How to Negotiate Salary in an Interview: 5 Tips for (IT) Candidates

Posted at 26 July 2023

When looking for an IT job, there are many things you can negotiate on if you're interested in a particular job.

Salary is without a doubt one of the most important considerations when it comes to deciding whether or not to accept an IT job. If you’re facing a job interview and worrying about how to negotiate your salary, read on for 5 useful tips that will help you obtain the result you want.

Our 5 tips to negotiate salary for a new job

Fed IT provides five valuable tips to ensure you are on the correct path while negotiating your salary. The key lies in mastering timing, acquiring relevant information, and effectively presenting your worth!

1. Do your research before your interview

An effective negotiation always requires a certain amount of reconnaissance beforehand. When it comes to negotiating your salary, you should look into your prospective employer and the specifics of your industry.

Do some research on the average salary for the IT position you’re applying for, as well as the working conditions and benefits employees in that position tend to have. You can use the numbers you find to inform your negotiation, and it will be interesting to compare them to the offer your prospective employer makes.

Ideally, you should try to find out what employees who are already working at the company in the same position are being paid. This is where it can be very handy to have a contact in the organization.

Of course, that information may not be readily available, so you can always try to estimate based on whether the company is small, growing, has significant revenue, etc.

2. Negotiate your salary at the end of the interview

The question of remuneration is an important issue for many prospective employees, and those in the IT sector are no exception. Salary can be a factor that motivates or discourages a person as they perform their daily tasks. However, your salary should not be a priority so all-consuming that you end up making mistakes during the interview.

There are things you should and shouldn’t say in an IT job interview, so tread carefully and let your interviewer take the lead. Focus on answering their questions and presenting your candidacy in an appealing way until you naturally arrive at the topic of salary.

Salary is usually the last topic discussed during a job interview. It may not even be discussed at all—it may be kept for a later date if the process includes more than one meeting.

To read: If you’re preparing for an interview, our article “5 tips to ace an IT job interview” might be a great help.

3. Showcase your skills

This tip isn’t only relevant for salary negotiations. It’s something you should focus on right from the start of the recruitment process in order to stand out from the other candidates and get noticed by IT recruiters.

Once you’re further along in the process, if you have given recruiters and interviewers a good impression, you’ll be in a stronger position to negotiate your salary.

If you end up discussing specific amounts and are asked to explain your reasoning, try to justify your request by referencing your professional skills and aptitudes rather than just pointing to salaries for comparable positions.

4. Take your time answering during the negotiation

Interviewers tend to introduce a salary negotiation in one of two ways—they will ask you what your salary expectations are or tell you the amount they are offering.

In the first case, it’s best to avoid giving a specific number and to try turning the question back to them. Explain that you’re more interested in job prospects than salary and then ask what the salary range is for that position at the company.

If the recruiter gives you a specific figure, don’t answer hastily. Whether you find the offer acceptable or not, it’s best to take your time with it and think carefully before you answer.

When presented with a job offer, you need to consider all of the aspects involved, not just salary.

5. Look beyond the salary alone

Even if you are happy with the salary offered, money isn’t the only thing on the table when you are negotiating for a new job. There may be other benefits that interest you as well.

The company might offer to contribute to your travel expenses or promise you an attractive raise after a few years or after certain goals are met. There are 

How to initiate salary negotiations

If the topic of salary has yet to be discussed, and you feel the need to bring it up (such as being between interviews or past the initial interview), use a polite yet direct approach. You can initiate the conversation about salary by using a statement like the following:

"I am genuinely grateful for this opportunity and believe that my skills can significantly contribute to your company. Could you provide me with some information about the remuneration associated with this position?"

Alternatively, you can say:

  • "I'm highly interested in this opportunity, but I would like to ensure we are on the same page regarding the financial aspects of the position."
  • "Would you be able to share some information about the expected salary range for this position? This would help me better understand your company's expectations and align my own accordingly."

Do not to broach the topic too early. Initiating the discussion demonstrates that you know what you want and that you are an open and honest individual, but your patience and politeness will also convey your goodwill. Be sure to blend these different qualities to ensure the conversation goes smoothly, as the recruiter is not your adversary, and it's natural for both parties to have interests to consider and defend!

Fed IT: your partner for IT job interviews

At Fed IT, we specialize in preparing IT candidates for their job interviews. As an IT placement agency, we serve as a bridge between recruiters and aspiring IT professionals. If you're seeking a job in the IT sector, look no further - you're in the right hands! 😊

If you have any questions about job offers in the IT sector, the professionals at Fed IT can advise you. Our experts are here to offer guidance and support. Feel free to send us your unsolicited application, allowing us to discover the ideal opportunity tailored to your needs!