How to Negotiate Salary During a Job Interview

hands clasped on pine wood table

Salary discussions can sometimes be awkward and uncomfortable for both the candidate and the hiring manager. During job interviews, the topic of salary is unavoidable. If you don’t bring up the subject yourself, it’s guaranteed that the hiring manager will ask you about your current salary. As soon as you give a number, you run the risk of either pricing yourself too high or undervaluing yourself and receiving a lowball offer.

Luckily, some preparation can help to alleviate the stress and reduce the discomfort that often comes with these discussions, and make you better equipped to talk about salary. Here are three tips to better prepare you for negotiating salary during a job interview:

1. Know Your Worth

In most cases, a salary budget is created before a job is advertised. If you want to aim high, evaluate your skill set and compare it to the requirements of the job. Do you meet all the requirements? Do you have additional skills that could benefit the employer? If you can hit the ground running without the need for training and supervision, then your worth is immediately higher. Understanding your worth can help you set a realistic salary range to pursue.

2. Research Salary Data for the Position

The best way to prepare yourself for a salary discussion during a job interview is to do your research. There are several resources available that provide salary data for different industries, experience and education levels, and locations. Websites like Quora,, or Glassdoor, which uses predictive data science to create salary ranges, can help you make informed job decisions.

3. Rehearse Ways to Sidestep the Salary Question

During the interview process, you always want the hiring manager to disclose the salary range for the position first. If you’re asked about your salary requirement, there are a few ways you can respond without revealing how much you earned in your last position. Do not be afraid to counter the question with another question, such as “Similar positions in this industry pay in the range of $x to $y. Can you tell me what your budgeted salary range is for this position?” Remember, by this point, you’ve done the research and have the data to back up your claim.

We’ve all had to deal with salary discussions in our careers. Sometimes they can be tricky to navigate. However, by stating facts, providing data, and being honest about your worth, you’ll be much more likely to arrive at a salary agreement that works for both you and the employer.  

If you’re a job seeker, Progressive is here to offer you complimentary consultations and expert advice. Our goal is to ultimately see you land your dream job. Contact us today to learn how we can help you in your job search.

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