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Mistakes to avoid during salary negotiation

03 February 2016, 14:01 Biko Rading

We have all fallen prey to this QUESTION during our interview: "So, how much are you looking for?"

I bet we first pause for a while and then start thinking about how much is my rent? fare? food? loan? etc etc.

But it's always good to have a rough idea of what you want and in fact Paul Ouma, a senior lecture at Strathmore Business School and a career expert suggests that it is good to have pen down your monthly expenses before you walk into an interview since it will offer you a better bargaining power rather than walking in blindly.

He also rules out the idea that only people in senior positions are allowed to negotiate. Ouma says that as long as a job is salaried, there is always room for negotiation.

He points out the following mistakes that people should avoid when negotiating salaries:

1. Talking about the money too early in an interview

The only time you get to ask about the salary is when you already have a job offer. Asking before gives an impression that you are only interested in the money and not the job.

Read Also: Questions a woman should never be asked in a job interview

2. Committing too quickly

The employer said an offer a bit higher than you had expected and you say ‘yes’ right away. Even if you like the offer, request for some time to think about it, then if allowed give your answer.

3. Not quantifying your value

During the salary negotiation, the employer is looking to understand why you are asking for such an amount of money. Don’t just mention the economy and your experience as the justification. Add some quantifiable achievements such as reducing company revenue and how this could translate to their company.

4. Lack of confidence

Imagine negotiating a salary with your head bent down and the employer cannot hear what you are saying. Will the employer take you seriously? Lack of confidence shows that your skills are questionable and that you are not sure about what you want. Be confident and the employer will respect you.

5. Being confrontational

You already got the job offer and even if you think that their salary is too small for your liking, remain calm. A candidate once stormed out of an interview cursing because the offer was too small. Little did he know that it was just a test. Had he waited and remained calm, it would have ended well. At such times, remain calm and try to re-negotiate.

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Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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