Many individuals approach salary negotiation with trepidation after they receive a job offer.  They fear antagonizing the hiring manager and having the offer withdrawn or they fear getting stuck in a “stand-off”.  Here are some things to bear in mind:

Wait until there is an offer, before you discuss salary.  If they push for your salary expectation before they make a formal offer, let them know you’d be happy to discuss salary once there is an offer and you trust that together you can negotiate a fair compensation. With many companies there will be some room for negotiation. Initiating a negotiating process will rarely result in you losing the offer if you are respectful and reasonable in your interactions with them. You do need to justify how your skills and experience will generate 3-4x the salary you are requesting. Stay calm and keep reiterating how much you desire the job and look forward to working for the company. Keep selling yourself.  Stay open and don’t box yourself in. Think about salary negotiation as a “dance”, a process that is meant to go back and forth.  Ask the salary range for the position, and leverage other offers, if you have them.

Before you start the negotiation process, consider all the components of the offer:  flexible hours, ability to work some time from home, stock options, signing bonus, 401-K, vacation, car allowance, gym club, severance, sick leave, disability and life insurance, training, health insurance, moving expenses, and salary.  Decide what your “minimum salary” amount will be. Do salary research at and, the Wall Street Journal, and professional organizations to see the going rate for your job title, skills, years of experience, and region of the country. Let them know you have done your research and what your salary expectation is.  Once you are involved in the salary negotiation process, give them a “specific number” i.e. ($85, 450.)  If you can’t get the salary you want, consider negotiating for more of the other benefits to compensate. Once a final offer is made, give yourself 1-2 days to think it over before accepting.

Remember, that you have more leverage to increase your salary at the time of being hired than you will at any other time!