Can I negotiate this salary?
June 29, 2012 1:54 PM   Subscribe

I worked as a junior accountant in nyc for a year and had a salary of $37,500. I'm going for an interview at another company and want to negotiate a salary to my advantage. I'm looking at 48-50K. Would you say this is doable? Should I shoot for higher? 52K? I have knowledge of a particular software they are using. I have no idea what they have in mind.
posted by flowers103 to Work & Money (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
In general, I would advise against bringing up salary in an interview - it can make you look like you're interested in the money, not the opportunity.

If they ask what you're looking for, something along the lines of, "I'm sure that if you decide I'm the right candidate, you'll have a fair compensation package - I'm more interested in making sure we're the right fit for each other" or something along those lines.

Do your absolute best to make them come up with a number first - if it's higher than you were looking for, great! If not, you can go with either "I'm sorry, that's lower than I need to make this move", or if you really feel pressured to state a number, just say, "I'd really love to take this opportunity, but I need at least $XXk to be able to - is that something we can come to agreement on?"

Bear in mind that if they offer $40k and you ask for $52k, that's unlikely to fly. Mostly places will have $2-$5k in wiggle room (the wiggle room increases the higher up the ladder the job is).

Finally, I would encourage you to look at total compensation - insurance, vacation, retirement, etc. It's often much easier to get a company to throw in an extra week of vacation, or front-load you with a week instead of making you wait 6 months or something - than it is to get extra money.
posted by dotgirl at 2:11 PM on June 29, 2012 [2 favorites]

Is 48-50K the market rate for the position? I think that's what you need to find out first, before you can make a guess as to what you, flowers103, with one year of accounting experience in NYC, can negotiate.

In my market, a junior accountant is highly unlikely to make that much.
posted by sillymama at 2:25 PM on June 29, 2012

had a salary of $37,500 I'm looking at 48-50K Would you say this is doable?

As long as you can explain why you're worth 33% more to the second company than you were to the first, should be no problem.
posted by John Borrowman at 2:43 PM on June 29, 2012

In many companies HR can provide you with the salary range for a posted position. Start there to see if you are in the right ballpark
posted by TeknoKid at 2:48 PM on June 29, 2012

Let them bring it up. Whoever talks first loses. My favorite method for this goes like this:

Them: So what are you looking for in the way of salary.

Me: What's your range?

Them: Between this and that.

Me: Well, the range is good, but I'd need to be at the high end of it.

Them: Okay, great, now tell me about your whatever.

Just turn it around on them.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 3:16 PM on June 29, 2012 [3 favorites]

If it's a largish company, you can ask if HR has established a range for that position and then advocate for the high end. One of the reasons I left a job in the past is because after I was hired I saw the range for my position in the company handbook and realized I was hired below the minimum amount!
posted by betsybetsy at 3:59 PM on June 29, 2012

You need to know the going range for your area, even if HR or the Hiring Manager doesn't give you one. I personally think you are aiming too high, especially if this is for another entry-level position, but I'm not an accountant, just work with and dating one, not in NYC.
posted by sm1tten at 4:42 PM on June 29, 2012

Glassdoor is a good site to look at salary info, at least in tech. Salaries are often higher in NYC than elsewhere, which is good, because the rent is too damn high (but also, of course, one of the reasons why the rent is too damn high).
posted by akgerber at 5:09 PM on June 29, 2012 [2 favorites]

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