Best Executive Salary Negotiation Strategies : Asking About Salary at Interview

Considering the Executive Salary Negotiation Strategy. At, we recognise the importance of Executive Interview Salary Negotiation and understanding executive salary negotiation processes (related article) during interviews. The salary negotiation process in an integral part of the executive interview, so it is necessary to be aware of salary expectations and develop an effective strategy to secure the best possible deal for both parties. Good negotiation ensures favourable and mutually acceptable outcomes both candidates and employers feel comfortable with.

Executive Salary Negotiation Skills

For instance, the executive candidate has a blend of industry experience, core skills, area of expertise, professional accreditation and academic qualifications to offer prospective employers, albeit for a given price or employment market value. On the other hand, employers will pay a certain market value (sometimes a premium) to secure services of the candidate, based on employment market expectations, budgets, skills/expertise, job specification and overall responsibilities.

If there is a perceived gap in salary expectations between the candidate and employer, this forms the basis of the negotiation process. The idea is to narrow the gap to an acceptable value that is mutually agreeable to both parties. If there is no agreement, there maybe further grounds for re-negotiation at a later date (i.e. employers may need to review budgets or interview other people; alternatively, candidates need to revise expectations). If the gap remains too wide, then it is likely both parties will walk away from negotiations and consider other options.

Executive Salary Negotiation Strategy: Overview

The basis of an executive negotiation strategy is that candidates have something to offer employers, whilst employers are willing to pay an amount to secure the services of a candidate. Market value will be dictated by the relative blend of experience, scarcity of skills and anything unique (critical) the candidate can bring to the role. Effective negotiation revolves around the ability to reconcile these factors within the context of an executive salary negotiation strategy and convincing prospective employers that the skills, quality and experience can bring the company highly tangible and realisable benefits.

Executives with more to offer, who match the employee specification and demonstrate clear long-term potential are able to command a stronger negotiation position than someone with more mainstream executive credentials. Executives with value added technical, international or consultancy expertise; along with specific market knowledge, stakeholder engagement, investor relations and specific industry contacts will inevitably command a market (salary) premium, so it is important to know your salary worth.

Executive Salary Negotiation Tips: To benefit most from executive salary negotiation tips at interview, highlights some important tips to improve relative control, bargaining power and overall success in terms of optimising salary, benefits and other incentives with employers. recommends the following actions and considerations to negotiate a higher executive salary. For more detailed information, please see our Executive Salary Negotiation Strategy and Executive Salary Negotiation Process pages.


  1. Research the Company, job market and competition to benchmark salaries and other benefits.
  2. Identify unique selling points (USPs) – give solid examples, achievements and evidence at interview.
  3. Evaluate salary needs based on lifestyle / economic factors – define a minimum acceptable salary.
  4. Be prepared to negotiate – let employers negotiate downwards if asking for a slightly higher salary.
  5. Be confident, know your stuff and be prepared to fully justify the salary expectations at interview.
  6. Consider the whole package, not just salary – there maybe other benefits and incentives on offer.
  7. Find out why the vacancy has arisen – this can provide important clues for a good salary strategy.
  8. Be prepared to discuss salary expectations at anytime during the selection and interview process.
  9. Achieving a formal offer of employment increases relative bargaining power – they are interested!
  10. Try negotiating on terms other than salary – there maybe incentives, benefits and other aspects.
  11. If salary expectations are too low, politely ask if there is room for negotiation – be very realistic.
  12. Avoid playing salary catch up for years to come – do not set salary expectations too low initially.

This is just a brief overview about deploying executive salary negotiation tips and skills. However, everything is underpinned by effective research and planning to derive an overall strategy, whilst understanding the processes involved can give executives a perceived advantage at interview. Similar principles apply for when negotiating pay rises with employers. Our other articles on Executive Salary Negotiation Strategy and Executive Salary Negotiation Process go into more detail about the whole executive interview salary negotiation agenda.

Executive Salary Negotiation Strategy – Conclusion

In conclusion, it is necessary to be aware of factors influencing a executive salary negotiation strategy by preparing effectively for different alternatives (scenarios). An effective salary negotiation strategy depends on the relative bargaining position of the candidate in terms of offering something unique, specialist expertise and overall experience as well as how confident (expert) the candidate is in negotiating and coming to an agreement. It is also massively important to research and plan for different circumstances to adapt to different interview situations by varying the strategy accordingly.

Share this post : Twitter : Facebook (Blue) : Google+ (Red) : LinkedIn

Leave a Reply