Research your job title to learn about the typical salary band for your title in your region. Salaries do vary by region, state and city. It is important for you to be familiar with the going rate.
Postpone salary discussions as long as possible. If they ask you on the first interview what is your salary, say I would like to learn more about the position and how I can contribute to your organization. The next time they ask say I would like to know more about the job. The third time say I have done research and based upon my experience, the going rate for this position is between 75K and 125K or, the total compensation package is xxx. At the very least you need to give a wide range. Do not give an exact dollar amount. If they ask you what your current salary is, say my current responsibilities and level are not the same as this job so the salary is irrelevant.
The time to discuss what you want is when they offer you the job. No offer, no salary negotiation.
Every salary negotiation has four numbers. The hiring organization has two numbers in their minds: the lowest they can get away with paying you, and the highest they are prepared to pay you. You have two numbers in your mind: the lowest you are willing to take, which is higher than their low number, and the highest you would like to be paid, which may be higher than their high. The final salary offer will be somewhere in between.
Don’t forget it is not only about the salary. Take in to account benefits – such as vacation days, medical dental, vision benefits, 401K, pension plans, health care accounts.
TAKE TIME TO THINK ABOUT THE OFFER When the offer is made, say you would like 48 hours to think about it. When you get back to them you can then say, “I am really excited about this job and I was really hoping for more. What can you do?” Again, do not ask for a specific amount. You may leave money on the table if you ask for an amount that is lower than what they were prepared to pay.
Summary: Do your research. Know what you are worth in today’s marketplace, based upon the job title, the geographic location, the size of the company. Postpone the salary question. Then negotiate from your strength. Don’t accept the first offer.