It’s that time. They’ve asked the question – how much are you looking for? Some people calmly respond while others get nervous and fall apart.


Here are some tips to help you get the best salary:


The interview – it’s about building relationships, showing them your skills and knowledge and how that will add value to their company. You made them see you as part of the team.


Know what is important to you – salary, benefits, time off, tuition reimbursement, continuing education, retirement, etc. Are you willing to bend – for example would you be willing to take a lower base salary for full health benefits for you and your family?


Don’t assume you have to take their first offer – you may be leaving money or other benefits on the table. Most companies expect a counter offer so give them one. Your counter can include base salary, bonus, vacation time, CME money, etc.


Be confident – you know you can do the job, you’ve shown them your value however, be careful not to come across as arrogant.


Preparation – Research salaries in the city/region and know what the salary range is for your skills and job title.


Keep your emotions in check – deep breath, don’t panic and don’t get angry if the first offer is low. Go back to your research and your value.


Practice – your goal is to present why you are worth (based on your research) the salary you are asking. Since most of us are uncomfortable asking for money; it really helps to practice it with a friend you trust.


Remember do not make demands; it will not get you what you want.  Always appear to be open to discuss it further, even if you’re not.


There’s no guarantee you’ll get everything you want – but not negotiating could cost you, so don’t be afraid to ask.