Person engages in salary negotiations on a zoom call.

Handling salary negotiations in an interview

Fortunately for candidates, the current skills shortage in the market means you have more leverage to ask for your ideal salary.

There is an art to salary negotiations in an interview.

Money is always a tricky topic. Fortunately for candidates, the current skills shortage in the job market means you have more leverage to ask for your ideal salary.

Here we’ll discuss the delicate art of salary negotiations.

Approaching salary negotiations

There are three important steps to salary negotiations: 

  1. Research salaries in the Australian job market
  2. Decide on the figure you will ask for
  3. Know when to walk away.

Man ponders salary negotiations after an interview

Research market salaries

With the Great Resignation upon us, and the market being extremely candidate short, now is an advantageous time to ask for the salary you want. However, this shouldn’t be a pie-in-the-sky figure.

Before your job interview, ensure you research average industry salaries for your job title. If there are several job titles that could be used to explain your skills and responsibilities, be sure to also investigate the market rate for these positions.

Market conditions – like a candidate shortage – will affect these rates and you might find there is a greater demand for your skills giving you a reason to ask for a salary above the industry average.

To make a call on this, consult experts in your field or trusted advisors. Recruitment consultants are always a good point of reference as they have contacts on both sides of the negotiation and can advise what figure will get you across the line.

Decide on your magic number

With research to support your case, now is the time to decide on your asking figure or salary range. When presenting your case, it’s important to articulate why you’ve positioned yourself at the lower or higher end of this range.

You might:

  • be transferring from one industry to another.
  • have additional qualifications, beyond what is standard.
  • have a great number of years of experience.
  • moving geographical locations where the cost of living is greater (or lower).

Lady investigates market salaries in preparation for salary negotiations

Know when to end salary negotiations

When the hiring manager makes a salary offer, know that you do not need to accept immediately. Take time to consider the decision.


  • Does the salary offer match the market rate?
  • Are there additional benefits that make up for a lower salary?
  • Are there opportunities to quickly progress (and ask for a raise) in the company?
  • Is there a commission structure that is suitable?

If you’re unhappy with the salary offer, present a counteroffer. Be sure to explain your reasoning: your experience, the market conditions, and the average salary in your industry with your skillset.

If they refuse your counteroffer, and you’re unwilling to accept the lower offer, don’t take a job for less than you believe you deserve. Especially if there are no other benefits on the table that compensate for the drop in salary.


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