Can She Negotiate Salary After Failing to Speak Up Earlier?


Karen writes:
I had an interview yesterday and during the interview I was told they would be
calling some applicants back for a second interview next week… When I was
told the pay range of my position I did not speak up that I felt it was too
low for my skills and ask if it was negotiable. If I am called back for the
second interview or they just call to offer the position to me how do I handle
salary discussion? The pay range was between $8 and $10. I believe I’m worth at least
$12 an hour starting out. What should I do?


The Career Doctor responds:
The general rule-of-thumb with salary negotiation is to put off any salary
discussions until as late in the process as possible — to the point where
you become the chosen candidate and thus have more bargaining power
than earlier in the process.
That said you also need to have realistic expectations about what the
employer is willing or able to pay. It’s been my experience that employers
do not pay workers in a given job classification more than the top of the
range — that’s why they have pay ranges and job levels.
So here’s what you need to do. You need to do a little research and find
out — if possible — the exact pay range for this job. If they usually start at
$8 to $10 but the real range is $8 to $14 then you certainly have room
within the range to make your case. If however the range for the job is
that small from $8 to $10 then it is extremely unlikely you are going to
get anything above the top limit.
You may also need to factor in other non-salary issues. For example if the
company offers a generous benefits package to employees that may well
make up for the lost $2 an hour especially given the high cost of health benefits.
You could also look into other options such as a shorter raise review
window the possibility of bonuses or other additional perks.
Learn more in the Salary
Negotiation and Job Offer Tutorial
published on Quintessential Careers.