We all know that the interview process of any craft beverage job search can be intimidating, and it doesn’t get easier when it comes time to talk about money. The thought of salary negotiations may make you squeamish, but it’s an important part of the process that you can’t shy away from. To help make the process easier, we’ve compiled a few Do’s and Don’ts you can follow.
Before we get into the do’s and don’ts, there is one thing that is a MUST to remember: the job interview is not the time for negotiation. Salary negotiation only comes after you have been offered the position.
The Do’s of Salary Negotiation
Be enthusiastic and respectful.
One of the most important factors in any negotiation is your attitude during the process. Above all, remain positive and enthusiastic. Don’t lose sight of what attracted you to apply for the job.
Also, be accessible and open to communication. Keeping an open mind to the employers perspective will help produce a positive outcome. Even if the negotiation is not going your way, remember, they already want to hire you, so don’t jeopardize that opportunity. If you can’t reach common ground, show that you are grateful for their consideration. Never do anything to keep an employer from coming back with another offer.
Tip: Keep your negotiation tactics professional, friendly, data-driven, and timely – The Careful Art of Negotiating Your First Salary, Kristen Hamilton, CEO of Koru
Do your homework
Before going into any salary negotiation, know what the requirements and pay scale are for the job you’re applying for. Having the correct information before negotiating will give you the upper hand. A great place to start is going online and searching typical salaries in your field. Industry guides are a helpful resource for job descriptions and an average salary range for different jobs. See these examples to help get you started:
Tip: Take into account the location of the job when doing your research. Cost of living is different depending on where you live in the country.
Know what you are worth
Don’t sell yourself short. There are two things that you need to know before going into any negotiation process: (1) what is your minimum salary requirement and (2) what is your estimated market value. You have a lot to offer the company, so make sure your worth is defined in the negotiations.
Earning potential depends on a many things, such as your education and industry experience. So, be prepared to justify your worth with a complete educational history and documented work-related skills. These are benefits to the employer, so highlight them as often as possible.
Tip: Being a “people person” or a “fast learner” are not job skills. Only share work-related skills that can be supported with documentation.
The Don’ts of Salary Negotiation
Don’t give the first number
Remember, the interview is not the time for negotiating your salary. However, before offering you the job, the interviewer may press for you to reveal your salary expectations. A question like, “what’s your salary range?” is a tactic interviewers will often use to feel out what an applicant’s expectations are.
Once the job offer has been given, the negotiating game has begun and the first one to give a number will lose the upper hand. If you’ve done your homework, you will already know the salary range for the job you’re being offered. If you are unprepared and throw out a “low-ball” number, you will never get that money back. That’s why you ALWAYS want the interviewer to tell you the pay range for the job. That gives you the opportunity to focus on getting to the higher end of that range.
When there are two good negotiators in the room, each person will try to get the other to give the first number … Your goal is to outlast the interviewer until they finally tell you the salary range for the job. – Penelope Trunk, The (Surprising) Best Answer to the Question “What’s You’re Salary Range?”
Tip: Know exactly what you want. If you go into the negotiations with only approximates, it will be difficult to know what you’re willing to relinquish.
Don’t sell yourself short
There are things, other than money, to consider in the negotiation process, like benefits. Smaller companies, especially start-ups, may not have a lot of wiggle room when it comes to salary. But, they may be able to offer benefits, and that could add up to thousands of dollars by the end of the year.
Several benefits to consider are;
- health and retirement
- investment opportunities and stock options
- personal days, vacation and sick leave
- educational assistance
- company phone and/or laptop
- relocation assistance
Free booze should be looked at as an occasional perk, not a benefit. Reputable employers will not entice their employees with alcohol.
Tip: Never accept a salary that doesn’t enable you to make ends meet.
Don’t be unrealistic
A negotiation is a give and take. What you’re looking for is a fair number that meets your needs as well as the employers. When you receive an initial offer, it is good to ask for time to think about the number. If it doesn’t meet your minimum requirements, make sure your counter offer is realistic (5-10% above their offer). An unreasonable counter offer is a quick way to end the negotiation process. This may be a good time to talk about other benefits to add to the compensation package to help reach your goal.
Tip: A good negotiator will always thorough notes.
If you’re receiving a job offer where the hourly rate or salary is set upfront, don’t think that talking money is off the table. Although salary negotiation may not be an option at the moment, here are questions you can ask to know when those opportunities will come up.
- Are there scheduled evaluations of your job performance where pay increases are considered? Most positions will have a 90 day evaluation where benefits and pay increases are negotiated.
- How many opportunities are there for advancement in the company? The answer to this questions depends on the size of the company offering you the job. Sometimes you may get a clearer answer if you put the question in the past tense, for example, “how many employees advanced in the company last year?”
- Are there annual cost-of-living pay increases? The answer to this question may help you determine if this job opportunity will be long-term or not.
- Are there continue ed opportunities for higher pay? Many companies today will offer continue education courses either in-house, online, or through a local college. Completing these courses increases your value to the company, which warrants a higher pay grade.
Good luck with your new craft beverage job! We hope that these Do’s & Don’ts will help put your mind at ease when it’s time for the “money” talk.
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