How to Get an Extra $5,000 Salary Boost During a Job Interview
I know a secret that you don’t.
Employers have more money than they initially offer you. It’s the cornerstone of negotiation to shoot low first, but some potential employees take base-salary because they’re afraid to lose out on the opportunity.
Today I’ll show you the tactic I’ve used and coached people to use, in order to get a salary above what’s advertised.
You Don’t Get Money for Nothing
Often, people see ‘getting a job’ as an act of charity. A business feeling sorry enough for you, that they’re willing to employ you.
Work is a two-way street. You get money for an exchange of services and those services are valuable.
In fact, those services are so valuable, that a business is willing to speculate capital in order to turn your services into a profit.
As soon as you reframe that in your mind, you’ll feel much more comfortable putting a value on your time.
How Companies Set Advertised Salaries
They don’t set the salary based on what you should want, they set it based on what they think the correct candidate will be worth.
This is usually based on what others currently earn in that department or a division of what profit they feel your role can generate.
These figures are completely arbitrary, so they can be increased or decreased based on the candidate's level of experience or skill.
Knowing this, you can walk into the room understanding that what they’re offering is what they’d like to pay and not what your skills are truly worth.
An Ultra-fast Lesson in Negotiating
People lose in a negotiation with an employer for two reasons:
- They aren’t prepared to walk away from the deal
- Their request or counteroffer seems ungrateful.
It’s not the act of negotiating that makes you seem ungrateful, it’s your delivery.
Let’s pretend in this scenario that your potential employer is offering you $80,000, but you want $85,000.
Here are two options to negotiate the extra $5,000:
- Option 1: “Oh. Would you be willing to go up to $85,000 instead?”
- Option 2: “I had a figure in my mind, one that secures my family, bills, livelihood and makes me excited to work here long-term. That figure is $85,000, so you were almost there. Do you have enough budget to meet me there?”
99% of people, without my intervention, would try option 1 and seem ungrateful to a prospective employer. It seems trivial to barter over $5,000 when the offer of $80,000 is on the table. You’re splitting hairs over 6.25%.
However, by going with option 2 you’re building in some strong psychological parameters.
“Do you have enough budget to meet me there?” suggests that you’re already there and they need to come up to meet you. It suggests you’re immovable and this will stop them from dismissing your request.
The involvement about your family, bills, etc softens the request and lets them know that you have expenses and $80,000 is a little too tight, but $85,000 keeps you happy. Every employer wants their employees to be happy.
Another reason to shoot for the $5,000 salary boost
The same point happens in every interview or post-interview success call.
Employer: “What’s your salary expectation?”
Often people go for what was advertised. If the salary was estimated between $60,000 and $70,000 they’ll say “$70,000”.
This is playing right into the hands of the employers. They set that figure. You’re not winning to choose the top figure they’ve set.
It’s like offering a child a bed-time of their choosing. “Do you want to go to bed now or in 30 minutes?”
Of course, they’ll choose in 30 minutes but that was the parent’s plan all along.
By setting your salary expectation $5,000 above what was advertised, you’ll be putting an invisible aura around your value — a value your potential employer may or may not see from your interview.
If you are indeed the right person for the job, no employer is going to lose out on the top candidate for a measly $416 a month. So an extra $5,000 salary is not only achievable, it’s easier than you think.
Just remember, in negotiation, the winner is the person who’s willing to walk away, so this tactic won’t work with minimum wage roles, as the competition is rife.
TOP TIP: If you're up against a seasoned pro and they offer to split the difference at $2,500 extra… Take it. It’s still a victory and show’s your new employer that you’re a team player and willing to compromise when they are too.