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5 things to remember when negotiating your salary

Studies indicate that while various psychological tactics are considered taboo during salary negotiation, they still could earn you more pay.
Studies indicate that while various psychological tactics are considered taboo during salary negotiation, they still could earn you more pay.

Proper negotiation techniques can not only garner a better salary, but set precedence for work within the company.

“Employers will look at how you negotiate your own salary to see how you will negotiate on behalf of the company,” Shirli Kopelman, a professor and researcher at the Ross School of Business told Bloomberg Businessweek.

But gaining confidence to negotiate can be tough. The last thing anyone needs while sitting in an interview is more to think about. The tall leather chairs and mini zen gardens can be stressful enough.

These five negotiation tips may help prospective employees avoid some of the most common pitfalls of salary meetings:

1. Don’t indicate an asking salary online. Providing your expected salary online can stop things before they even begin, according to author Rick Gillis’ book “Job: Learn how to find your next job in 1 day.”

"Quite often, a salary can be a killer right off the bat," Gillis told Business Insider. “Most salary slots require numeric [entries], but if you can put 'open to negotiation' … go with it.

“Always keep in mind that when you’re working with a recruiter, they generally have a range that’s been pre-approved,” Gillis said. You need the chance to prove you are worth more than their pre-approved budget, so it is best to save the negotiations for a face-to-face interview.

2. Start things off with a firm handshake. Handshakes can reveal a lot about one’s personality, according to a study by University of Alabama professor of psychology, Dr. William Chaplin. The study reviewed the handshakes of 112 male and female students and compared their grips to a more broad personality evaluation. “Having a firm handshake is important for making a good impression,” he said on the university’s website. “We found that handshakes were related significantly and systematically to several personality characteristics.”

3. Go with a hard number, not a range. When you actually reach the point of negotiation, providing a salary range invites the employer to go with the lowest offer. “If I’m the employer and you give me a range, I’m going to go for the bottom number, always,” Gillis also told Business Insider. Ranges provide too much leverage to the employer. Sticking with a hard number let’s you maintain reasonable control of the negotiation.

4. Use precise numbers, instead of rounding. Giving an exact number conveys confidence and shows how much you understand the value of the position. According to a new study in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, precise numbers have a significant effect on any form of negotiation.

“Know that the numbers that you use imply something about the state of your knowledge,” Malia F. Mason, one of the study’s researchers, told Quartz. “Be a little more precise than you’d otherwise be.”

5. Watch your body language. According to a study at Duke University, mimicking the body language of someone you wish to impress can lead to more trust and a stronger likelihood that they will consider your requests. Be careful, though, as Forbes suggests it can be counter productive to imitate an unpleasant interviewer.

JJ Feinauer is a graduate of Southern Virginia University and an intern for the Moneywise page on Email:, Twitter: @johnorjj.