Featured in the Daily Mail, Michelle reveals how ‘detaching’ yourself and ‘seeking leverage’ are key to boosting your salary in 2019.

Negotiating a pay rise is a daunting prospect whatever the circumstances, but it can become especially terrifying when you’re in an interview for a new job.

But career expert Michelle Gibbings said there are five things you should do to improve your chances.

From seeking leverage to looking at the package as a whole, here FEMAIL reveals how you can boost your salary in an interview setting.

1. Do your homework

The first thing Michelle said is absolutely essential if you want to gain a pay rise is that you do your homework.

‘You need to know the going rates in the industry, so you can understand whether your salary package request is above or in line with the market,’ Michelle told FEMAIL.

She recommends you check out job sites and LinkedIn for a range of data on salary ranges for roles and professions.

‘The Fair Work Ombudsman website also has details on award rates and penalty rates so if you are on an award you can see the pay scales,’ she said.

Furthermore with this, Michelle said you should try to talk to people in the ‘same industry or role, as well as professional membership bodies as they can provide insights into what is possible and reasonable’.

2. Seek leverage

For Michelle, leverage is the ‘basic economic law of supply and demand’.

‘If there are lots of people with the same technical and professional skills and demand is low, wages can be squeezed,’ she said.

‘In contrast, if you are working in a sector, industry or profession that is in demand and there is a short supply of people to fill those roles then you’ll have greater bargaining power.’

The careers expert recommended you ‘get clear on the value you will bring to the role, how you demonstrate that value and why the organisation will benefit from hiring you’.

She said this will become important evidence and data you can use to back your claim.

3. Look at the package

While pay is obviously one of the most important reasons to take a job, Michelle said it’s not solely about your salary.

‘When you are negotiating, you need to consider the whole package of benefits which may include flexible working, annual leave, ability to get unpaid leave and other incentives,’ she said.

Take a look at the total package – rather than the salary dollar figure – and prepare for the conversation accordingly.

4. Establish your trade-offs

Like looking at the whole package, it’s a good idea to know your trade-offs before you go into a job interview.

‘Pay negotiations involve compromise,’ Michelle said.

‘Consequently, you need to know when to push and when to yield.’

She said it’s most difficult to do this if you’re not clear on your boundaries and what matters the most to you.

‘For example, if you are negotiating working conditions, you may be willing to trade off money for flexibility, or money for extra holidays.’

5. Remain emotionally detached

Michelle said pay negotiations are often a case of ‘don’t ask, don’t get’.

‘It’s important to mentally prepare yourself for the conversation so you are ready to make the ask,’ she said.

So that you’re not afraid on the day, she recommends you practise asking at home and practise ‘slowing your mind down so that it doesn’t over-react to unexpected comments during the conversation’.

‘This is where meditation and mindfulness techniques can really help,’ Michelle said.

‘Try not to get too attached to any desired outcome, because that can lock you into a position resulting in you coming across as inflexible during the process,’ Michelle said.

Inflexibility can often result in another candidate being hired. 

How can you impress at an interview? 

  • Be on time for the interview and dress for the job you want. Punctuality and grooming matters.
  • Do your research – don’t ask questions that you could have found the answer to by Googling it.
  • Be prepared and come ready to ask questions. If you don’t ask questions you can look disinterested.
  • Know why you want the job and why you are the best candidate for it. Come ready to sell your value.
  • Be personable and friendly. People hire people they like and want to work with.



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