Categories: MDC

How to Negotiate a Good Job Offer? 

Achieving the best job offer is often more a test of your negotiation skills than it is of your work experience and expertise. Here are some suggestions to help you attain the best possible offer. 

Keep Your Perspective 

Sometimes, the relationship with the other person is more important than the negotiation. It can often be a case of ‘win the negotiation – lose the relationship’. When negotiating, be careful not to negotiate yourself out of a job! You will always negotiate better after you know the other person and build a relationship with them. So, it might be better to take the job for now and save the tough negotiation for later.   

Be Prepared To Prove Yourself 

Have proof of what you have achieved and are currently achieving. Talk about your plans for improvements in the future. If you want to be different: offer to take a slightly lesser amount than they are prepared to offer for a probationary period (say, three-six months) on the understanding that your remuneration will increase once you have proven yourself. This is a classic win-win outcome. They get greater certainty with less exposure, and you get the job – and a better long term financial outcome. Best of all, you have shown yourself to be innovative and flexible. 

Speak Their Language 

In an interview, try to ascertain their priorities. Are they task or relationship-focused? Are they more interested in how you will do the job or fit into the team? Determine this and give them what they want to hear.   

This can also extend to matching – or ‘mirroring’ their body language. Research done by Dr William Maddux showed that when posture matching was done by one of the negotiating parties, negotiations had a 67% success rate. It works. 

Think In Terms of Interest And Not Position 

When entering into a negotiation, often there is a tendency to negotiate for a position/salary. The danger is, we become locked into this Position, rather than remembering what we are trying to achieve. It is better to be flexible in your negotiations for better benefits, for example, career advancement, financial security, flexibility in working conditions, paid holidays, memberships or additional benefits.  

Choose Your Timing 

If you are re-negotiating your Position, and it is other than at your annual review, choose your timing carefully. Be very aware of the current circumstances of the organisation and any other factors that might impact the circumstances.   

Sell Yourself 

Be prepared to sell the tangible (increased profits or efficiency) and intangible (confidence, teamwork, communication) benefits you bring to the organisation. Share your experiences and how they can benefit from your experience.  

Do Your Research 

In negotiation, knowledge is power. Do your research and know about your (potential) employer as it will give you greater confidence in negotiating with them.   

The article is contributed by Mr Kevin Ryan, an Associate Trainer at the Management Development & Consultancy, MDIS’ Corporate Training Arm.  


Founded in 1956, the Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS) is Singapore’s oldest not-for-profit professional institute for lifelong learning. MDIS has two main subsidiaries: Management Development Institute of Singapore Pte Ltd which oversees its Singapore academic operations, and MDIS International Pte Ltd which focuses on MDIS’ globalisation strategy. MDIS offers internationally-accredited courses in Business and Management, Engineering, Fashion and Design, Health and Nursing, Information Technology, Languages and Education, Life Sciences, Media and Communications, Psychology, Tourism and Hospitality Management, and Safety and Environmental Management.

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