salary negotiating

Salary Negotiation Tips

Maybe you are a current employee and it’s time to request a salary increase. Or you have just had a successful interview and it’s time for the next phase, salary negotiation. Consider these steps and tips as you plan for the meeting:

  • Review salary range for similar positions and qualifications in your region.
  • Review benefit packages.

Merit/Performance-Based Salary Negotiation

You know how hard you work. Your job is demanding. You find yourself working extended hours without additional compensation.
Based on your performance and your contributions to the organization you feel confident about asking for a raise.  Prepare!  One of the biggest issues that can derail a salary negotiation is not having proof that you’re an asset to your organization.

  • Take the objective approach to determine the salary you’ll request.
    • Research salaries for same/similar positions online.
    • Look at benefit packages as this may be a negotiation point.
  • Update your resume/CV and portfolio/work samples.
  • Objectively discuss what you have learned. 
    • Concretely present how your talents benefit the organization.
    • Reveal your work satisfaction and engagement.

Other Negotiating Tips if Salary Offer Falls Short

Regardless if you are negotiating salary for a new or existing position, the salary offer may be lower than desired. You have the option to negotiate for added benefits or perks, including:

  • An educational benefit, such as student loan deferments, or a stipend for courses.
  • Additional vacation time in lieu of the gap between desired and actual salary.
  • Telecommuting hours/days or flex time.

Don’t Do These During Negotiation

Hiring managers advise against:

  • Discussing personal financial woes.
  • Apologizing for asking for a reasonable salary based on your qualifications.
  • Give ultimatums.

Negotiation Tools of the Trade

There are some salary estimating tools online that will support your quest. After all, knowing your worth is valuable information that validates your abilities and knowledge.

Check out Habits Practiced by Highly Successful People

exit interview

Exit Interview Tips

An exit interview can offer useful information about your organization’s policies, procedures, and practices. They can teach you which policies are working and which policies may need to be revised. For employees, an exit interview is an opportunity to give a review of their experience.

When both the employer and employee focus on constructively learning from each other, an exit interview can end on a positive note. Many times the feedback employees provide is positive, and when it’s not, it gives you valuable insight on how to fix it for other employees.

Determine Who is Best for the Interview

Consider having the HR manager or an outside consultant conduct the exit interview.

  • Although it seems expedient to have the department manager be responsible, doing so can obstruct useful information.
  • That can occur based on relationship dynamics or the desire for a good reference.

Learn Why Employees Leave

Employees resign for many reasons. Carefully crafted questions can help to identify course corrections your organization can consider for improved employee performance and retention.

  • Ask why the employee is leaving. Listen and request more information if doing so adds value.
    • When did you first decide to move on?
    • Was there a particular event that led to this decision?
  • Inquire about key junctures during a person’s employment:
    • As you look back on your onboarding weeks, were there steps in the process that should be changed? Please describe.
    • What, if any, changes should be made in the employee performance appraisal process?
  • Ask questions about the compensation, benefits, and perks of the workplace.
    • What is your opinion about our company’s salary and benefits package?
    • Are there suggestions you have for improving these or company perks?

Conduct an Open-Ended Exit Interview

Allow sufficient time to listen to suggestions and/or complaints the departing employee offers.

  • Inquire about their feelings about leaving the company without letting it become negative.
    • How do they feel about leaving?
    • What are the top two things about working here?
    • What three aspects of this organization would you change?
    • Please elaborate on the most important change we should make.
  • Ask for information specific to their time with the organization.
    • What was your most important achievement at this job?
    • What is one thing you hoped to accomplish and did not?
    • What supported you with the first and limited you with the second?

Closing Thoughts

  • Express appreciation for the employee’s service and contributions to the organization.
  • Close with a simple statement. Thank you for making the time for this exit interview. Add words that are relevant for this now past employee.

Check out How to Keep Your Employees from Fleeing

Thank you note

Post Interview Thank You Note Tips

Your big interview is over. Now is the time to follow-up with a well-crafted post-interview thank you note.   You will not get the job simply because you sent a thank note, but you will be remembered for not sending one.  If the decision comes down to you and one other candidate, you want to be the one who wrote a thoughtfully composed thank you note with substance.

Creating a template ahead of time helps with the interview preparation, including the points to focus on as follow up.  It’s okay to use a thank you note template when writing your note. However,  be sure to customize it enough so that doesn’t look like one. In your email, reference something unique to your conversation with the interviewer.

First, a Few E-mail Reminders

Follow this set of reminders to assure your message is timely and appropriate.

  • Send within 24 hours following the interview.
  • Send from the same email address included on your resume. Use one with a professional tone.
  • Avoid sending from your phone as formatting may change.

General Thank You Note Guidelines

Your e-mail is most likely to be opened and read if:

  • The subject line includes the words “Thank you” with the job title and interview date.

An email with “no subject” line can appear unprofessional and careless. When you create your subject line, it should be specific and not overly creative.

  • Prepare your e-mail in business formal language.
    • Use professional terms, such as those associated with the position you seek.
  • Be clear and concise.
    • This gives the impression that you have thought about the interview and can express yourself efficiently.
    • Vary sentence length. Best to keep each one under 20 words.
    • Break content into short paragraphs of 2 to 3 sentences each.
  • Be sure to individualize thank you e-mails for each interviewer you met.

Thank You Note E-mail Format

  • Paragraph 1: Begin your note with a “thank you” for the time that they extended to speak with you, followed by a compliment about the interview process, a key takeaway about the position that excites you, and how this solidifies your confidence in your ability to be successful in the position.

This will let the recruiter know that you paid attention and reassure them of your compatibility.

  • Paragraph 2: Refer back to the interview discussion, focusing on the experiences/skills you bring to the position. Succinctly state your unique qualifications and readiness to contribute to the position and company.
  • Paragraph 3: Briefly state your enthusiasm for joining the company, and your availability for a follow up call or e-mail.
  • The last line states your understanding of when you will receive an interview follow up.
  • “Best regards” or “Sincerely” is suitable for the closing.  Below your signature, make sure to include your full contact information and any professional links, such as your LinkedIn profile or other online portfolio.   Your personal Facebook, Instagram or Twitter should not be included unless you are asked for them.

For more interview tips check out, Words to Use in an Interview

job interview

Lookout for These During a Job Interview

Recruiting the right employees is vital for business success. Focusing on what to watch and listen for during a job interview is one step toward employing the best candidates for your business.

The Candidate Spent Time Learning About the Job

Look for signs that a candidate has spent time learning about your business.

  • Do responses and questions demonstrate preparation?
  • Listen for responses that indicate awareness about your clientele and/or products.
  • Note if a prospective employee is able to link values and goals with your business and the job.
  • Do they ask informed questions, such as those related to the position’s procedures?

Pay Attention to Job Interview Style

You are well aware that interaction style affects work relationships, morale, and productivity. Interviews offer time to observe candidates’ actions, language use, job interest, and confidence.

  • Did the candidate arrive on time and interact well with staff?
  • Observe overall communication, including eye contact, tone of voice, and posture. Do they interrupt or make lengthy yet limited responses?
  • Watch for signs of insecurity or lack of preparation.
  • Is the candidate confident and humble, or smug and overly assured?
  • How do you rate the person’s ability to interact with others?

You Get the Information You Need

The interview is a time for learning about the candidate beyond the resume. You want to gain as much information as possible about the person’s experience, skills, and potential.

  • Discussion about work history aligns with the resume.
  • The candidate describes successes, challenges, and goals.
  • The questions you posed were clearly answered.
  • Are they able to link skills, abilities, and goals with the job at hand?
  • Does the candidate have reasonable expectations related to advancement potential, benefits, and opportunities?

The Candidate was Able to Follow Your Lead

You want the interview to begin and end as expected. Candidates who follow an interviewer’s lead show adaptability.

  • Was the candidate able to adjust, such as being questioned by another interviewer?
  • Make note if they comfortably participated in the interview’s closing.
  • Set aside a few moments to write down the immediate impressions you had of this candidate.

To learn about who we hire, click here

interview keywords

Words to Use in Job Interviews

During job interviews, recruiters pay special attention to certain keywords and phrases that show you have the knowledge of the position and confidence that would make you a perfect fit.  You need the ability to effectively communicate to the recruiter your superior skill set to ensure that you have the competitive advantage.

You can do this is by slipping in a few specific phrases into your job interview. With that in mind, we have compiled some phrases and keywords for you to keep in mind during your  next interview.   


Let the hiring manager know about projects that you took the “initiative” on.  Be ready to discuss the results of that “initiative.” Hiring managers like hiring people that they don’t have to micromanage and tell what to do.


When you use the word “we” you are telling the hiring manager that you are already envisioning yourself on their team.  It also uses a bit of the “power of suggestion” by putting yourself as a “we” in your conversation.  You may even notice the hiring manager use the word after you use it.


Let the hiring manager know that you have a “plan” in mind for being successful in the position. 

Willingness to Learn:

Being adaptable and open to learning new methods is considered an asset by employers.  Reference industry articles about current and emerging trends. As well as,  as your “willingness to learn” from mentors and classes.


Let the interviewer know that you have a desire to excel and that you are a highly “motivated” person.   Discuss how your motivation helped you in past positions and how you are confident that it will help you in your new role.


When you tell the interviewer that you are “excited” about the position, they hear that you are motivated and won’t take the job for granted. “Excited” says, “I really want the job and will do my best when I get it.” Employers desire optimistic employees. Excitement demonstrates your optimism.

Ask Questions in Job Interviews:

Asking questions is important in any interview because it shows the interviewer that you are taking your career seriously.

“Doing what you love is the cornerstone of having abundance in your life”.     

-Wayne Dyer

For more job interview tips, check out What Not to Say During a Job Interview