Dominate A Salary Negotiation Like A Pro

by QuickCert on February 7, 2012

A salary negotiation is often like a tug of war
In discussing tips for negotiating your salary requirements with a new company, or even negotiating a raise, think of this in two phases: one, general preparation; and, two, salary negotiation. Through proper general preparation for an interview or for a word with a senior member of staff, you will be much more confident and persuasive.

A. General Preparation.

When applying for an I.T. job, you may have several interviews for the position. Each round
may involve a different interview panel. Be prepared to be assessed on many different levels, from your business professionalism to how much technical knowledge you have.

Take Care Of Logistics

Confirm the day, time, location, and building. If you are unfamiliar with the street where the organization is located, go there the day before so that you can familiarize yourself with the roads, traffic conditions, and other travel-related information.

Do Some Practice Interviews

If you have a friend who is in the IT industry, ask them to do some dummy runs with you.

Google questions that might be asked of someone who is applying for a position similar to yours. You never know, you may just come across an informative blog.

Be prepared to answer difficult questions.

Here are three generic sample questions:

1. Tell us about a time when you had to explain how your software system worked to a customer?

2. Describe a situation when you had to deal with an irate customer who blamed their technological problems on your company, when, in truth, they had simply failed to follow the directions they were given to set up their system correctly.

3. What strategy would you use for analyzing a user’s requirements?

Dress the Part

As with any job interview, be impeccably groomed and professionally dressed.

If you can, get someone to evaluate your choice of dress codes and accessories. Sometimes you may think something makes you look good when it just puzzles other people.

In addition to creating a great first impression, when you dress up sharply, you naturally radiate a sense of calm and self-assurance.

Prepare Your Mind

While most professional jobs require that we dress well, IT jobs in particular require that we also prepare our minds.

Here are some ways to prepare your mind:

1. Research the company, review their hiring process, and understand what qualifications they are looking for.

2. Prepare a portfolio. Besides all the papers you submitted for your application – cover letter, resume, references, etc – add copies of your certifications, too. Of course you don’t need to carry your actual certification; a photocopy will work just fine. For instance, if you are interviewing for a position as a Microsoft Certified network engineer, bring a copy of your Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) and your Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE). Even if you are not asked to show any of these, you have the reassurance that you are prepared. This level of confidence will show through when you are asked questions and may swing the balance in your favor over other candidates who may be more nervous because they are ill-prepared.

3. Skim your IT books and your notes, get a feel for the language. You may have someone who asks you technical questions, or you may be able to impress your interviewers by using the correct terminology. While you don’t need to study extensively, and you may never be asked a single technical question, once again, the key to being prepared for an interview is to be over-prepared.

B. Salary Negotiating Tips

Here are two major things you should do when negotiating for a higher salary.

1. Ask directly, not remotely.

While you may not be interviewed in person, but remotely via telephone or videoconferencing, do not email your request for a higher salary than you are currently earning. It may be easier for you to write than to talk, but this is a mistake because you make room for misinterpretations. In person, on the phone, or by video conference, you can answer any objections and clear any misunderstandings immediately.

2. Talk to the person in charge of making salary decisions.

Similar to step # 1, your chances of success increase when you can get to the source of the decision making as closely as possible. Asking a manager to ask upper management for a salary increase often does not work because something gets lost in the translation of your request.

Here are 5 supplemental things you should do to strengthen your request:

1. Be clear in your mind about what value you offer the company so you can respond to any objections without hesitation.

2. Be nice, positive, and upbeat about your request. Sometimes you might get turned down simply because you sound like a whiner.

3. Avoid appearing needy. Instead of trying to win support, project reassurance that you are accustomed to expecting a positive response.

4. Have a clear idea in mind how much you are going to ask for.

5. Don’t ask for a figure that you imagine will not upset the employer. For all you know, they may be planning on giving you more than you had in mind.