Salary Negotiation For Starting Salary: What Is Possible?

Salary Negotiation For Starting Salary: What Is Possible?

Usually there is no real salary negotiation about the starting salary in the first interview. Usually, only “positions” or “expectations” are exchanged. In this article, you will learn to what extent you can influence the salary negotiation for the starting salary during the application and hiring process. A distinction is made between starting out as an entry-level employee and changing jobs, i.e. joining another company.


The First Interview

Before you start thinking about concrete salary negotiations for your starting salary, you should understand how a classic hiring process works at a company. Usually, this process is divided into at least two rounds of interviews. In the first round, the company invites several applicants to get an idea about them. It is a good sign if you have been invited to such an interview, because you have definitely aroused the interest of those in charge.

However, the interview is more about getting to know each other. From the company’s point of view, it is a kind of character test to see if you fit into the company. Perhaps financial matters will be addressed at the end of the interview. Usually you are expected to give your idea of the starting salary, but it is not yet a salary negotiation. The company will take note of your introduction and look at other applicants as well. Nothing is fixed at this point.


The Second Conversation Gets Serious

If you are invited to the second interview, then you can assume that the company is seriously interested in you. You have at most one or two competitors. You will be introduced to additional crucial people and in this interview the financial issues will play a bigger role. There is indeed such a thing as salary negotiation around starting salary. Still, it’s important that you remain realistic and don’t overestimate your worth.

You don’t have any experience to show as an entry-level employee, and many companies have strict rules about what starting salaries should be. In large corporations or the public sector, collective bargaining agreements apply, and in smaller companies, a set budget is usually difficult to exceed.

So prepare yourself well, e.g. by studying relevant pay scales or using tools such as the salary comparison to find out market salaries. Because one thing is clear: You should not go into a salary negotiation for your starting salary with too little of an idea.


Before The Salary Negotiation About The Starting Salary Comes The Work Of Persuasion

Job interviews, whether first or second, do not start with the topic of money. Salary negotiations about the starting salary come only at the end. Before that, it is important that you are convincing and that you describe your skills and knowledge. So don’t jump the gun. First, present convincing reasons why the advertised position appeals to you and show an interest in the work processes and details of the job. Ask follow-up questions that show you have given the job some thought. The more you shine here, the easier the salary negotiation for the starting salary will be. Be aware that the way you negotiate will be evaluated. Stay calm and objective, and use strong arguments.


Salary Negotiation For Starting Salary When Changing Jobs

Applicants with work experience also go through the normal hiring process. However, the difference in the salary negotiation for the starting salary is that in such a case you can shine with specific experience. You have built up a certain market value in your previous job. You can determine this market value, for example, by using the salary comparison tool of’s digital career coach.

The new position may not only mean a financial jump for you, but also a professional career step with more responsibility or more challenging tasks. These alone are reasons for a jump in salary. Show yourself well-prepared here as well, so that you can confidently represent your market value.

Another special case is when you have not applied for a job, but have been headhunted. Then you are in a comfortable position in the salary negotiations for the starting salary and can achieve an above-average salary increase.


Preparation Is The Key To Success

Every salary negotiation around the starting salary depends on preparation, whether as a career starter or as a job changer. As an entry-level employee, you need to be aware that you are first and foremost a potential for the company. Due to a lack of experience, there is no reason to pay you above average right at the beginning. On the other hand, there is also no reason for a below-average starting salary. That’s why you should be well-informed about what is customary in the market. Use the salary comparison of the digital Career Advisor, for example.

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