The job interview process can be stressful and daunting, but if you know how to go about it, you should have no trouble landing a new job. One of the more difficult aspects of the process is negotiating both during and after the job interview. Negotiating things like starting date, salary, benefits, and work responsibilities often takes place during this stage.

If you have never had to negotiate during an interview, this article will help you prepare for your first negotiations. If you have negotiated in the past, this article will help you hone your negotiating skills.

How to Negotiate During the Job Interview

When negotiating during the job interview, you need to use a couple of tricks in order to be successful. When asked about your current salary, do not lie, but also do not provide the exact number. Instead, provide the interviewer with a salary range you are looking for. Another good tip is to make them name a definitive number first.

You must absolutely use generalizations when negotiating during the interview. Say things like “My total compensation,” which will allow you to include 401(k), benefits, bonuses, raises, flexible spending accounts and other compensation. As mentioned earlier, provide the interviewer with a range that includes all of these items so you are not limiting yourself to just salary.

If the interviewer keeps pushing you for your current salary, finally give them an answer, but make sure you ask what their compensation and benefits package looks like so you can get a feel for the compensation being offered.

How to Negotiate After an Interview

Once the interview process is complete, it is time to wait for the call that includes a job offer. The wait can last anywhere from a couple of days to two weeks and you should use that time to put together your negotiating strategy.

When the call comes and a job is offered, thank the interviewer, but stop short of saying ‘yes’ to the offer. Ask them if you could take 48 hours to think things over and discuss it with your spouse. Ask the person on the other end of the phone how the position is funded so you can figure out what type of package will be offered.

You should always ask for the job offer in writing so you have all of the responsibilities, expectations and compensation information in one place for you to reference when negotiating.

During this part of the negotiation process you need to convey to the company what type of value you bring. Never mention to them how much you need to cover living expenses, bills and loan payments. Weigh the pros of the job against the cons, and make sure that the cons do not outweigh the pros. If this happens, then the job might not be for you.

Negotiating during and after a job interview is a very important skill to have. Make sure you know what you are looking for in the job so you can negotiate properly.