How to Negotiate Your Salary in the Interview Process

August 7, 2023 in Career and Job Search Tips, Interview Tips



One of the most important and challenging aspects of a job interview is discussing your salary expectations. You want to get paid fairly for your skills and experience, but you also don’t want to price yourself out of the market or seem too greedy. How can you approach this topic with confidence and tact? Here are some steps to take to get the salary you deserve.

1. Do your research before the interview.

Find out the average salary range for the position and the location you are applying for. You can use online tools like Glassdoor, Indeed, or to get an idea of what other professionals in your field are earning as well as Kinsa Group’s annual salary guide. You can also ask your network or industry contacts for their insights. This will help you set realistic and reasonable expectations for yourself and the employer.

2. Delay answering the question until you have more information.

If the interviewer asks you about your salary expectations early in the process, you can politely defer the question until you have learned more about the role, the responsibilities, and the benefits. You can say something like “I’m looking for a competitive offer that includes benefits and other kinds of compensation, but I’d like to know more about the specifics of what this job requires first.” This will show that you are interested in the workload, company culture, work-life balance, and not just the money.

3. Give a salary range, not an exact number.

When you are ready to answer the question, avoid giving a specific number that might limit your negotiation power. Instead, provide a range that reflects your research, your qualifications, and your flexibility. For example, you can say “Based on my research, the average employee in this role in our city makes between $150,000 and $160,000 per year. Based on my background and experience, I think $155,000 to $165,000 would be fair.” Giving a range can show that you are willing to negotiate and compromise.

2023 Food & Beverage Salary Guide

Looking for up-to-date food and beverage salary data? Download Kinsa Group’s 2023 salary guide now for free and get access to salary ranges and median base salary compensation for over 150 job titles in the food and beverage industry.

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4. Ask about other forms of compensation and benefits.

Salary is not the only factor that determines your overall compensation package. You should also consider other aspects such as health insurance, retirement plan, bonus, stock options, vacation time, remote work options, and other perks that might interest you. You can ask questions like “Are any aspects of the salary or benefits negotiable?” or “What kind of benefits do you offer to your employees?” or “Do you have any commuter or remote work benefits?” This will help you get a clearer picture of what the employer can offer you and what you value most.

5. Negotiate with confidence and respect.

If you receive an offer that is lower than your expectations, don’t be afraid to counteroffer with a higher number within your range. You can explain why you deserve more based on your skills, achievements, and market value. You can also mention current or recent pay, as well as any competing offers or opportunities that you have. However, don’t be too aggressive or demanding if you’re not very willing to walk away, as this might turn off the employer or damage your relationship. Be respectful and grateful for their offer, but also assertive and confident in your worth.

Kinsa Group’s food industry recruiters and our broad network of food industry executives are always looking for top talent and we’d like to help you find the best opportunity to match your skills. Submit your resume today to secure your future.

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