Never, ever, ever, be the one to raise salary in a discussion. You do not want the employer to believe that the only reason you are there is for the money. The interview is first and foremost for both parties to get to know each other better. You both want to see if you want to take the process forward after this meeting. Speaking around the salary should always be raised by the employer. This will then open up the opportunity for discussion. This should hopefully only be raised once the process is moving to offer phase. Please note that there is no exact rule for when this conversation will come up, so you need to be prepared different scenarios.
So here goes…..
Oh Dear, and then they ask you, “What is your salary expectation?” This is one of the most uncomfortable times in an interview. How do you know what to say? You do not want to "over market" yourself and lose out on being offered the position. At same time you do not want to short change yourself by asking for too little.
Never answer this question by saying, “Well, what are you offering?” It is highly unlikely that the interviewer will respond by giving you a Rand value. They will throw the ball right back into your court.
If you have responded to an advert, hopefully they will have indicated a salary range. Ensure that you remember what the figure is.
If you are being represented by a third party, ensure that you know what is being offered for the position and what salary expectation your application has been pitched at.
“When the agency explained the position to me, they indicated that the salary being offered was R 5000. Ultimately I am looking to make a career move and to prove myself in a company so that I can grow. Given that Agency X is representing me I would like them to facilitate the salary process on my behalf.
“I am looking for an opportunity which will allow me to grow and develop in the real working world. I have the theoretical knowledge through my studies. I am hoping for a market related salary for the duties I will be performing in the position.”
If you are already earning a salary, this is an excellent base to start your discussion from.
“I am currently earning a salary of R 5000 per month. In making a move to another company it is important that this is a good career move for me! I am hoping for professional growth. If I am the successful candidate, I would like to see my income improve from where I am currently.
(Please remember that negotiation is not always necessary and that there are times where both parties will immediately be in agreement.)
Although it may not always be possible to avoid being the first person to put a Rand value on the table, it will hopefully be the employer that does so.
To keep in mind: