How to successfully negotiate during an Interview

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An interview is a kind of a battle for yourself. Recruiters want to find out more about you and see if you will fit in with a particular company or team. You have to take care of yourself and ensure that the job you are offered is rewarding. Questions about salary can be expected at almost every interview. Prudent conduct of negotiations with the employer will allow you to keep the chance of employment and at the same time agree on a satisfactory salary. However, it is not easy, you should remember about a few important aspects of which we will tell you in today’s post.


The basics

Let’s start with explaining why it is worthwhile to negotiate a salary during an interview. It is never easy to talk about money. When you apply for a job, the situation of a meeting with a recruiter, during which you are assessed, is stressful. You usually appear at an interview because your current job does not give you satisfaction and you really want to leave it, or you apply for a completely new position and have no experience and think that by agreeing to the salary suggested by the recruiter you will guarantee yourself the opportunity to work in your dream place or profession. Do not forget about the fact that negotiating the salary during the interview is the easiest way because afterwards, you do not know how long you have to wait and prove yourself in order to ask for a raise.

Quick tip:
If possible, do not look for a job when you really need to find one. The best time to look for a job and negotiate its terms is when you have a good job and don’t feel the pressure to quickly change it. Then you also have a greater chance to perform better in the recruitment process and finally negotiate salaries that will satisfy you the most. It is worthwhile to review current job offers from time to time and if you find a better offer, apply. You will not lose anything, but you can gain a lot.


How it comes to the money

It is important to show your strengths, but you should not forget that it is also worth to clearly define your expectations towards your employer. During a job interview, the question about salary will most often be asked after establishing the issues concerning the scope of work and discussing your experience. So don’t be afraid when this moment comes, it means you have a chance to get your dream job.

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If this topic appears, the employer is initially interested in your application. So if you’re asked about your salary, don’t deliberately lower your expectations just to get the job. It is worth doing a little research on the labour market and attends a meeting with the knowledge of how much you can earn in the same position in other companies with a similar profile of activity. Offering too little money may, contrary to appearances, discourage the recruiter and show that you do not value your skills, or that you do not feel confident in what you do. Moreover, these arrangements will most likely be final – and if you know that the specified salary will not satisfy you, you will not be satisfied with the job either. Therefore, research is very important and it is not worth to be too modest because it can only result in you getting a job but you will not get any enjoyment from it.

Quick tip:
It is important to familiarise yourself in detail with your job description before starting salary negotiations. Before giving your offer, find out what your employer will expect from you, it may help you to provide a good argument as to why you deserve this and not another pay and give you the feeling that you know where you stand.


When the negotiations start

If the moment has come and the salary negotiations start now, it is important that you are well prepared. As mentioned above, good research is worth its weight in gold. Pay attention to the company’s size, employment region and other important factors that will help you to assess how the company’s salaries look like. You can also use online calculators that will calculate the possible remuneration for the suggested job.

Before the interview, get to know yourself, assess your strengths and consider what you can offer to your potential employer. Prepare a list of key skills, completed courses, certificates, qualifications, foreign languages you know and achievements from previous employers. All this will help you to go smoothly through the negotiations because you will have arguments that will definitely work in your favour.

Once the negotiations have started, offer from 10% to 20% more than the average salary in the market. You can try to negotiate even higher wages if you are a very good specialist and have a list of achievements that will be of interest to your employer.
Quick tip:

When negotiating a salary, try to indicate the amount within a certain range and not the specified amount you want to earn. Giving the range of salaries you would like to put your potential wages in is a good starting point. You then declare flexibility and readiness to negotiate to the recruiter and by supporting this with your strengths you have a real chance to receive the desired amount.


What can you negotiate

Sometimes it happens that, unfortunately, you cannot negotiate the salary rates because of company policy or lack of experience. Don’t worry, there are other things that are worth negotiating. When you talk about the terms and conditions of employment, you should take into account all the points of the job offer. After all, it is not only remuneration that can bring satisfaction or fulfil professional dreams. In addition to the basic salary, you can also claim many benefits such as :

  • – private health insurance,
  • – flexible working hours or the possibility of remote working,
  • – a company car, whether or not for private use,
  • – a company phone, whether or not for private use,
  • – additional holidays,
  • – a convenient form of contract,
  • – a notice period,
  • – a training budget,
  • – free company products or employee discounts,
  • – gym and sports facility cards,
  • – payment or financing the studies or courses and trainings in the industry,
  • – paying for or financing the employee’s hobbies,
  • – gift vouchers,
  • – free meals,
  • – stock options,
  • – parking space.

The options are pretty big so it’s worth finding out what the company has to offer you when you can’t negotiate your salary during an interview. You should also consider all points of the job offer when talking about terms of employment. During an interview, ask the recruiter what terms and conditions of employment and additional benefits are offered by the employer. Then consider what is most important to you in addition to your salary and what elements of the offer you would like to negotiate. Sometimes the list of additional benefits offered by your employer may be so attractive that it will compensate you for a slightly lower salary. Think about it, because maybe not the salary, but the additional benefits will provide you with more benefits.

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What to do during the interview:
– highlight your job-related strengths (experience, qualifications, achievements),
– a clear statement of your expectations,
– active listening,
– skilful adjustment of the argumentation to the recipient,
– responding flexibly to changes in the negotiating situation.

What not to do during an interview:
– proceed to the interview without prior preparation,
– fraternising or showing aversion to the other side,
– showing too much self-confidence and too much conciliation,
– invoking an exceptional personal situation,
– presenting our payroll demands in the form of clearly defined sums

Additionally, we will give you a list of phrases that are best avoided during your salary negotiations. 

  • “I’m currently making…” – don’t tell them exactly how much you’re earning at the moment because it may reduce your chances of getting better pay.
  • “My desired salary is…” – don’t mention the specific amounts, always leave yourself a margin to negotiate.
  • “I want more…” – such phrases can be used with your private life or when you are a child, an interview is not a wish concert, you have to diplomatically claim your rights.
  • “No” or “Yes” – try not to use these words during negotiations in order not to close them prematurely, the recruiter should finish the negotiations or if they are not satisfactory for you, you can always say that you will think about it.
  • “Sorry” – you have nothing to apologise for. Negotiating your salary is your privilege and don’t be afraid to take advantage of it even if you don’t have enough experience.


It is also worth remembering that many companies offer a specific entry rate and after a trial period, you can negotiate to get a raise for the next few months. In this case, it is worthwhile to keep a record of your achievements for a certain period of time in order to be able to present them during the interview and create arguments in your favour. Good luck!


Want to prepare for your first job interview for the position in the IT industry? HR classes are part of our programming courses, allowing you to prepare well for your first recruitment process.