Remember that the purpose of a job interview (or performance review) is to sell yourself. If you don't believe you're worth the price you're asking, your employer won't believe it either. Focus on the value you bring to the company, not what comparable salaries are. When asking for a raise or making a move to another job, note your accomplishments, and attach time and money to them. Before you start talking pay (and salary negotiations) with a prospective employer, you need to find out how much the job (and you) are worth. You will need to take the time to research salaries. That way you will be prepared to get what you're worth and to get a job offer that's realistic and reasonable.
Research a fair salary. Figure out how much you want—but ask for a bit more to leave room for compromise. Practice negotiating your salary. Sit down with someone you trust and role-play the experience. Record yourself so that you can find your flaws. The more you practice, the more you'll feel comfortable during the actual interview.
In many cases, the employer will reject your first request for a higher offer. Don't let this deter you. Push back gently, justifying your proposed salary. Explain how the company will benefit from the investment.
If the company won't budge on salary, negotiate other compensation. Ask for things like an extra week of vacation, a private office, or a flexible schedule. (Maybe you can work four ten-hour days instead of driving to the office five days a week!) Other possible perks include transit passes, educational reimbursement, better health insurance, performance bonuses, or permission to bring your dog to work.
Remember Practice Makes Perfect.
Write down what you want to say, and practice to a mirror, on video, or with a friend until you’re super comfortable having the conversation.
Start With Questions
You should start the negotiation conversation by asking diagnostic questions to understand more about the other party’s true needs, desires, fears, preferences, and priorities. Asking questions like, “What are your biggest priorities right now?” can help you understand where your negotiation partner is coming from—and offer up solutions that will help.
Think About the Other Person
When preparing for negotiating, get in the mindset of thinking about the situation from your opponent’s perspective. when we consider the other person’s thoughts and interests, we are more likely to find solutions that work well for both of us.
Focus on Market Value
Rather than discussing a raise or new salary based on what you make now, keep the conversation focused on what the market is paying for people like you (your “market value”). Re-frame any metric your negotiation partner uses—like percentage differences—as market value, re-focusing the discussion on hard dollars.
But Don’t Make Threats
Again, you ideally want to work (or keep working) with this person, so it’s important to keep the conversation positive. You shouldn’t threaten your boss with other job offers, interviews, or recruiter conversations.
Don’t Forget to Listen
Listening to the other party during a negotiation is almost as important as your ask and argument. By really paying attention to what the other person is saying, you can understand his or her needs and incorporate them into finding a solution that makes you both happy.