Understanding the company's situation and your value by gathering as much information as possible will ensure a successful salary negotiation.
How is the company doing?
It is important to understand how the company you are interviewing with is performing. Have they posted record profits for the previous year, or is their financial performance below their targets? Have they made many redundancies in the past 12 months? All of these factors will have an effect on whether the organisation is going to pay above/below or on the market rate salary for a role.
Find out how much employees carrying out similar roles are paid. The key is to demonstrate your views with good examples of similar jobs both inside and outside the firm.
General market conditions in your sector
Is there a shortage of candidates with your skill set in the industry you work in? Have general salaries been rising or falling with in the sector? Are there a high number of roles appropriate to your skill set available in the sector? It is important you know the answers to all of these questions so that you understand what level of salary you are able to request and what is realistic.
Determine salary trade-offs
Try not to be lured into a false sense of satisfaction by the top-line salary figure. Make sure you do your salary sums because you may have increased costs in your new job. For example, you may need to travel further to reach your new office or workplace and you might lose out on other benefits too. Of course, the reverse can be true. Your new salary may not be as high as you'd like, but there could be other advantages: health insurance, year-end bonus, company shuttles, subsidized gym and cafeteria on site, or other perks. Never forget, however, that this is the wage you're going to be living on. So the greater actual salary you earn the greater your financial security.
Benchmark your salary against the Robert Walters Global Salary Survey in your sector.