How to Negotiate Your Salary in an Interview: Tips and Rules

Muthiah Aulia is a professional SEO specialist and writer with a keen focus on digital marketing. Her writing provides insightful guidance and tailored advice designed to help companies and businesses enhance their digital presence and refine strategies for attracting top talent.

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Do you want to avoid being short-changed in your pay? Don't be afraid to take control of your financial future and negotiate your salary! Sure, salary negotiations can be intimidating, especially for introverts and those who shy away from confrontation. But remember, failing to negotiate is like leaving money on the table. Don't miss out on the pay you truly deserve. Embrace the opportunity to speak up and make your voice heard. Be bold, be confident, and secure the salary you've earned.

How to Negotiate Your Salary

You deserve the salary you've always dreamed of, and it's time to make it a reality. The thought of negotiating your salary may seem daunting, but with these five tips, you'll be one step closer to securing a fair and deserved paycheck.

1. Know Your Worth

Before you walk into your manager's office or reply to a recruiter's offer, it's essential to know exactly how much you're worth. Here's how:

  • Research the average salary for your role and responsibilities by using keywords like "Salary Guide [year] [country]" on websites like PayScale, Glassdoor, Robert Half, and Michael Page.
  • Ask a friend in the same industry or with a similar job for a salary range.
  • Take advantage of headhunter calls and ask for a salary range for the job in question.

2. Start High

Now that you have an idea of your worth, it's time to put it into practice. When the opportunity arises, start with the highest number from the salary range you've researched. For example, instead of asking for SG$5000, ask for SG$5450. Starting high shows that you've done your homework and have a clear understanding of your market value. Just remember to have a bottom limit, a non-negotiable number that you're comfortable accepting.

3. Be Prepared

Knowing your worth is just the first step. Be sure to back it up by creating a one-sheet that showcases your achievements, awards, and positive feedback from customers and coworkers. Highlight your value to the company and show excitement for future growth. Outline your plans for taking on more projects and proposing new ideas to advance the company.

4. Negotiate

salary negotiation

It's finally time to reveal your ask - the specific salary you have in mind. Remember to ask for more than you want so that when it's bargained, you still get a number close to what you desire. Keep the following rules in mind during the negotiation:

  • Don't be afraid to ask for a high number, it will likely be bargained anyway.
  • Avoid begging for a salary increase and focus on your value to the company.
  • Don't threaten your way into a salary increase, this will only harm your relationship with your boss.

5. Embrace Rejection

Rejection is not the end of the negotiation, but the beginning of it. If your boss says no, take the opportunity to probe deeper and find out what it means. Is there room for benefits instead of a financial increase? Make a list of other benefits you'd like in case the financial negotiation doesn't go as planned. From extra vacation time to a WFH option, everything is negotiable until both parties are happy with the result.

Rules to Negotiate Salary

You've done your due diligence and you're ready to tackle the salary negotiation like a pro. But before you jump into that heated conversation, allow us to arm you with a few insider tips to help increase your chances of a successful outcome.

1. Timing is Everything

Don't wait until performance review season to broach the topic of salary. Instead, schedule a meeting with your boss or manager three to four months in advance to discuss your performance, contributions to the company, and salary expectations.

And, why not aim for a Thursday or Friday meeting? Research shows that people are more open to negotiation and willing to compromise when the weekend is in sight. So, use this to your advantage and make the most of those end-of-week vibes.

2. Get in Their Shoes

Remember, the person across the table from you is just that - a person. They have their own perspective and constraints to consider. So, before you make your ask, take the time to understand their point of view and adjust your request accordingly.

For example, your approach may vary depending on who you're negotiating with, be it a direct manager, a higher-up boss, or an HR representative. Consider their limitations, such as salary caps, and whether they're open to negotiations around perks like flexible vacation dates, bonuses, or remote work options.

3. Keep it Positive

Salary negotiations can be nerve-wracking, but it's essential to maintain a positive attitude throughout the process. Your boss is not the enemy, and keeping a calm and confident demeanor can go a long way in securing a favorable outcome.

Expect some tough questions to come up during the negotiation, but don't jump to negative conclusions. Instead, try to understand the intent behind each query and respond accordingly. And if the intent is unclear, don't hesitate to ask for clarification. Assumptions are the enemy of progress, so always ask!


Are you ready to tackle the tough conversation of negotiating your salary? With the right preparation and understanding of the unwritten rules, you're setting yourself up for success. But, if you're still feeling nervous, reach out to someone you trust for a confidence boost. Remember, knowledge is power, and timing is everything. So, seize the opportunity to secure the salary and benefits you deserve. Good luck and don't be afraid to ask for what you're worth!

By the way, if you’re looking for more interesting content about workplace tips and strategies, check out more articles on Talentport.

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