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Idaho Commons Room 334

Mailing Address:
111 Perimeter Drive MS 2534
Moscow, ID 11111-2534

Phone: 111-111-6121

Fax: 111-111-2816

Email: [email protected]

Meet the Team

Salary & Benefit Negotiations

Successfully negotiating a desired salary or benefits package is a useful skill to have. For a variety of reasons, it is something most people struggle to do. Being able to effectively negotiate with an employer could mean an increase of thousands of dollars to you within a few minutes.

There is an appropriate time and place for negotiating a salary. As a potential employee, be prepared to fight for what you want, and also being willing to compromise.

  • Most companies and firms expect negotiations when they make the offer.
  • Future raises are based on your starting salary.
  • Employers tend to have a more favorable impression of employees who negotiate, assuming their approach was professional.
  • Lifetime earnings are significantly higher for those who negotiate.

  • Company ranges/equity issues
  • The lowest offer you will accept
  • Detailed description of your responsibilities
  • Other information such as benefits, who will evaluate you, what training opportunities are available, and what promotion opportunities are like
  • The value you will add — what makes you worth more money?
  • How to anticipate objections (e.g., not enough experience, internal equity issues and budget issues)

Have the right attitude and perspective:

  • Remember, they are interested in you.
  • Be confident in your abilities.
  • Be determined and don’t give up too easily.
  • Stay relaxed, go slowly.
  • Try not to show fear or nervousness when negotiating.

Question: If I really want the job, I should bring up the subject of salary during the interview.
Answer: False. Always wait until there is an offer or they bring it up first.

Question: If the employer brings up the subject of salary during the interview or asks me to address the issue in my cover letter, it’s OK to not answer directly.  
Answer: True. Career Services suggests waiting until there is a job offer and you know all the details of the salary (i.e. benefits, bonuses, vacation and sick leave).

Question: If asked during an interview what my last/current salary is, it is better not to give a specific figure. 
Answer: True. Career Services suggests trying to stick with a range, normally within $5,000 - $10,000.

Initial Stages (Pre-Job Offer) Of Interviewing

  • Q: “What would you like to make as a salary?”
    • STRATEGY 1: Continue to Delay
      • “I have found in my research that the salary range for this position is $xx,xxx - $xx,xxx. Taking this into account, along with both the needs of this organization and the experience and skills I would bring to this company, I’m sure we could find a salary both parties are satisfied with.”
      • “I would consider any reasonable offer.”
    • STRATEGY 2: Throw the question back to them
      • “I assume a range has been set for this position and wonder what the organization has in mind?”
      • “Thank you for raising the issue of salary. Do you have salary curves or indexes in your organization? [yes.] Could you tell me what you have in mind, based on that structure?”

Final Stages (The Offer) Of Hiring

  • Q: The salary we would like to offer you is $xx,xxx.
    • STRATEGY: Questioning
      • “Is this offer negotiable?”
      • “How firm is that number?”
      • “Could you tell me how you arrived at this compensation to make sure I understand the salary structure? I want this to work for both of us.”
      • “Could you tell me a little bit more about the benefits package for this position as well, so that I can understand the offer more completely?”

Final Stages (The Offer) Of Hiring

  • Q: The salary they offer you is lower than you wanted…
    • STRATEGY: Counter Offer
      • “Based on my experience in this line of work and my current salary, I was expecting an offer closer to $xx,xxx.”
      • “Based on my research on salaries in this field and my understanding of the position responsibilities, I wonder if you will consider a salary of $xx,xxx.”

Final Stages (The Offer) Of Hiring

  • Q: If they say that the salary is non-negotiable…
    • STRATEGY: Questioning
      • “Would it be possible to complete a performance review after six months and revisit compensation after you have had a chance to see my performance in this position?” (contract)
      • “Since it appears that the salary is not negotiable, would you be willing to look at providing three weeks of vacation rather than two?”

  • Paid time off (vacation/personal and sick leave)
  • Professional development/conferences
  • Flexible schedules/work from home
  • Review and raise/merit increase in three to six (or 12) months
  • Relocation costs
  • Parking costs
  • Signing bonus
  • Graduate or professional school tuition reimbursement

  • How much does the employee contribute to listed benefits (i.e., medical expenses, co-pays, deductibles, parking)?
  • Can benefit costs be deducted from my paycheck?
  • Is there a time delay before receiving benefits?
  • What medical providers are available and covered under medical, dental, vision and other plans?
  • What medicines/medical services are not covered under medical plans?
  • For internships or co-ops, are any benefits provided?
  • What is the company’s/organization’s rate of hiring interns as part-time or full-time employees?
  • Does the employer offer financial assistance with relocation expenses or annual cost of living increases?
  • How does the employer assist and contribute to employee’s professional development opportunities?

To prepare to negotiate salary, you should research what salary is expected for someone in the position and geographical location you are considering with your level of experience.  Use these resources to get an idea of an expected salary for your position:

 – Explore salary data and reviews by company, title, or city from current and past employees.

– Free basic salary reports by job title. Compare cost of living at multiple locations and compare salary versus cost of living.

– A highly reliable resource that lists national statistics for general industry outlook and trends; provides national salary information and detailed job occupation descriptions in the .

National Association of Colleges and Employers: Salary Survey – NACE Salary Survey provides the largest listing of national averages of post-graduation starting salaries for each major discipline. This resource is not free to the public but is available to you through Career Services upon request.

– Using data collected via local Moscow company, EMSI, research specific career titles and compare state level city from current and past employees.

– Using the Idaho Labor Market Information Website, discover economic and wage data analytics.

- This federal website provides current salary information for most locations with the "Salary Finder" tool.


Career Advisors are available to help in all steps of the career decision-making process. Email Career Services or call 111-111-6121.


Search job listings, view salaries and read reviews from real employees.

Contact Us

Idaho Commons Room 334

Mailing Address:
111 Perimeter Drive MS 2534
Moscow, ID 11111-2534

Phone: 111-111-6121

Fax: 111-111-2816

Email: [email protected]

Meet the Team

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