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But armed with the right information, you can get a good deal in a good place. Negotiating the job you want begins after you've learned how to be your own agent - after you've answered the tough personal questions and researched the company thoroughly.
Listen and answer first, ask questions later
In leading the conversation, the interviewer will cover essential information about the company, the responsibilities of the job, and other relevant material. Assume that the interviewer will answer most of your questions before you ask them, but ask your own questions at the end if anything is left hanging. Feel free to take notes and refer to them later.
Whatever you do, don't talk about money until the prospective
employer puts an offer on the table. Until then, you have to
convince them that you're a hot commodity. Once they're
convinced, they will pay the fair amount it costs to get you.
Let them make the first offer. Some interviewers will put
pressure on you to disclose your current earnings, in the
interest of determining whether they're in the right range.
As your own agent, you should just keep stalling - remember
that you are never required to give a salary history.
Steer toward a better job
There is a third alternative. You could always try to steer the conversation toward something closer to the job you want, or encourage the organization to restructure the job so that it will appeal to you more. You have nothing to lose, especially if your skills are highly in demand. Companies with an entrepreneurial culture are especially likely to be receptive to this kind of win-win maneuver.
Focus on your contribution
Check the fit
- Linda Jenkins, Salary.com contributor
Copyright 2000-2004 © Salary.com, Inc.
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Signing bonuses, window views, and several weeks' vacation may be flashier benefits, but you shouldn't overlook disability insurance when shopping around for a job. What happens if you flip over your bicycle handlebars or are diagnosed with a serious illness and have to miss work? Will you lose your job? Will you still get paid? The key, we've learned, is to ask.
Is the grass greener somewhere else?
Benefits represent an additional 25 to 67 percent on top of base pay, so if your employer's base pay appears to be lower than what you could get somewhere else, make sure you look at the total compensation package.
What should my incentives be for international travel?
If you're tapped for an international assignment with your company, your compensation should reflect the additional responsibilities and challenges. In addition to higher base, don't forget to ask for incentives.
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