Part 1: Discovery and Initial Discussions
The most important thing now is not to give out any numbers. Don't give out how much money you are currently making; don't give out your salary expectations. Nothing. At most, you can give out a very vague range.
Interviewer: What Salary are you looking for?
You: I think it is a bit early to discuss that. I need to learn more about the team and would love to discuss that when we get closer.
Interviewer: I understand! However, I am required to fill out a range to see if we are fit.
You: I'm certain we can get to an agreement if there is a mutual fit, but it is really too early to tell.
Part 2: Technical Interviews
Try your best to make the interviewers like you. You need to be open to feedback, let them understand your thought process when problem-solving, and have the attitude of a learner because you are one.
You learn something new in your craft in every interview, so remember to enjoy them.
Other than that, try to grasp the day-to-day at the new company. You will dedicate most likely more than a year of your life to them, so you might as well know what you are going into.
Part 3: Offer
The company will make an offer if you present interest. There are two strategies companies always use:
1. The company will ask you how much you want
People always ask for a smaller amount than the allocated budget.
You know you could've gotten more when the company accepted your offer immediately.
How to play this scenario: Avoid giving a specific number. Always try to put the ball back in their court and see what offer you can get from them. Sure, you run the risk of them throwing out a low offer for you. We will talk about this next.
2. The company gives you a low offer
This strategy is called Anchoring at a low price. Starting from a low offer will adjust your expectations to how much money you can get. For example:
You expect to get 120.000$ yearly salary; They offer you 60.000$; You won't accept this offer, but now subconsciously, you know you can't get more than 90.000$
Solution: Be mindful of anchoring, don't react to the numbers presented, and try to find out as much information as possible and review it later on your own. A helpful phrase here: Thank you for the offer. I am glad the team wants to work with me, and I'll need some time to review this. Can we speak in a few days?
Most big tech companies have an internal level system established by a tech committee. Usually, companies prefer to fit you at the lower level and promote you later. You want to ask questions like:
You:" What qualifications are needed to go from Senior Developer L1 to Senior Developer L2?"
Recruiter: "SDL2 tend to lead medium to large internal projects and have more than 7 years of experience"
With this information, you can make a case that you are better fitted for the more senior level as you currently embody the requirements at your local position. This will work in your favor as most likely, the people interviewing you did not know this about you. The more qualifications you provide, the more the company will want you.
Final words on the final negotiation
Keep in mind that if you reach this point, you can be sure that the company wants to come to an agreement with you because they have invested a lot of time and resources already.
You have a perfect shot at obtaining a good salary if you reach this point. Good job!
Never rush to accept or deny any offer presented, and always present diplomacy in these scenarios. The simple truth is this: Every salary offer is negotiable, and the company does not want you to know that!
I hope this was useful for you. If you use this information to increase your salary, please DM me on Twitter @ovstoica and let me know.