Hey, everybody, Don Georgevich here with Job Interview Tools. Today, I want to talk to you about salary negotiation, but a little bit more specifically, salary negotiation with Local Government or the worse, the Federal Government.
So, if you want to know more about negotiating your next job offer, go ahead, hit the “Like” button, subscribe to my channel, dive right in.
So, I recently had an email from a subscriber and he wrote in. He says, “Hey, Don, I got a job offer from the Local Government and they offered me $3000 less than I was making before. Then they already told me that that’s the salary cap; there’s nothing they can do about it and they’re unwilling to negotiate. What should I do?”
Well, I’ll tell you. For starters, negotiating with any kind of government, they’re the worst. They’re just the worst. And not because they won’t negotiate, it’s because, well, they can’t negotiate. They have a certain number, a grade mark, a salary mark set aside for each position, based on a certain individuals experience and requirements and what they’re required to do on the job. As a general rule, Local Governments and Federal Government jobs pay less than their corporate counterpart.
So, if you’re going to work for the government, expect to make a little bit less. But you see, they don’t really have the flexibility like corporate companies do to offer you more money. Their hands are tied. I mean, they’re public organizations. There’s only so much they can do.
So, what do you do? I mean, they offer you $3000 bucks less and you’re like, “I just can’t do that.” So, how do you get more?
Well, I’ll tell you; the problem is you screwed up. If you find yourself in a position where they’re offering you less than what you need or what you were making, before you screwed up.
And I’m going to tell you where you screwed up. And don’t feel bad; a lot of people do this. You screwed up because during your first interview, you didn’t address salary. And I’ll tell you; the first time you need to address salary is on the phone. When that person calls you up and says, “Hey, Don, we’re interested in interviewing you for senior programming position. Are you interested?”
Well, the first thing you do is you talked about the position; you see what it’s about, and you’re like, “Yeah, I’m interested in that.” The next thing you need to ask them is, “Do you have a salary range set aside for this position?” or “Do you have a salary range in mind for this position?”
And they’re either going to say “Yes” or “No.” Usually, they do and they’re going to say, “Yes, we do have a range in mind.” And you can say, “What is that range?” And they might say, “Well, it’s between 70-and-$85 thousand”, whatever it is. But at least, you get this out in the open before you ever have an interview with them; before you ever have an interview.
And a lot of people, they won’t even do this. They feel that it’s taboo or it’s inappropriate to discuss salary during the first call. And I say, “No, not at all.”
I mean, you’re not willing to do the job for free, are you? If you are, then don’t bring up salary. But if there’s a certain number that you have in mind that you need, you need to bring that up tactfully, respectfully, but you need to bring it up during the first time they call you.
And just ask them; you don’t have to ask them what the job pays. Just say, “Do you guys have a salary range in mind?” or “Do you have salary range set aside for this?”
Now, let’s say they say, “Yes, we do. And it’s between 77 thousand and 83 thousand.” Not much of a range, but that’s the government. And let’s say that you’re making 95 thousand. They are really outside of your range; don’t expect them to just come up $10 thousand because they’re not; they can’t. I mean, if this were private industry, they probably could. But that’s a different story. This is government.
So, that’s the problem a lot of people make is they don’t address salary early on in the job interview process and they wait till the very end and then the employer says or the government says, “Here you go. Here’s an offer” and you look at it, you’re like, “Wait a minute. This is three or five or $10 thousand less than what I was making before.” And they’re like, “That’s the best we can do.”
This comes as a surprise to you, because you didn’t address this earlier. Had you addressed this earlier, you would have realized that they have a certain budget in mind and they can only pay X amount of dollars. And if you don’t fall within that range, don’t even bother to continue the interview process with them.
Unless you’re willing to take a cut. I mean, I once knew a lady in Canada. She was probably making about $110 thousand; Canadian dollars. And she interviewed with a governmental organization. They offered her 62 thousand; 62 thousand. This woman had 20 years’ experience. She was making over $100 thousand. They said, “We’ll give you 62.”
So, she tried to negotiate with them and she pushed him, she squeezed them, she worked with me, she called me. She’s was like, “Hey, Don, what can I do? I got to get more than this. They want to pay me half of what I was making before.”
And so, we talked over some strategies and I had some ideas for blah, blah, blah. And she went in, you know what they came back with? 67. They upped it. They upped it five grand. Thanks.
So, you got to understand that government agencies just don’t have a lot of flexibility with salary. They just don’t. There’s only so much they can pay. And I’m sure that that’s true in Canada. That’s true in the United States. And I’m sure that’s just true all over the world. Government agencies are publicly funded agencies that can only pay so much. They can’t be paying exorbitant rates that corporate America pays or any other corporation. There’s just so much they can do. But it’s your job to find out what that job pays before you interview with them. And like I said, just do it tactfully. Just ask them, “Has a salary range been set aside?”
Now, let’s just say you’re late to the game here. You’ve already had your phone interview and you’ve already had and you’re going in for an in-person interview. And this is your first interview. Don’t let this be the first question you ask them, because then it makes it sound like you’re all about the money. I mean, you need the money, it’s like oxygen, but you don’t want to sound like you’re all about the money.
So, it’s a good closing question. Save salary questions for closing questions. Because if you bring it up first, it makes it sound like you about the money. If you bring it up last, then it makes it sound like, “Hey, I’m interested in this job, based on everything you said. So, what’s the compensation?”
So, in your closing arguments, say, “Hey, Mr. Employer, I’m really interested in the position. I really like what you guys are doing. Have you guys decided on a salary range for it?” And then you stop talking. You don’t say anything else. Don’t say, “Well, I was making this before. I was making that.” You shut up; stop talking. You let them speak. And if you’re in there with the first interview, they better have an idea for the salary range.
And they’re probably going to come back and say, “Yes, we do.” And then if they don’t tell you what it is, then prompt them and say, “Well, what is that range?” And they’re going to say, “Well, it’s between 80 thousand and 105 thousand” or whatever it is. There’s usually like a 10 to 20 percent span in the range. And it just depends on qualifications and experience and how much market value they think you have.
So, that’s the key to asking the question, but you do it tactfully, you do it respectfully so that they don’t think that you’re just so greedy and you just want money, money, money, money.
But I mean, that’s why we are there. We’re not willing to work for free. We do want to be paid and compensated fairly. And there’s nothing wrong with that. And you should want that.
Now, as far as negotiating the offer, that’s another video and I have other videos on that, but I just wanted to cover one of the key elements to setting up a good negotiation.
Now, if we go back to the original question that a subscriber wrote in there, like, “Hey, Don, they’re offering me $3000 less, what can I do? They are not going to offer me anymore.”
So, in the case where they’re offering $3000 less than what you need — like I said, you should have addressed this early on, but if it’s too late, what do you do?
Well, what you can do is ask for other benefits. Try to make up for it with vacation time; maybe they can give you an extra week. You see, their hands are going to be tied on salary and money. But other things, other intrinsic things, maybe not.
So, maybe you can get an extra week or two weeks’ worth of vacation out of them. Or another thing you can do is say, “Hey, tell you what? I’ll come to work for you for $3000 less. But after six months, after you’ve had a chance to see how amazingly awesome I am, will you give me the extra 3000 after six months.” Put it to them that way. That might give them more flexibility to factor in a nice, healthy raise for you after six months of time.
That’s another option that you can do that you have within your power in the in your negotiating tool set.
Now, another tip on negotiating: Never negotiate in email. So, if you got this letter where it’s $3000 less, the first thing people want to do is get on their computer and type a letter and say, “No, I can’t really take three. Can I have a little bit more than that?”
Never negotiate an email. It puts you at a severe disadvantage. Because you try to negotiate with me an email, on the other end, I’m just going to reply back and say, “No, I can’t do that.” And you’re immediately shut down; you have no recourse. What do you do? You always want to negotiate in-person or on the phone.
And there’s specific reason for this; because you want to hear them. You want to hear the tone of their voice when they’re saying, “No, we can’t do that.” You want to listen to see how definite it is or maybe how wishy washy it is. Maybe you can detect that they’re not really that serious.
So, when you’re trying to negotiate through email, there’s no emotion in that and all that is just kind of lost. You always want to negotiate over the phone or in person; talk to them. Because if you say, “Hey, can I have $3000 more” they’d be like, “No.”
And then at least you’re in a position where you can continue a conversation. In email, you can’t do that.
Now, I know a lot of people, they don’t want to negotiate on the phone or in person because it’s uncomfortable. It is. I’ll tell you right now, negotiating is awkward, it’s uncomfortable, it’s going to be. If you’re not used to negotiating every single day, it’s going to feel so awkward and awful to you that you’re willing to accept the $3000 loss because you don’t want to go through the pain of trying to sell yourself to them.
But I strongly encourage you to go through the pain and negotiate with them. Have the conversation. You will regret it if you don’t, seriously. A lot of jobs that I’ve gone into. That I’ve taken at face value or taken a little bit less than what I was worth because I didn’t want to negotiate. I was afraid. I was afraid they might take the job away from me or I was afraid that they might just think I’m all about the money and I want more money. So, I just took what they were giving me.
I mean, literally, within 30 days, I’m like, “Man, why did I do that?” Because they were hiring other people, just like me, for more money, because I found out what they were making. They told me. I just I felt like a chump because I didn’t try to get a little bit more and I was worth it. I could have got an extra five thousand or $10 thousand, but I didn’t ask for it, so I didn’t get it. And I just felt bad.
So, I learned early on. And now, if I go in there and I negotiate or I interview for a job, I try to get what I’m worth, I try to get market value. I don’t try to get more than I’m worth. I just want to be compensated fairly.
Now, there’s some employers out there that they will automatically compensate you fairly. I mean, if you’re making $80 thousand and they’re like, “Well, market value for that position is 110. We’re going to pay you 110.” They’re not going to undercut you. I mean, there are some other employers who might try to take advantage of you, but it’s really not to their advantage to try to take advantage of you and pay you significantly less than market value, because you’re going to realize that you’re worth a lot more than that. You’re going to leave in six months and they’re not going to be happy about that.
So, that’s all I have for today on negotiation. So, for your next interview, talk to them, ask them, “What is the salary range?” or “Has a salary range been determined for the position?” And then you can make an informed decision is whether you want to continue the interview process or not.
All right my friend. That’s all I have for you today. Good luck in your next interview.
Now, before you go on your next review, I got a gift for you. I always got a gift for you; the video. Head on over to jobinterviewtools.com/top10 and you can download my Top 10 Interview Questions Guide.
This has the top ten most common questions that you’re going to get asked in a job interview; “Tell me about yourself.” “Why do you want to work here?” “Why should we hire you?” It doesn’t really go into negotiation; that’s another thing. But it does cover the most common questions. And the answers in there are going to help position you so that they want to make you the offer so that you can go in there and negotiate and get the money that you deserve.
All right, my friend, good luck on your next interview. And I will see you in the next video. Bye now.