Negotiating Salary in an interview

“If you walk into a salary negotiation without a number, you are at the mercy of an experienced hiring manager”

– Ramit Sethi

Did you just put forward your best game in the interview and got an offer letter from the company? Well then you made it through the most challenging part of the game but here’s one terrifying question which might make you timid – yes exactly! Salary negotiation. Salary negotiation is nothing but a designed series of talks between the employer and the exceptional employee about the package that both the parties agrees on.

Obviously, this is a tricky one. Many people lack the skills to negotiate in asking for more than offered, as they don’t want to come off too pushy. Some of us feel awkward while putting out a conversation about salary negotiation. They like to send salary negotiating emails before it is discussed in-person in order to avoid that awkwardness.


  • The higher your annual salary is, the more likely you are to ask for a raise.
  • Gen-Y is less likely to ask for a raise and more uncomfortable in negotiating.
  • Baby boomers don’t want to negotiate their salaries in the fear of losing their job.
  • Women holding masters degree are struggling with gender bias when comes to salary negotiation.
  • Workers with less job satisfaction are more likely to ask for raise.

According to a recent survey, 70% of the recruiting managers don’t really expect that the candidate will accept the job at the initial quoted salary offer. There is no point jumping into the ground too early for negotiation within even knowing where is the other player is coming from. Strive to understand each others point of view. When people were enquired about how comfortable they were talking with their employer about money, survey respondents said they would be 54% comfortable negotiating a higher salary with a new employer than asking for a raise in their current job.

According to a study by recruiting software provider Jobvite, found that 84% of those who negotiated ended up receiving higher salaries. Nowadays, there are numerous resources available to know the baseline salary based on industry, position and the area you are looking for. Glassdoor, Payscale and LinkedIn are a few to get started with, and you may look for industry-specific resources as well.

“Salary is important but there are other forms of compensation beyond just cold hard cash.”

– Wheeler

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Here are some of the tips that can help you to prepare yourself for salary negotiation:

  1. Know your value.
  2. Set yourself a baseline, but be determinant.
  3. Do research on the average salary for the position.
  4. Don’t quote the salary before the recruiter.
  5. Take out maximum information from the recruiter before you reveal your expectation.
  6. Smile is basic but the most important aspect while making a negotiation so that you don’t look boring and nervous.
  7. Don’t be blinded by a huge paycheck if you are looking for longevity.
  8. Look for other benefits.
  9. Confidence is the key to justifying yourself logically.
  10. Stay professional and don’t burn your bridges.
Negotiations require skills which cannot be mastered at the first.

I am sure you must have got some idea from the video as to how recruiters try to take a maximum of your information before pitching the salary. This video gives us a firm understanding of the mistakes the candidate has made while having a conversation with the HR.

In the Video:

1. The candidate just slipped off his minimum salary i.e Rs 6 lacs, which gave the HR an option to not to offer him more than Rs 5.5 while the recruiter had a higher budget of around Rs 6.5 Lacs. He also mentioned his previous salary i.e 4 Lacs which again helped the HR to quote him the least hike.

What the candidate should have done was, he would have let the HR give him more information about the job and the offered salary before his slip of the tongue.

2. The candidate didn’t do his research about the role and the salary offered in this position prior as he seems ok with what the recruiter quoted. Instead, he should have portrayed, how he is better than other average candidates.

3. A smile seems really basic but plays the most important role while making a negotiation. In the video, the candidate seemed very boring and serious while making a negotiation. Instead, he should have a gentle smile on his face.

4. When the HR quoted Rs 5 lacs, the candidate showed his desperation towards the job. The recruiter got the hint of how desperate he is for the job and wanted to get him on board lesser than the budget.

Instead, the candidate should have given his potential pitch about why he should be offered more than 5 lacs and he is different from the rest of the candidates


Just like any other art form, Negotiation also requires skills. It cannot be mastered at the first, it needs practice. Don’t make it a number game but focus more on value. You will never be able to get paid what you deserve by avoiding negotiation.

The candidate should know that the very fact that he is called for the interview means that he possesses the skills the company is looking for. If an offer is given to the candidate, he should understand that the company wants him to work for them. While negotiating the salary the candidate must not fear asking for more money. No matter what you get paid don’t push enough or brag that you will be an amazing employee. This bragging might look quite immature and baseless demand for a higher salary.

Therefore, when managed correctly, salary negotiation will not be a hassling task. It will contribute to a healthy relationship between you and your future employer.


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