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10 Questions to Ask When Negotiating Salary

10 Questions to Ask When Negotiating Salary

Negotiating skills don't come naturally to everyone

January 25, 2010

By Dona DeZube | Monster Finance Careers Expert

 What you ask for during a salary negotiation doesn’t just influence how much you earn — it also tells your future employer whether you’re good at negotiating, which is a skill you can put to work for the employer once you’re hired.

Negotiating salary doesn’t come naturally to many Americans, says Matthew DeLuca, author of Perfect Phrases for Negotiating Salary and Job Offers: Hundreds of Ready-to-Use Phrases to Help You Get the Best Possible Salary, Perks, or Promotion. “Most people in our country are not used to bargaining,” he says, “But if you don’t bargain, you’re not going to get all you should.”

Perfect Phrases explains how to negotiate salary, but DeLuca’s tips also apply to contract and project-based pay negotiations. In both cases, the people on the other side of the salary negotiations are trying to get you for the most cost-effective price.

To win your best salary, continue talking until you get everything you want, whether that’s a higher base, an early salary review or company-paid childcare, DeLuca says.

“There’s always a risk involved with any questions you raise when the offer is made, but it’s better to ask questions then, because if [the company is] uncompromising, that’s not a healthy situation,” he says. “If they have no tolerance for questions, you need to know that up front.”

Think of a salary negotiation as your chance to shine. “The person on the other side of the desk is evaluating you,” DeLuca says. “This is going to show you’re astute in dealing with the outside world. When you get the offer, don’t let your guard down — you’re still on the firing line. Feel confident, because they’ve come to you with an offer.”

To make sure you get all you deserve, DeLuca recommends asking these 10 questions:

1. “Thanks — is this a firm job offer?”

Demonstrate that you’re professional, polished and polite by saying thank you, and immediately follow to make sure that you really have just been offered a job.

2. “Is this negotiable?”

Once the salary offer is revealed, it never hurts to ask if they’ll put more money on the table. If they say no, you can move on to negotiate other items.

3. “Is this base only?”

Asking if the figure you’re offered is total compensation or base compensation lets the interviewer know you’re interested in the details of bonuses and stock options, and it opens up other questions about bonus opportunities.

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    mcm

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  • Headshot_max50

    mikejdipyatic

    over 2 years ago

    4 comments

    This is really helpful. I'm currently in the Personal Financial Services industry, and it is all commission based. I recently started looking for a job that is more stable, salary wise, and I had no idea where to start with negotiations once I finally get some interviews lined up. Thanks for posting!

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    simonwallis

    almost 4 years ago

    2 comments

    This has been very helpful. Not just Americans, but in the UK it is not easy to negotiate salary - in many cases we leave it to our agent!

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  • Photo_user_blank_big

    nashjr

    about 4 years ago

    2 comments

    Good advice Jdkstevenson....slomoshn corporate exec. use this all the time its the classic bate n switch. They get u excited about getting back into the workforce only to offer less than u expected....then add more responsibility to the position. work more..pay less.....The mind set behind this is that they know u want the job......first u sound as if u didnt ask enough questions during the interview....once he told u about the changes he looked to c ur reactions.......u were prime for the picking. My suggestion is to not take this position and if u do and dont speak up u r expendable personel and will be treated as such..good luck

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Jdkstevenson

    about 4 years ago

    2 comments

    Slomoshn, if they want you to take a drug screen test then they have already hired you. The problem is that the regional probably told them that you agreed to the changes. You will want to take the drug screen but then immediately call the regional manager and ask them if you can now negotiate the pay. Try not to be too forceful but definitely stand your ground.

  • Thorns_max50

    thompsonhomes

    about 4 years ago

    2 comments

    With overtime, slomoshn, $13/hr falls within the 30,000 to 35,000 perameters.

  • Omega_only_the_strong_max50

    slomoshn

    about 4 years ago

    6 comments

    Just to clarify, along with the job description, the stated salary range was $30,000 to $35,000 (not a whole lot, but workable). The hourly wage they changed to was $13/hr. This is after adding some substantial responsibilities to the job description.

  • Omega_only_the_strong_max50

    slomoshn

    about 4 years ago

    6 comments

    Has anyone had any experience with a company changing the job description and the compensation package after interviewing, but before making an offer.

    I interviewed with a company that had posted the job description and the salary range for the position. I was given an application and background check package to fill out and asked to return it during a second interview with the region manager. At this interview, the region manager (without making an offer) let me know that the position had been restructured, now having additional responsibilities and was no longer a salaried position but a much lower hourly position.

    Since he didn't officially offer me the position, I just sat and listened without reaction. After leaving, I decided I would not accept the position even if offered. However, I just received a call from them. Apparently, their background check has come through and now they want me to do the drug screen. Should I take the drug screen and continue to wait for them to make an official offer? I'm not willing to work in this position with increased responsibilities for the hourly wage the region manager mentioned. Should I try to negotiate only after they make an offer or should I let them know now that I'm not willing to accept the wage they talked about?

    I'm really disappointed because I think I would have really liked this position, but there is no way I could accept that amount of compensation and be happy about it. Any advice?

  • Photo_user_banned_big

    troyshaffer

    about 4 years ago

    2 comments

    This is a very good article ....I have bookmarked them for future reference ..Keep posting .

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    Frank_Ball

    about 4 years ago

    19756 comments

    Please keep your comments on topic to the article -- Any comments posted with embedded links leading outside MonsterCollege that are potentially dangerous and infected links will be removed and the poster's account will be banned from MonsterCollege. Thank you.

  • Img_0120_max50

    motopay2

    about 4 years ago

    2 comments

    this article is effective for men no doubt but women are 90% less likely to get the salary that they ask for........and still get paid less.

  • Media1__2__max50

    DocO

    about 4 years ago

    2 comments

    Thank you Mrs.Salenics

  • Picture_055-1_max50

    holdynb

    over 4 years ago

    12 comments

    I am so glad I read this article! I once heard that you should always say no to whatever the first offer is no matter what!

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    joe220

    over 4 years ago

    2 comments

    #11. Where will I be in your organizations Organization Chart?

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    DavidChou

    over 4 years ago

    362 comments

    it is not easy to go out and negotiate even though employer expects you to do so.