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Tips for negotiating a salary

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Negotiating a salary

While some of us find salary negotiations intimidating, getting a better offer really adds up over the course of your career.

Tips for successful negotiation:

Be prepared: If you decide to negotiate, be realistic and base your request on solid research. Know the industry, the company, the role’s responsibilities and average remuneration for similar positions.

Timing is everything: The ideal time to talk salary is once you’ve received a job offer. Asking earlier in the process can make you seem too money focused and may lead to you reveal what you’re willing to accept before you have all the facts.

It’s not just the money: Make sure to take the entire compensation package into account. This may include a company car, bonuses, commission, annual leave, health insurance, superannuation and other perks.

Weigh your options: Most employers are happy to give you a few days to a week to contemplate a job offer. Even if you receive a great offer, it’s best not to make a decision with the pressure of your future boss looking at you!

Stay professional: While aggressive negotiations often break down, successful negotiations are about finding a win-win solution. When you’ve reached an agreement, ask for the final offer in writing. If negotiations fail, make sure to thank the employer for the opportunity and move on graciously.

Skills for life

Securing a better salary offer means you will also receive bigger raises and have more retirement savings, since these are usually percentage based.

Learning to negotiate successfully is a skill you’ll use in all areas of your life. Take a course, read books on the subject and practice, practice, practice! 

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Be prepared for your job interview

Professional Woman smiling



Prepping for your interview

An interview is your opportunity to present your skills, experience and personality to your potential employer.

It’s important to do some groundwork prior to your interview in order to make a knowledgeable first impression.

Research the company and the role to help you answer questions the interviewer may pose. Use the Internet and promotional material to familiarise yourself with the company’s public profile. This can also help you make a decision about whether they are the right fit for you.

Use LinkedIn to discover who has previously or currently works for the company. You may be able to find some common ground and have something to discuss with the interviewer on a more personal level.

Think about questions the interviewer may pose and practise your answers. The more research you have on the company and the job description, the easier this will be. Most interviewers will give you the opportunity to ask them, so make sure you have something prepared!

Know where the interview is, how long it will take to get there and whether car parking is available. Doing your homework will ensure that you have one less thing to worry about on the day!

Dress for success

Plan a professional outfit that is smart and presentable.
The most important thing you can bring to an interview is confidence, so make sure you’re looking and feeling great,
as the interviewer will pick up on this.

Dress for success

Plan a professional outfit that is smart and presentable.
The most important thing you can bring to an interview is confidence, so make sure you’re looking and feeling great,
as the interviewer will pick up on this.

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Your interview – make a good impression

Professional Woman smiling


Tips to help you ace your interview

Interviewers will assess you as soon as you walk in the door, so how you present yourself will make or break your employment opportunities.

How to make a good impression

Greet the interviewer with a firm handshake and a smile. If you are offered a glass of water or a coffee, take it! This way, if you are stuck on an answer you can take a sip of your drink and give yourself the opportunity to consider an appropriate response.

Relax your body language. Resist the urge to cross your legs or fold your arms. The more relaxed you are physically, the more confident you will seem. This technique also prevents you from tensing your muscles and increasing your stress level.

Speak clearly and honestly. If you don’t understand a question, ask for it to be explained further or repeated, and don’t be rushed to answer. When discussing past employers or colleagues, be diplomatic and resist the urge to criticise.

Show the interviewer you have a genuine interest and enthusiasm for the role and ask what’s the next step in the hiring process. For example, “I’m very excited about this job opportunity and I would love to be the person you hire. How soon until you’ll be making
a decision?”

Confidence is key

Speak positively about your attributes and try not to use the words ‘just’ or ‘only’ to describe your experience. Turn your weaknesses into positive points, for example, “I haven’t had an opportunity to use this software yet, although I have used something similar and I am eager learn more”.

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Things to do after your interview

Professional Man on mobile in public space


After your job interview

Don’t put your feet up just yet! The interview might be over however there are still a few more things to consider.

Write a follow up email to the interviewer thanking them for their time. You can also use this opportunity to provide additional information you have been asked for, or may have forgotten to mention.

Note down the questions you were asked, so you can practice appropriate answers to use in future or in any follow up interviews.
If you are successful, find out any necessary information such as your proposed starting date, IRD & bank account details, or essential items for your first day.

Make sure to check your contract, and give your existing employer the required amount of notice.

Read through your new contract to make sure you agree with the terms set out. This is the time to discuss certain restrictions you may want or to negotiate your wage/salary.

Reflect and review

Take time to reflect on your performance. Analyse areas you could work on for future interviews. If you are unsuccessful, ask the interviewer for some feedback on your performance and areas for improvement.