3 frequent mistakes people make when negotiating their salary in a job interview.

3 frequent mistakes people make when negotiating their salary in a job interview.

Hooray! The new job you applied for is as good as yours!! At the end of the recruitment process, you were chosen over all the other candidates. What could be better now than sitting back and celebrating? But hang on a minute: Better wait to celebrate until after you have checked all the boxes on your agenda to your satisfaction! And that includes a very crucial one: your salary.

Often the desire for a higher income will prompt a job change. That is why it is so important to ensure a significant pay jump. Remember: You will have to live with this salary for the next few years. Changing jobs again would not really be the best option.

Do you find negotiating salary difficult?

If you are one of those people who have no qualms about talking to their employers about their monetary requirements, this will be a piece of cake for you. See also “Four tips for mental strength on the job” and “Building mental strength in negotiations: 3 steps

Yet most people feel uncomfortable about negotiating their salary. So, they avoid it at first – because that seems the easiest thing to do at the time. But this is only true momentarily.

Months or even years down the road, you may regret your reluctance – for instance when a new colleague is paid a higher salary for a similar position. Or you notice that you are only able to increase your salary in small increments.

Read on to find out about the 3 most common mistakes made in salary negotiations. I will demonstrate to you why these mistakes get in the way of your happiness on the job. Needless to say, there are always other options and solutions.

The 3 most common mistakes people make in salary negotiations:

1. They consider only the gross amount of their salary.
2. They focus only on a snapshot of the current situation.
3. They accept the situation for the time being – but are not really happy.

Mistake Nr.1: They consider only the gross amount of their salary.

Salaries often used to consist exclusively of a fixed monthly amount (except in sales). People knew exactly how much money they were getting at the end of the month – and that was the only recompense they would receive for their work.

Nowadays, many employers offer additional perks, not only with added premiums and bonuses, but also with non-cash benefits, particularly when it comes to mid-management and higher-level jobs: Professional development training, coaching, discounts for various shops, gym membership allowances, company cars and the like pad their offers. Make sure you also take any non-monetary compensations into account when negotiating your salary (if they are relevant to you). They increase the value of the consideration you receive.

Tip Nr.1: Before, or at latest during the salary interview, find out exactly what options your future employer can offer you and include any such amounts in the calculation of your salary. You are in for a positive surprise.

Mistake Nr.2: They focus only on a snapshot of the current situation.

The fact is: The best time to negotiate your salary is when you are sure the job is yours. It is common practice to probe the situation before that, in order to mark off common ground. The actual salary negotiations will reach full pitch in the final application phase.

Tip Nr.2: Start thinking about the future now! Find out more about:

  • How often is there an opportunity for a salary raise in this company?
  • What constitutes an average salary increase in this company?
  • What are the necessary criteria and prerequisites?
  • What are the alternatives to a monetary increase? See benefits in item 1 above.

Are you satisfied with these prospects?

Mistake Nr.3: They accept the situation for the time being – but are not really happy.

In other words: Either you tend to ask for too little in recompense or to accept the offer “sight unseen“. As long as you have bagged the job.

There is nothing to be said against simply accepting the job offer – as long as you are clear about what you are in for. But it is not good to say nothing at all in the interview only to fret over it later or – worse yet – feel unmotivated at work. The only right time to address and resolve this issue is now!

Tip Nr.3: Are you afraid that there will be little or no scope to discuss your salary? Is that because you prefer not to make yourself unpopular or you are assuming that there is no elbow room for negotiations anyway?

Speaking from my own experience, I can share with you: A good employer will always leave room for a candid discussion – even for salary issues. Especially if you have managed to impress the hiring business with your skills during the application process!

Approach the salary issue with your head held high. NOW is the best time!

You can reach me at: or +436602400135.

Your Raluca Ionescu

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