You’ve made it past the interviews, and now it’s time to decide whether you’re going to take the job or not. Your potential future employer will propose a salary and a benefits package. However, there will be times when the proposed salary doesn’t do justice to your skill set and experience.
That’s when you make a counteroffer. Studies show that 85% of Americans who negotiated a job offer were successful.
With the right preparation, confidence, and a deep breath, you’ll knock it out of the park. Here are some great tips on how to negotiate a job offer.
1. Be Likable
When you negotiate a job offer, the first step is to be likable. People always underestimate how important this is. If the other person doesn’t like you, then your qualifications won’t mean anything.
You have to present yourself as someone reasonable and qualified but also great to work with. Don’t be snarky, rude, or stuck up. That said, don’t be a suck-up, either.
It will only backfire if you try too hard to get your boss or interviewer to like you. It’s a tricky balance to get right, but if you’ll be working together, you want to get off on the right foot.
2. Sell Yourself
All business negotiations are about selling something. When negotiating for your job, you need to sell yourself. Go to the interview with the mindset that you have something worthy to offer.
Try not to show nerves or indecision. Prepare what you’re going to say in advance and conduct yourself with the utmost confidence.
3. Be Polite, Yet Firm
It would be best if you were polite, yet firm. No one wants to hire a pushover, but being rude is also a job killer.
Be friendly and reasonable, but make sure your boundaries are set. If you have conditions or requests, express them directly with no fluff. Don’t say things like, “I can change to accommodate you.”
2022 is all about knowing your worth, so be sure to reflect that in your career.
At this point, you’re negotiating, not taking whichever job will hire you. If you have marketable skills and appeal, play on that.
Stand your ground, and be relentless in your convictions. If you want to learn more about how to walk this fine line, check out https://brianwillmedia.com/how-to-negotiate-reasons-you-need-to-be-relentless/.
4. Stay Open
Stay open-minded during the entire negotiation process. Don’t get rattled if things go a little sideways. A negotiation isn’t over as long as both parties are still at the table.
Even if things don’t work out, you never know what the future might hold. You might get a second look a few days or weeks down the line. An offer in another department might open up with terms even better than what you originally wanted.
If you get angry and leave in a huff, you might have closed a door forever. Stay open and on good terms, and good things might happen.
5. Try to Make a Connection
Making a human connection with your boss or interviewer can go a long way. It might be intimidating at first, considering that this person may be your future boss. However, you need to remember that this person is only human.
As mentioned prior, if you’re going to be taking the job, you want to make a good impression. Getting to know your future employer is a great start.
6. Address Any Doubts
If there are any doubts or lingering issues, address them. Make sure you tell them exactly what you can offer. Figure out the possible hang-ups, and let them know you are flexible and open to alternatives.
Don’t let your boss or interviewer leave the meeting in a state of uncertainty. Convince them that you are the right person for the job and that your demands are reasonable for all parties.
7. Present Yourself as a Problem Solver
Part of the art of negotiating a job offer is presenting yourself as a problem solver. Let the employer or interviewer know that you have strong critical thinking skills within your skill set.
They’ll ask you difficult questions to assess you. You don’t have to know all the answers. You only have to show them that you’re the kind of person who will find the answers as soon as possible.
8. Understand What They Mean
Clarify everything that goes on in your meeting. Don’t walk out of that room until you know what the other person means. Write it down if it helps, and don’t be afraid to go over something twice.
Pay, expected duties, work schedule, and necessary paperwork are important. You don’t want to get home and realize you forgot or didn’t understand something. When negotiating for your job, make sure everything is crystal clear.
9. Take a Far-sighted Approach
Before you reject or accept a job offer, take a far-sighted approach. Consider what the job can offer you long-term, versus what you might lose. You might not get everything you want, but it could look reasonable in a year or two.
Make sure you aren’t being naive, but try and think ahead. Ask yourself: Where do I see myself in 5 years? If you know the answer, you’ll know if the offer on the table is right for you.
If it isn’t, renegotiate or look elsewhere.
10. Tie Your Demands into Package Deals
A good strategy is to tie your demands together. Don’t list them one by one like dominos to get knocked over. Present them as package deals.
If you have an idea of your ideal contract, pitch it as a set. Tell them your preferred salary, schedule, time off, and expectations in one neat bundle. By presenting things together like this, it makes it harder to pick your requests apart one by one.
Don’t make the mistake of putting everything together, though. Divide it into a few bundles, and know what you’d be willing to sacrifice to keep the ones you want.
11. Drop It if You Aren’t Willing to Finish It
If you aren’t willing to finish or continue a negotiation to its conclusion, then drop it. Don’t waste anyone’s time if you aren’t prepared. Leave on positive terms if you’re too scared to push any further.
You can always revisit the conversation in the future. Pushing at the wrong time might not end well, and if you aren’t ready for that, drop it for now.
12. Consider Your Other Options
Always have other options lined up when negotiating a job offer. It gives you leverage and a sense of stability. You don’t have to take the first offer you see because you have backups.
If your boss or interviewer asks you, be professional and try not to give details. Let them know it’s an attractive offer. If they don’t want to lose you, they’ll be far more willing to listen to you during the negotiation.
13. Don’t Take Any Bait
Sometimes, people have bad days and lash out. They make snarky comments or even insult you.
If the case is severe enough, then that could be a matter for HR. Keep your composure, and don’t get emotional or upset.
Remain a professional, and if you’ve decided not to work here anymore because of how they’ve treated you, leave as a better individual.
14. Negotiate Until You Reach a Conclusion
This might sound counterintuitive to point 11, but it isn’t. There is a fine line between knowing when to drop it and knowing when the conclusion is a dead end. The difference is the level of confidence required to push until the final point.
As long as both parties are sitting and willing to talk, you can still reach a conclusion that might satisfy everyone.
15. Stay Human
Remember to stay human. Everyone experiences stress, bad days, and nervous moments. You might make a mistake, or your boss might make a bad joke.
Stay grounded, confident, and human. Have empathy and respect for the other person, and trust they’ll have the same. Remember: at the end of the day, the other person isn’t out to get you.
They only want to ensure you and your requests are in the company’s best interest.
How to Negotiate a Job Offer
When you negotiate a job offer, you have to stay calm and confident. At the same time, you have to be polite and recognize the humanity of the other side. In the end, the balance can be hard to find but easier than you’d think.
Are you on the hunt for a more fulfilling job? Don’t stop here. Check out our other blog posts and find some great guides on getting a job you’ll love.