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How to negotiate your salary

Last updated on: September 25, 2013 16:07 IST

How to negotiate your salary


In an online chat with Get Ahead readers career planning expert Amit Bansal, CEO of answered queries about job interviews.

Here's the unedited excerpt:

ganesh-nadar: It feels like I have landed the job but the salary is below expectation. How do I tell them? I still want the job

Amit-Bansal: Salary is a complex subject. Salary is largely determined on 2 factors - demand-supply equation and one's individual competence. While the demand supply equation for a particular skill-set largely determines the base compensation for a role in that company, the individual competence determines +/- 15-20 per cent variation. You need to negotiate salary in context of market and your own marketability.

kaushal: I am in my final year of graduation and have never appeared for an interview before. Can you please tell me how to prepare for it?

Amit-Bansal: Kaushal, to start with, research on the job roles that you are applying for. Understand the requirement of the job -- the key knowledge(K), skills (S), and attitude (A) required for that job. Then look at your own self and find out your own strengths around KSA. Try and see how your KSA fits the job requirement.

ganesh-nadar: What to do when they ask you a totally unrelated question? Like asking a reporter a question about Physics

Amit-Bansal: The main reason to ask an absolutely unrelated question is to see how the candidate reacts in an uncomfortable situation. You should tell them that physics is not your domain or physics is not an area of interest for you. You can add a bit of humour if it suits your personality.

rakesh: If a consultant calls me when I am travelling or at work, how should I deal with it? If I tell them that I am busy, will I lose the opportunity?

Amit-Bansal: It is fine to tell that you are in the middle of a meeting and will call back. Maybe send an sms to the person if you cannot take the call at all.

DEEPAK SEHGAL: Always running for goods but failed at last moment just becuase of below reasoins: Looking for Sr, Level job in coroperate communication but how to pursue myself for same. 2nd how to convey opponent when he/she doesn't know about me what i'm capable off which my colligues or surrouding know. please address and educate me...

Amit-Bansal: Deepak, I did not understand the situation. Can you please describe in more detail.

arumugham vijayakumar: How to negotiate the salary part, when asked about the expectation?

Amit-Bansal: Be reasonable to start with. You need to have a good understanding of the salary in the market and have reasonable expectations around that. You can talk about your peer network in similar roles. However, if you are taking up a very high risk position and there are no comparison point, you can negotiate around the risk-reward equation.

vipin nair: I have a break of 1 year and 2 months. This happened because I had to take care of my father's business since he was ill due to asthma and I had comeback from onsite and take care of him n Business. What will be the apt reply to interviewers for this situation?

Amit-Bansal: Exactly the same what happened. You just need to give the assurance that the situation is a one-off event and you don't foresee the chances of same happening again. Employers are worried if they see that you are using them as a stop-gap arrangement and will leave the organization when something else comes up (personal or professional).

tushar: How do I fend questions about my past experiences wherein I have worked for not moe than 6 months in any of my previous companies?

Amit-Bansal: Firstly, one must not be building a profile that has a change every 6 months. Every employer invests a lot of time and effort to get the new employee adjust to the business environment. If the employee leaves in 6 months, the employer loses a lot! However, if there is really a genuine reason why you had couple of short 6 month stints, you can explain.

Neeraj-gupta: I Have just cleared ICWA and waiting for the campus placement to be happen. Really don't understand what sort of preparation is required. And one question which i never able to handle, About Weakness and strength

Amit-Bansal: Strengths is to get an understanding on what you are best at and whether the same set of strengths can be leveraged in the current role. The weakness part is to figure out whether there are any big reds. While the interviewer will make an assessment of your strengths and weaknesses through other questions as well, this direct question also tells them how well you know yourself.

jinny: Hi I just wanted to ask you that What should I do if I arrive late to an interview?

Amit-Bansal: You should never come late to an interview. One must plan enough buffer for traffic delays and usual mishaps. However, if something extreme has happened, one must apologize and share the real reason. However, as a courtsey, when you are in a situation when you know that you are going to be late, call the interviewer and inform before hand that because of abc reason you are going to be late.

alex: hi Amit, why do you want to quit your last job in a company that is so good?

Amit-Bansal: Great question. One should never talk negative about the current work and company and hence the follow-up question- why do you want to quit then. The approach to this answer is that you are not interviewing because you want to quit the earlier job. You are interviewing because there could be an opportunity even more exciting where you can contribute even more!

Jeswal: Dear Sir, How do you get around the question: will you stil be with us 5 years from now?

Amit-Bansal: The perfect answers are the ones that are honest but are old in a manner that is not offending. If I were asked this question, I would say that I hope that the organization provides me enough challenge and growth that I am motivated to work for 5 years and beyond. You need to say that in your own words but essentially if you like the work and are able to grow, you would not look outside!

naman: What are the topmost embarrassing questions that interviewers ask and how can I handle them?

Amit-Bansal: Please understand that there is only one objective that the interviewer has - how do I find the best fit candidate for this role. If the interviewer is asking an embarrassing question, the objective is to possibly understand some facet of your personality. You should take a moment to understand the intent and answer appropriately. If the question is uncomfortable, it is fine to politely decline.

dananjaypuri: How do you know what to wear at an interivew

Amit-Bansal: Good afternoon everyone. One should wear formals. However, the extent of how formal also depends on what people normally wear in that kind of work environment. For instance, in the IT world, a jacket is formal enough but in banking environment, one needs to have the formals with a tie and business suit. In a nutshell, wear formal and preferably on conservative side.

Photographs: Uttam Ghosh/