The Negotiation Skills You Need to Master before Going into Your Next Job Interview

The Reserves Network


Getting through a job interview can be difficult, especially when that interview involves complex negotiations regarding salary, benefits, and responsibilities.

This conversation can become even more daunting when you don’t know how to negotiate terms. Your needs and expectations for a position may be different than the preferences of your potential employer. How should you proceed?

Here are four negotiation skills that will help you secure a steady, well-paying job. 

Consider Your Goal

You’d be surprised at the number of people who go into a job interview without knowing what, exactly, they want.

Start by asking yourself the following questions:

  • What is your best case scenario? Imagine you’re having a conversation with your potential employer about salary. What is the best realistic salary you can imagine being offered? Then, ask yourself this question for other important benefits.
  • What is your bottom line? Think carefully about what deal breakers will force you to walk away from a job offer. For example, maybe you aren’t willing to accept less than $50,000 a year. Maybe you need 10 paid holidays.
  • What do you think a potential employer can do to improve your offer? This is perhaps the most difficult question to answer. To get started, put yourself in the shoes of a hiring manager.

While developing goals is important, don’t broadcast them in your interview. Rather, keep your best case scenario, bottom line, and improvement requests close at hand. You’ll need them to navigate the negotiation process. 

Find an Angle

Next, think about your angle. How are you going to argue that you deserve the improvements you want to request? For example, if you want a $5,000 raise on your offer, you might choose to angle toward your experience. If you want more paid time off, you might angle toward the need for balance between your work and home life.

Finding your angle is all about creating a doorway—opening the conversation and keeping the focus on your needs and expectations, rather than corporate policy and tradition. 

Get Motivated

Before entering an interview that might involve negotiation, get yourself motivated. Go through your resume and cover letter, talk to an expert, and practice your points in the mirror. Conduct research to boost your confidence. And, most of all, remember that your potential employer is interested in you for a reason. 

Contact an Experienced Recruiter for Assistance

Still need assistance with interview preparation? At The Reserves Network, we take great pride in pairing skilled candidates with the right company. Contact our experienced team to learn more!


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