What to ask when negotiating a job offer

Published by Fed Engineering Job search advice
on 24/10/2023

What to ask when negotiating a job offer

The job interview inevitably involves some negotiation, and while discussing salary is often at the forefront, there are many other aspects that can be negotiated. 

Fed Engineering, our engineering recruitment firm, provides valuable insights into these considerations.

The salary question

Certainly, negotiating salary during a job interview is pivotal in ensuring fair and satisfactory remuneration. To be well-prepared, it's essential to research salary benchmarks in your industry and role, gaining a realistic salary range. Equally important is understanding your own financial requirements and priorities.

However, there are numerous other benefits that can be negotiated during the hiring process, some of which can be as crucial as salary.

What benefits to negotiate in a new job

Reflect thoughtfully on each of these aspects to determine their significance for you. Address them during the interview if they align with your needs. Depending on whether you are in an engineering or technical job, you may want to explore different opportunities.

1. Working hours and flexibility

When discussing work schedules, it's important to consider both the company's needs and your own. Topics for negotiation include compressed working hours, flexible schedules that adapt to your lifestyle, and the option to leave early occasionally, especially if you have side commitments. These factors can contribute to your productivity and should be highlighted.

2. Vacation days

Vacation days play a crucial role in recharging your energy and maintaining a healthy work-life balance. In negotiations, consider discussing the potential for additional vacation days after a certain tenure or the flexibility to use your vacation days at your convenience.

3. Work Materials

In discussions about work equipment, be specific about the tools and resources you need to excel in your role. This might encompass high-performance computers, specialized software, productivity tools, or even an ergonomic desk to promote your well-being and prevent work-related health issues.

4. Remote work

Remote work has become standard in numerous industries. Negotiate the possibility of telecommuting, whether on a part-time or full-time basis, emphasizing the benefits such as cost savings for the company and increased efficiency as a remote worker. If the company typically allows two teleworking days a week but you'd prefer three, don't hesitate to discuss it.

5. Reimbursement or participation in sports memberships

Many companies offer sports-related benefits to enhance employee well-being. Negotiate for partial reimbursement or involvement in the costs of gym memberships, fitness classes, or sports activities.

6. Travel allowances

For roles that involve frequent travel, address travel allowances in negotiations. Clarify how you'll be reimbursed for travel expenses, meals, and accommodation to ensure these costs don't strain your personal budget. Note that automobile-related travel allowances are typically not taxable. Meal allowances can make your busy workdays more manageable.

7. Private health plan

Beyond standard health insurance, consider negotiations for a private plan that covers specific medical needs, such as dental or vision care, or offers more extensive coverage for you and your family. Health insurance can significantly impact your long-term well-being, making it a crucial topic to discuss in the interview.

8. Profit-sharing

For management positions or companies that generate profits, profit-sharing arrangements can be negotiated. This allows employees to receive a portion of the company's profits in the form of bonuses or shares. If the company offers a profit-sharing program, discuss participation terms and the possibility of negotiating a larger share of profits or even stock options for investing in the company's future.

9. Training and professional development

Continual learning is essential for career advancement. In negotiations, explore opportunities for ongoing training, professional development programs, certifications to attain, and mentoring to enhance your skills and growth in your field.

10. The job title

Your job title can significantly influence your professional recognition. It might be just a few words for your employer, but it can have substantial consequences for your professional trajectory, especially if you frequently work on temporary contracts. Negotiating a title that accurately reflects your responsibilities and experience can positively impact your professional image and future career opportunities.

Tips for a successful negotiation

Effective negotiation, similar to providing accurate responses during job interviews, begins with thorough preparation. Before the interview, acquaint yourself with the company's culture, values, and the skills essential for the role. Simultaneously, identify your own relevant skills and accomplishments, linking them to the position under consideration. Clearly define your financial needs and objectives. Additionally, identify the benefits that matter most to you, such as flexible hours or telecommuting.

During the interview, provide precise and concise responses, supported by concrete examples of your skills and achievements. Pay close attention to the interviewer's verbal and non-verbal cues and express your interest by asking questions to better understand the company's requirements. Address salary or benefit negotiations when prompted by the interviewer or wait until the conclusion of the interview to avoid appearing hasty.

Use positive language and refrain from criticizing previous employers. Focus on what you can contribute to the company and be open to discussion, even if compensation is non-negotiable. Prepare for various responses from the employer to remain confident and ready for any outcome. Maintain respect and courtesy, even during disagreements, and express your enthusiasm for the position and the company. After the interview, send a thank-you email to reaffirm your interest and reiterate your strengths.

Take your time to evaluate the offer in relation to your personal goals and requirements before providing a final response.

Fed Engineering: your partner in job search

At Fed Engineering, we are dedicated to assisting candidates in their job searches. We welcome spontaneous applications and encourage you to reach out to us.


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