How to Negotiate Your Salary: 10 Rules You Need to Know?

How do you usually react to the question of the HR specialist about what salary you expect? Are you embarrassed and insecure?

Salary is a separate topic for negotiations during an interview. As in any negotiation process, there are many subtleties that you need to know about before meeting with the interviewer. In this article, we collected 10 golden rules you need to know to get the desired salary.

1. The Employer Should Be the First to Talk About Money

Never start talking about salary. You will create a risk to an erroneous impression about yourself and everything you care about is money. Be sure: the employer is well aware that this issue of remuneration is very important. So he or she will never forget to ask it, and will not deliberately delay this moment. In general, the employer will raise this salary question on time.

For example, a phone conversation or an interview with an HR specialist. Some employers want to immediately “weed out” those candidates who do not fit into the allocated budget, which is why they ask about salary expectations at the earliest opportunity.

If we talk about an interview in the company, then, as a rule, the question of salary is asked almost at the very end of the interview. If there are several stages of selection, then keep in mind that they can take an interest in your financial wishes at the very last interview. Therefore, do not rush and be patient.

2. Say Your Desired Salary

When a recruiter asks you about the desired salary, never answer in this manner: “How much can you offer?” What will be the first impression? First, you do not know how much you cost in the labor market, which will already be a huge minus for you. The second - you simply haggle, afraid to cheapen, and say a small number. Both that and another repels.

3. Research the Market to Name the Correct Numbers

To answer adequately to the question of salary and to name an adequate figure, you should be ready. Thus, on the eve of the interview, we recommend you conduct a mini-research. Its main goal is to understand how much now the average cost of specialists of your level and how much the employer is theoretically ready to pay you.

Where can I get this data? Excellent sources of such information are:

4. Salary Bracket

If you do not know anything about your position, except what you have read in the description, it will be more correct to name, not the specific amount that you are counting on, but the “salary bracket,” that is, the amount from and to. 

The gap between the minimum and maximum should not be varying between 20-35%. Also, when calling the amount from and to, for example, from 15,000 to 20,000 dollars, be prepared that you may be asked in the forehead the question: “So you are ready to work for 15,000?” Think in advance what is your rate.

5. Gross Salary VS. Net Salary

Speaking about money, always specify that you mean a net salary, as some companies sometimes talk about a gross salary, that is, a salary before taxes. Many job seekers fall into this trap.

6. “I'm open to negotiation” 

“I am open to negotiations” is a good tactic, especially if you did not name the lowest level of the salary. You do not need to say this phrase immediately after you have announced a specific amount – then it seems as if you are not sure that you are worthy to receive so much. It’s best to say that you are ready to discuss a salary if the employer informs you that this sum goes beyond the budget, or if it is visible by its facial expression.

7. Salary Increase - 30%

Moving to a new job, any person, of course, counts on an increase in his salary. The optimal percentage increase is 30%. But, of course, if at your current job you have not been revised your salary for several years, and the average level of payment has increased over this time, then the percentage may be more. The main thing is that your salary needs to be within the framework of the average market.

8. Why Do You Desire Such a Salary?

Very often, employers ask the question of why the applicant wants this or that amount. Your main reference points are the market situation, your experience, achievements, and qualifications (additional educational programs, certification, for example, Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect), as well as the amount of work that you need, will perform. Never use difficult life circumstances, marriage, childbirth, etc. as an argument.

9. The Tactic of Low Salary

It is a misconception that the employer will choose the candidate that will cost less. If you deliberately underestimate your salary expectations (for example, those applicants who cannot find a job for a very long time do this very often) - this will cause a lot of doubts and negative speculation. 

For example, that you do not value yourself, you are not confident in your abilities, and that your professional qualifications are insufficient since you ask for such an amount. By the way, some employers fundamentally do not consider candidates for “cheap” job seekers.

10. Be Sure to Read All the Details

This tip relates to young professionals without any working experience, who are often working for a penny. Be sure to specify all the details of your financial reward at the interview: for example, how long you will work for the minimum wage, what goals you need to fulfill, what to get a raise (“what should I learn?”, “What should I achieve?”).


Remember that knowledge of the features of the discussion of the level of wages at the interviews will help you feel more confident in the negotiations.