· Never bring up salary at the first interview - You need to know more about the scope of the job and if it’s a good fit for you. The hiring manager needs to figure out if your education, experience, skill set, and future value matches the company’s needs. Until that is determined there is no point in discussing compensation.
· However, if the hiring manager mentions salary, you need to be prepared – Do your homework. Find out how much the company typically pays for this role. Sites like Salary.com, PayScale.com, and CareerJournal.com can help you determine fair market value for the position. Have a $10,000 range in mind. (For jobs paying $50,000 or less, a $5,000 range is sufficient.)
· What if they ask about salary history? – What you made at your previous job may not be relevant. Your experience, accomplishments, and what peers in similar roles are currently making is. If asked to disclose your salary history, simply say, “I’ve researched the fair market value for this job, and, at the appropriate time, I’m confident that we’ll be able to come to an agreement.”
· Don’t accept the first offer – If the offer is made just at or below market value, don’t say anything more than Hmmm. Then wait a good thirty seconds. That will give both you and the hiring manager time to think. It’s extremely unlikely they’ll withdraw the offer if you ask for more money. They may, however, state there’s no room for negotiation and you just need to decide yes or no. If it’s within fair market value, you can still choose to accept.
· What about money for relocating? – If the company you are going to work for does not have a policy for providing money for relocation, or, if the location of the company is technically within commuting distance, but you just want to live closer to reduce time spent commuting, try to negotiate a sign-on bonus to cover the costs of relocating. Be sure to tell them your goal is to spend more time/energy working, and less time/energy commuting.