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  • Dr. CK Bray

How to Win in Job Negotiations

Updated: Feb 4


It’s the beginning of a new year and many of us are looking at our jobs wondering if we should go for a promotion, ask for a raise, change departments or even move to another organization. After working in corporate America for nearly 17 years I was always amazed at how poorly employees navigate the negotiation process when asking for a raise or starting a new job. Give me three minutes and I can change that so you are prepared to negotiate like a pro!


There are ten tried and true rules on how to handle job negotiations. Deepak Malhotra who is the Eli Goldston Professor of Business Administration in the Negotiations, Organizations and Markets unit at Harvard University has spent much of his life studying negotiating techniques. Let me share three of his top strategies when negotiating for a new job.

  1. Never underestimate the importance of likability: People want to work with people that they like and people will fight for you to join their organization and work for them if they really like you. When you are negotiating and you behave or do things that make you less likable or if you seem disagreeable it reduces the chances that the other side will work to get you a better offer. It is one thing to be liked and to be nice and polite, but you have to understand and know how to be able to manage the stress and tensions that come with negotiation. For example, Deepak gives the example of asking for what you deserve without seeming greedy or pointing out deficiencies in the offer. Beware of appearing petty and being overly persistent.

  2. Understand the company and understand the person you are interviewing with. Do your research (above and beyond) about both the company and also the individual that you may possibly be working for in the future. This information will help you understand what concessions the company can make and what may be their constraints. By getting to know them better you can find out where they are flexible in the negotiations and where they are not. Large companies may not be able to be as flexible with the salary since they have other individuals at your same level. If they bump you up, they may have to bump their current employees as well. At a smaller company, they may be able to give you a larger base or a virtual position.

  3. Be ready for the tough questions. Ready for me to share a few?

  4. Do you have any other offers?

  5. If we make you an offer tomorrow will you accept?

  6. Are we your top choice?

  7. How long do you plan on staying at our company?


Make sure you have responses prepared before you ever walk into an interview. Helpful hint. DON’T LIE! It usually comes back to bite you if you do. Be honest, it is always the best policy.

Learning how to negotiate is a skill that is well worth learning. For more information on negotiating visit DrCkBray.com and listen to podcast 65 from my website or from ITUNES.

I’m getting ready to launch my Career Revolution Event where I will work with a limited number of individuals on their career and life. Be sure to sign up for my newsletter or sign up at the Career Revolution event on my homepage to be one of the first alerted to when the Event opens up.

Good luck with your negotiations this year and remember it is your career!