Don’t forget these 10 questions when negotiating your salary


Negotiate with authority

Don’t forget these 10 questions when negotiating your salary


You got the call. They want to hire you. But stop.. don’t forget to ask these 10 questions when negotiating your salary.

Very often we get so caught up in our own success, key questions related to the offer and our futures with a new organisation or role, go out of the window.

Don’t forget these 10 questions when negotiating your salary:

Is this a firm and official job offer?

It’s always important to establish if the offer is firm and official. I have seen too many situations where the person making a verbal offer is not authorized to do so.

 What are the next steps and when will I get the offer in writing?

Establishing the next steps is particularly important if you are in a number of processes. Large hierarchical organisations have complex approval systems which can take many weeks – even months.  Now is the time to declare genuine, other job search activity.

May I please have a job description?

You want to be clear that you are accepting the job you have been hired for. Oftentimes candidates accept offers without a formal job description, only to find themselves with different duties and responsibilities than they anticipated.  Sometimes this works out – but sometimes it doesn’t.

When would you like an answer?

It is unwise to accept a job offer on the spot. You need time to reflect all aspects of the transition. By all means indicate interest and excitement,  but state that you want time to reflect fully. Do not say you need to discuss the offer with your partner. You should have done that already.

Is this negotiable?

Never accept the first offer put on the table. If the answer is no – don’t be put off.

Use this as a starting point for negotiation.Tweet this

How does your bonus system work?

Investigating other options particularly stocks and shares can be a key element. I have one client who paid off all her student loans, including her MBA loan, when she cashed in her stock options after only 5 years’  service.

What other benefits do you offer?

Now is the time to explore employee benefits. That could include flextime, remote working, pension schemes or anything else that’s important to you. Many companies will not offer remote working immediately as it  can interfere with the onboarding process, but it can be available further down the line.

When is the start date?

This question confirms you are serious. Many are now using starting a new job to negotiate perhaps a career gap to take a long vacation or another type of gap period. Usually employees will want you immediately or as soon as possible, but will wait if you are genuinely the best candidate for them.

 Are there any targets to meet?

Many forget this question particularly in sales or commercial roles and find themselves tied into unrealistic targets where they are set up to fail. Make sure you have soft targets in the first year with strong onboarding support. Be wary around phrases such as “deep end”, “roll up your shirt sleeves” and “hands-on.”

What does that mean exactly in the culture of that company?Tweet this

What is your evaluation process and will it be salary related?

Any performance related to remuneration should be discussed. This is also the time to ask about probationary periods and who will be evaluating your performance,  as well the criteria for benchmarking your success, if you are super successful at meeting goals or targets is there any recompense.

Final question? “ Where do I sign? ”


3Plus, Negotiating salary and benefits: value your work
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Dorothy Dalton is CEO of 3Plus International. A specialist in diversity and bias conscious executive search, she joins the dots between organisations, individuals, opportunity and success.

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