You do not talk about money? This may still be common in many situations, but it is important to bring up the subject of salary in the interview. After all, it has a major impact on your decision for or against a job. You can read here how to do this particularly cleverly.
Correct self-assessment for the job interview: How much salary can you ask for?
Before the appointment, find out thoroughly about the salary range that is customary in the industry – in line with your professional experience. Because the more experience you have, the more salary you can ask for in the interview.
Important: When doing your research, keep in mind that your actual salary will depend on several factors, including
- Your qualifications and work experience
- The size of the company you are applying to
- The industry
- The region
If you apply internally for another position, your possible new salary also depends on whether you take on additional responsibility, for example . Depending on the company and position, you can make salary increases of 5 to 20% compared to your previous salary.
Do you have particularly sought-after specialist knowledge ? Congratulations! This gives you a good basis for negotiating your future salary in the interview. Still, be realistic. Excessively high salary demands are just as much a part of the biggest mistakes in salary negotiations as overstating .
If you are well informed and have taken all the points mentioned into account, you are also well prepared for another scenario: If your interviewer makes a salary suggestion before you state what you want, you can assess whether this salary may be too low or even higher than is common – and react accordingly.
Negotiate salary in the interview: Consider all components
Salaries are usually negotiated as a gross annual salary. Taxes and social security contributions such as contributions to statutory health insurance and pension insurance are deducted from this. The amount that you agree on as salary in the interview is therefore different from what ends up in your account later.
In addition to the agreed base salary, other salary components can also count towards the total remuneration:
- Variable salary components such as bonus payments and premiums
- Additional benefits such as holiday pay and Christmas bonus
- Non-monetary company benefits such as free drinks, a parking space or a job ticket
Whether an employer pays its employees holiday and Christmas bonuses or whether they share in the turnover in the form of bonuses differs from company to company. You are not entitled to this under German law. This is exactly why you should not forget these points when it comes to your desired salary in the interview.
If you negotiate cleverly here, you can look forward to more net salary in the account at the end of the month , even if the gross salary falls short of the original expectations. The keyword is net pay optimization. Many so-called benefits and wage modules are subsidized by the state. They are either taxed at a flat rate or not at all. This can be, for example, the meal allowance in the form of food stamps or the assumption of costs for childcare. This means you pay less tax and end up getting more out of your salary.
When Should You Ask the Salary Question?
Usually, the topic of salary is discussed towards the end of the interview. It’s best to wait until the other person asks you about your salary expectations. If that doesn’t happen, you can carefully steer the conversation in the desired direction yourself. What’s the best way to do this? By inquiring about the general conditions of the position offered.
If you still don’t get around to talking about the remuneration for your work, you can ask politely about the salary at the end of the interview.
Strategy: How do you negotiate salary in an interview?
You have two options for negotiating your desired salary in the job interview:
- Fixed salary statement: “Due to my professional qualifications, I consider a salary of €55,000 per year to be appropriate.”
- Salary range: “My salary expectations are between €50,000 and €55,000 per year.”
We recommend variant 2, because it has several advantages: Your counterpart will find out your approximate salary expectations and at the same time you have a certain amount of negotiating leeway.
In order to make the best possible use of this leeway, you need good arguments for your salary demands . You will only successfully negotiate your salary in the interview if you have these and appear convincing.
And if the offer is still disappointing? If you are offered a salary that you feel is far too low during the interview, you have two options:
- You decide against the job: try to end the conversation as quickly as possible. You then cancel the job offer in writing or by telephone without going into detail about the reasons.
- You play the ball back: In the interview, openly tell your counterpart that the salary offered is too low. Explain to the person objectively what annual salary you would like to have as a minimum – and justify why you think it is appropriate. Now those responsible in the company have to decide whether you will get the job on your terms or not.
Also read: Mistakes to avoid in salary negotiation