I can't tell you how many times I was tongue-tied when asking about pay in an interview...
It's the worst!
A lot of that uncomfortable energy comes from looking at a pay increase as an option instead of a necessity. In order to live a life where you're able to pay all your bills in the same month, you'll need to earn more as the cost of living increases around you. I'm not saying that your employer is responsible for your expensive habit of eating at the Top 10 Michelin-Star Restaurants in the World... But I am saying that you have to find the leverage to justify a pay raise as needed.
One of many ways to find the extra cash is to apply for a new position and leverage your experience. A position with the bandwidth to offer you a bump in pay and challenge you to grow in your industry! Here are a few tips to tackle that tough conversation about pay.
Be Ready to Talk About Your Experience
In most situations, the pay offered is directly correlated with experience. You'll need to be able to talk about your experience in a way that adds value to the position. It would be helpful to take time prior to the interview and draft a few anecdotes describing times you’ve demonstrated the skills or tasks required. If you've gone over and beyond, talking about those experiences in a quantitative way, listing numbers, or providing data is always a plus. Take notes at home and bring those notes with you to the interview! This will help you stay on script, but also alleviate the feeling of having to memorize all your answers.
Work on Your Poker Face!
You'll need to know what the pay range is. That's a question you should ask during the interview but DO NOT negotiate pay at that time! That conversation should happen after you've received an offer. Work on your poker face because the interviewer is going to be looking for your reaction! They want to know if they can low-ball you or if you expect higher pay. Here's how that conversation should go...
Ask for the pay range for the position
Simply repeat the number but do not respond
Write down the range
Be ready with your next question and ask right away
Make The Ask With Your Experience as Leverage
Once you know the pay range you can assess your experience vs. the pay range. If you have 80% of the experience required, ask for 80% of the highest pay rate. If you have 100% of the experience required! That's a no-brainer go for 100%! If you have 120% of the experience required to do this job that's when you want to challenge the pay range. If you are using your experience as leverage, when you send your thank you letter, include the additional experience you didn’t mention in the interview.
How To Talk Confidently About Your Professional Experience
If you get queasy talking about yourself or your experiences, I'd suggest you take my course, Clarity & Confidence!
Don't feel that you have to figure this out alone. I'm happy to talk with you to get clarity!
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