How to Negotiate Salary in an Interview

Every job seeker should know how to negotiate salary in an interview. Salary discussion is one of the common questions asked in an interview, and it goes a long way in determining whether you will be hired. Some organizations have structured salaries which makes it easier for job seekers. However, getting into these organizations is getting tougher by the day. Leaving job seekers at the mercy of organizations that do not have structured salaries. And the amount you earn in these organizations depends on your negotiation skills during the interview. But a lot of job seekers shy away from this discussion because they are scared of;

1. Being dropped because the salary range they give is too high.

2. Charging lower than expected. And this may make the interviewer think they don’t have what it takes to fill the role.

Despite that fear, every job seeker should know how to negotiate salary. And in this article, we will share with you some salary negotiation hacks. However, before we go into that, let us discuss some factors to consider while negotiating salary.

Factors to consider when negotiating salary

The Organization’s industry

The first factor to consider is the industry the organization/company operates in. The salary range across industries differ from each other. For example, what a financial advisor will earn in the investment industry is different from what they will earn in the oil and gas industry. This is because the earning power of these two industries differs. Therefore, you should take note of the industry when negotiating the salary.

Job description

For every job post, there is a description attached. The job description for two jobs may differ even if the job title is the same. Therefore, you should read the details of the job description again so that you will know how to negotiate salary. For example, there might be a job title of customer service representative for two jobs. And the description of one might be, receiving calls, emails, complaints, and customer support. While that of the other job may only be to receive calls. Obviously, the former job description should offer a higher salary than the latter.

Skills and certifications

Another thing you should consider when negotiating salary is your skills and certifications. Although some jobs list having certification as part of the requirement. But if the one you are interviewing for does not have that list then you can let them know that you have some certifications, provided that it is relevant to the job. For example, if you are interviewing for an Auditing job, you can let the interviewer know that you have an ICAN certification (if you have). This will help in your negotiation.

Geographical location

You should also consider the geographical location and cost of living when negotiating salary. The proximity of your residence to the job location influences your salary negotiation in a great way. And most organization understands this and this is why they prefer hiring someone whose location is nearer. But, this factor is important so that you will not spend all your salary on transport when you are hired.

The cost of living of the geographical location is another factor to consider when negotiating salary. For example, a financial advisor working in Osun state should not expect the same salary as someone working in Lagos state. This is because the cost of living in Lagos state is higher than that of Osun state.

Salary Negotiation Hacks

Hack 1: Make research

The first thing you do after receiving an interview offer is to research and know more about the company or organization. However, one of the things you should make research on is how much they pay their staff. Knowing how much they pay their staff will give you an insight into how much they are going to pay you. Take your research a step further by researching how much other companies in the industry pay for the same role. This will help you know how high and how low you can go in your negotiation.

Hack 2: Be Honest and Humble

Honesty is important, especially during the job interview. You do not want to lie about anything so that it will not come back and haunt you. Do not manipulate your resume so you can get a higher salary, it might hinder you from getting the job. Play the humility card when asked about salary expectations. If the interviewer asks about salary expectations, play on their empathy. Tell them you are confident that they will pay you a fair salary based on your skill and competence. This will make them voice out on how much they are willing to pay, then you can start negotiating. You should let the interviewer say the amount they want to pay you before you negotiate.

Hack 3: Ask for other benefits aside from salary

Before you answer the salary expectation question thrown at you, ask for other benefits you will get aside from the salary. This hack is essential when dealing with private companies or organizations; because if you don’t ask this question, you might find out later that all they have to offer you is just your salary. Once you know the perks and benefits you get from working with them, then you will know how to negotiate salaries.

Hack 4: Do not make it about the pay

Be mindful of how you answer interview questions regarding salaries. Even though you are looking for pay that will favor you, it should not be obvious. The moment the interviewer sense you are particular about pay then they may lose interest in you. This is because they will feel that if you see an offer of higher pay, you will leave them.

Hack 5: Show them the value they get by hiring you

Establish the values you will add to the company. Perhaps, the salary offer they are offering you is suitable for a standard employee. Make them know the values you are going to add to the growth of the company. Showcase your skill set and expertise humbly. This way you will be able to negotiate better


To make your negotiation better, ensure you make research about the salary scale of the company before the interview. Now that you know the hacks on how to negotiate your salary, we hope your next salary negotiation will go smoothly.  


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