Graduate Coach Blog

5 areas of knowledge that will instantly turn you into a stronger negotiator during a job interview

Posted: October 20, 2016 at 10:09 am | Author: Chris Davies

After all, negotiating terms in a job interview is easier when you know what you’re talking about!

People are much more confident about negotiating what they want during a job interview when they know what they are talking about. A person who knows their stuff doesn’t need to bluff or second guess; they don’t need to make things up or exaggerate. They have a strong sense of self worth and it shows.

If you ever need to negotiate salary or employment terms in an interview, then a bit of knowledge in the following 5 areas will help you reach the win-win position you’re looking for.

The 5 areas of knowledge that will turn you into a stronger negotiator during a job interview

1. You know what you have to offer. If you have a good understanding of your skills and how they meet the needs of the role you’re going for then you are going to feel confident about communicating that during the interview. One of the most convincing ways to do this is to tell stories about the skills you have in action. Share examples about times when you’ve used them, especially if those scenarios are similar to the ones likely to come up in this new role.

2. You know that you have the right kind of experience. Experience is thin on the ground when you’re only just starting out in your career so having more than the average is going to place you in a strong position. Your experience says, ‘I don’t just have the skills but I know how to use them in a similar professional capacity.’ One of the benefits of having experience is perhaps that you know what might go wrong and what to do to minimise that happening. This is a big plus because the top concern for most employers is making the mistake of hiring the wrong person. If you can put the interviewer’s mind at rest, you stand a good chance of reaching win-win

3. You know enough about the company. No graduate worth hiring is going to go to an interview without knowing something about the company. Put yourself in an employer’s shoes: would you hire someone who didn’t have a clue about what your company does? Likely not. So find out about the company’s brand values, position in the market and position in relation to competitors. Find out about the company’s current priorities and who its founders or directors are. An astute graduate will also know something of the line manager and, if different, those doing the interviewing.

4. You know the industry. This is very important, especially if you’re going for a managerial or marketing-related role. Again, current issues, trends, developments and leading players in the industry you’re interested in working in will show you have a real interest in it. Your passion and enthusiasm will come across as genuine and help convince those interviewing you that you want the job.

5. You know what you’re up against. Some ways to assess this include: ‘weighing up’ other candidates at the group stage of the interview process; gaining a hint from the recruiter about what he thinks are your strengths; and having some idea of what’s typical or not of most candidates at a similar career stage to your own.

Good knowledge of all of the above will help you to negotiate from a strong position, and adopting such a position is simply a matter of engaging in self reflection, planning and research. When you know what you’re talking about it’s much easier to convince others to invest their confidence in you – in fact, they’ll naturally want to. In a nutshell, you’ll make the recruiter’s job a lot easier!

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