When it comes to the job search process, being invited for an interview is an exciting milestone. From researching the company to preparing for potential questions, there are many things to consider. One topic that can arise is salary negotiations.

When considering this important conversation, keep in mind the importance of timing! The best way to set yourself up for success is to consider the best time to broach certain subjects. Today, we want to chat about why the best time to negotiate is after an offer has been made. 

According to an article from Science of People, there are a few instances in which you should avoid (or wait) to negotiate your salary. When the company has made a firm offer, then enter salary negotiations, if you feel the pay scale is too low.

Keep the following in mind so you are prepared once the offer is made, and negotiations can begin:

Consider your values 

While your salary is important, there may be other factors to consider that outweigh a pay cheque.

  • Is the position flexible and encourages a good work/life balance? 
  • Is the culture and scope of the job fitting for you and your skills?  
  • What are the benefits associated with the position?  
  • Is there room to grow within the organization?  

Often, these types of questions can help you decide on whether the job will be a good choice for you. Knowing your values and what is important to you can also influence your salary negotiations once the offer is made. 

Do your research 

Research current industry salaries and averages to support your salary expectations. Consider industry averages as well as your own experience, and the salary range you are willing to accept. Other aspects of the job or organization will influence your decision, therefore, ensure you have a solid idea of what is important to you and what your non-negotiables are. 

“Take some time to research the marketplace for this position.  Once you know what you want from the negotiation, ask to talk through the offer “very calm, collected, and well-researched.”


Timing is everything 

While the question of salary may be discussed in the early part of the interviewing process, waiting until a formal offer is presented is the best time to get into serious negotiations. In some instances, hiring managers may use the question of salary to weed out candidates who are asking for too much. If the job aligns with most of your “pros” list, you are likely more open to negotiate your salary.  

Consider answering with a range rather than a concrete number if salary comes up during interviews. You can also express that you are interested to learn more about the job, your responsibilities, and salary expectations as you move forward in the process. 

Advantages of waiting until a formal offer 

There are several advantages of waiting until a formal offer is given. You have been selected as the ideal candidate, which puts you in the perfect position for negotiating. Since other candidates have been dismissed, there are less options at this point. 

After receiving an offer, you will be better prepared to initiate salary negotiations. You are in a better position to decide what you think is fair, as the job offer will include more about what the job entails.  

Remember, timing is key! Don’t rush the conversation but be prepared for it when the time comes.