Why can't people refuse a salary

Negotiating salary in the interview: cleverly about the desired salary

“I just don't have a talent for negotiating.” Many applicants give up even at the thought of a salary negotiation - some out of false modesty, others out of fear of giving the wrong number. At the interview, they simply accept what is presented to them because they absolutely want or absolutely need the job.

Some underestimate the fact that the first Salary negotiation in the job interview has far-reaching consequences in a company. They think: “The main thing is that I get the job. Then I can always renegotiate later. ”But far from it. Automatic salary adjustments are the exception, especially in uncertain times, and have to be fought hard for later.

Negotiating skills are not that difficult and easy to learn. It is based to a large extent on good preparation. The better you can assess yourself and the more precisely you know what you want, the better you can use any counter-arguments in the Salary negotiation in the job interview weaken and, if necessary, react quick-wittedly. Confident demeanor gives you respect and room to negotiate about your salary expectations enforce.

Good preparation and the right strategy determine how well you can negotiate in an interview. We'll show you how to do it.



Salary in the interview: negotiate skillfully


The Salary negotiation in the job interview is an integral part of the application process. Anyone who has not yet specified a sum in the written application documents will be confronted with it now at the latest. Of course, companies don't ask about yours out of pure interest salary expectations. You want to save money in an economically sensible way. There are significantly more applicants who pile low than those who pile up.

Above all, however, a trained HR manager can test your negotiating skills during salary negotiations and find out how you judge yourself. Do you estimate your market value realistically or are you a whisker? Do your arguments have a hand and foot or do they miss the company's interests? Your competence and skills are reflected in your financial demands.

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Calculate salary: what can I expect?


On the one hand, it may be unfair that the same work is not worth the same everywhere; on the other hand, there are numerous factors that have a good reason to influence the size of the salary and in many cases are justified. So that your salary expectations The following are the most important aspects:


1. Location

Cities and regions where high salaries are paid also have correspondingly high costs of living. According to a salary study carried out by the remuneration consultancy PersonalMarkt in 2019, Stuttgart, for example, is currently the most lucrative German city with an average gross annual salary of 56,160 euros, followed by Munich with 55,980 euros and Düsseldorf with 52,965 euros.

When comparing the federal states, Hessen scores best with a wage level of 114.1% of the national average, followed by Baden-Württemberg with 108.6% and the city-state of Hamburg with 105.9%. Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania is at the bottom of the ranking with a wage level of 75.9% and an average gross annual salary of 34,155 euros. So find out beforehand what the average salary in the vicinity of your potential employer looks like so that you can take these aspects into account.


2. Industry

In principle, it is obvious: Those who consistently generate large profits over a long period of time can also pay good wages. The “cash cows” of the German economy have so far included the aerospace industry, IT, electrical engineering, mechanical and plant engineering companies, banks and insurance companies, and in particular the automotive and chemical industries.

It is well worth it if you find yourself in front of the Salary negotiation in the job interview inform you about the current economic situation in the respective industry of your dream company. New legal regulations or political decisions can also bring a blessing or a curse to an industry.


3. Company size

The bigger the company, the higher the salaries - not only does it sound logical, it is also proven by studies. Your starting annual salary in a company with over 5,000 employees is on average over 20% higher than that in a company with fewer than ten employees. You may have to accept other disadvantages for this, e.g. B. that it is less personal in the company or that the structures are more hierarchical. Here, of course, the decision ultimately lies with you.


4. Collective bargaining agreement

If a company pays according to the collective bargaining agreement, this can be an indicator of higher salaries, especially in the case of industrial unions such as IG Metall. You can also negotiate non-tariff allowances. On the other hand, this does not have to mean that you fare worse with a company that is not bound by collective bargaining agreements. Here it is up to you to skillfully achieve the customary tariffs during your negotiation. You can find industry-standard tariffs on the websites of trade unions or workers' associations. In addition, the Economics and Social Science Institute of the Hans Böckler Foundation publishes the basic remuneration based on collective agreements for around 150 professions.


5. Vocational training

University graduates have it comparatively well, because they are among the best-paid young professionals - at least if they have studied “the right thing”. The highest starting salaries are there for engineers, lawyers, natural scientists and economists, while humanities and social scientists can usually only dream of big money.

Does a master’s graduate automatically receive a higher starting salary than someone with a bachelor’s degree? That depends on which study you're reading. While some cannot determine any differences, others want to have calculated a difference of up to 38%, especially in the natural science branch.

However, there is one thing they all agree on: although students do not start their careers until much later, the qualification pays off. Researchers at the Institute for Employment Research have even calculated this as a model. A university graduate earns almost 1.2 million euros more than an employee without vocational training over their entire professional life.

It is best to browse through the relevant salary studies by Kienbaum, check the highest-paid professions in Germany on Monster.de, look at the IG Metall salary tables or take a look at the digital salary portal www.lohnspiegel.de of the Hans-Böckler-Foundation. So you are guaranteed to have the overview you need to get a realistic salary expectations submit. But be careful: a Salary comparison alone is only partially meaningful for your individual case. It also depends on you as a person and your qualifications. We'll look at exactly what that entails next.

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Individual salary factors: what am I worth?


In addition to the salary classes that are customary in the market, profession and industry, there is one very individual factor that determines your starting salary as well as any of your future salary negotiations: your own value. Only if you know what you are worth and what advantages you bring to a company can you confidently do your job in an interview Negotiate salary and even more than other applicants.

The arguments for your individual value result almost automatically from your preparation for the interview, so that you do not have too much additional effort. Here is an overview of the key factors leading to the crucial question about the Formulation of a salary requirement: How do you find out how much salary you can ask?

  • The pound that is still the best thing to do with is work experience. Every year can bring an additional plus in the account.
    • Experienced applicants score points not only with the number of years, but also with the degree of responsibility they have been given.
    • A managerial role, responsibility for a seven-digit advertising budget, or handling projects that fit the job description can be a huge advantage.
    • Young professionals scour their school career and leisure activities for practical experience, international jobs or work in their parents' company. Honorary positions or important functions from club life can also demonstrate practical experience - always provided that you find a relevant hook for the desired position.
  • In addition, special knowledge (e.g. maybe you have a second mother tongue or you have a particularly good command of a foreign language or you have trained yourself further in a subject area) that go far beyond the requirements and offer the company added value, could be your trump card.
  • Perhaps you even have valuable contacts to potential customers that you can use profitably for the company.

How much your respective assets affect the starting salary depends on the actual benefit for the company. An intensive research in advance pays off in the truest sense of the word. The better you fit into the job and the greater your added value, the greater the chances of getting a higher salary.

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Negotiating salary in the job interview: important tips


In contrast to other countries in which the annual salary is stated in the job advertisement, Germany still adheres to the traditional secrecy when it comes to individual salary payments. The Transparency Act, which came into force in 2017, could not change much in this regard.


Where is your pain threshold?

Those who have room to negotiate usually do better. Later in the salary interview, of course, you'll only be yours salary expectations call, but first you set a personal pain threshold for yourself. In this way you can react confidently during the negotiation and do not have to use the calculator first to see whether you can still afford the rent from the sum offered. With Monster's salary calculator, you can already work out what you have left to live on with the respective salary alternatives while you are preparing for the interview.


Show your colors

Give a single number and not several sums with umpteen variables. If you state your desired salary in a from-to range, the person you are talking to will of course be happy to use the lower sum as a guide. You should also make use of the psychological anchor effect. Simply put, the first number you say becomes something of an anchor that will guide the rest of the conversation. So if you are aiming for a starting salary of 45,000 euros, then ask for 50,000 euros.


Refute counter-arguments from HR managers

What use are the best to you Arguments about salary in the interviewwhen the potential boss can just turn them off? Who pays more voluntarily when they can have something cheaper? Personnel managers like to counteract salary negotiations with sentences such as: “In our company, there is a fixed house number for every position for newcomers. More money will be negotiated later, when we can assess the performance ”. It is also popular: "Our works council causes trouble if we deviate from our salary structure for new employees."

Anyone who does not know the operational background can easily get on the defensive here. So just take a friendly note of this information, but don't go into it. Bring the thread back to your own accomplishments and how the company benefits from them.

If no agreement can be reached in this way, but you are very interested in the job, you could also offer a "free trial week" before you leave your formulated salary expectations deviates and lets you commit to a low salary in the long term.


Revenue sharing and pecuniary benefits

Think about which alternative company services are of interest to you. The automotive supplier Continental, for example, gives its employees a share in the annual result worldwide.

In addition to company cars for private use, generous travel allowances and interesting training opportunities, many companies nowadays also offer attractive wellness offers or free company kindergartens. So don't just look at your actual salary, but also what money you can save.


Agree on future salary increases

If you already have some work experience, yours salary expectations but was rejected, you are welcome to suggest in the interview that your salary be renegotiated as soon as you have achieved certain goals. These can be specific sales figures or the expiry of a certain period of time, such as the trial period. Projects that are completed in the first year are also good starting points for such demands. However, it is important that an appointment for the next salary review is set in advance. It's best to have the appointment and agreement confirmed in writing so that you have something tangible when it comes to the actual salary review.


Negotiating salary in the interview: cleverly about the starting salary


  • Even if the question of earning potential is on the tip of your tongue: swallow it. Wait patiently for the person you are talking to im Interview the salary mentioned.
  • If you have specified a desired salary in your written application, repeat this amount. Only argue with knowledge, skills and achievements such as additional qualifications, international experience, academic achievements, professional experience, successes in previous projects or awards won in your field. Pay particular attention to your body language when you argue.
  • Experienced professionals are often asked about their last salary. Be sure to stick to the truth here. Is the difference between your previous salary and yours salary expectations very big, put the right ones for you beforehand Arguments for your salary rightly.
  • Pay attention to what is being negotiated: Is it a monthly base salary, an annual base salary, total annual compensation including Christmas and vacation pay or variable compensation components and commissions?
  • Don't cling to one Salary comparison and statistics. They only provide an initial orientation and can by no means be applied to every single company. Ultimately, how well you sell yourself is entirely up to you.
  • Do not divulge any inside knowledge. Even if a friend who works for the same company has “stuck” his salary, it is better to keep this information to yourself. Otherwise you are immediately suspected of not being so strict about company secrets and you have already lost before you can even say “yes”.
  • The job is made for you, but the salary doesn't quite meet your expectations? Communicate this dilemma with polite words and ask for some time to think it over. A reputable company won't turn you down just because you want to think about the offer.

Yours Desired salary is formulated? Then now is the time to prepare for more interview questions with our helpful guide.