Maybe you will be taking on more responsibility than you originally thought. It could be that you will be working longer hours than you anticipated. The point we are making is if any frameworks have changed, you can argue that a renegotiation is justified.

6. Don’t Appear Desperate

It is important that you understand what constitutes a fair salary for the nature and complexity of the work you undertake for an employer. You should always approach the negotiation meeting with an informed state of mind so that you won’t be surprised by anything your employer may offer you.

Before the salary negotiation starts, you need to decide whether you are prepared to walk away if you are not offered the salary you expect. Knowing that you are ready to decline a potential offer will give you a sense of confidence so that you do not appear desperate (a big turn off for potential employers!) and that you are aware of how valuable you are as an employee.

The Bottom Line

Salary negotiation can be intimidating, especially when your ideal job is at stake. However, it is also one of the most important conversations to have at the start of your new employment.

Negotiating salary provides benefits beyond the figure you earn. As well as helping you to establish your credibility as an employee. It can also demonstrate that you can tackle difficult conversations at work in a professional, cooperative, and non-adversarial manner.

By getting familiar with the tips in this article, you can become a confident negotiator who earns the salary you deserve.

Would you like personalised interview support to set you up comfortably for that salary negotiation conversation?

Get in touch now to discuss our interview coaching services. We are ready to help.






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