This post is dedicated to the art of effective salary negotiation. It is important to know how to negotiate for a better salary. It is this important skill that this post aims to discuss.

These tips work well across all industries. Working in the service industry like to cruise lines, aviation, food service, marketing or the hotel industry certainly has its lucrative perks, but if you make the following common salary negotiation mistakes, you’ll end up out-and-out disappointed.

Most of the industries have a very fluid salary range that pretty much at times depends on the following:

  • Previous salary
  • Number of years of experience
  • The urgency of the position
  • Knowledge of multiple languages- Language skills
  • Gender, Race and Nationality (unfortunate but at times true)
  • And the most important- Your negotiation skills

So it’s extremely important to get your homework done before you head on to your interview.

  • How many times have you been asked to work on a wage that is way below your expectations?
  • Do you at times get to know that your colleague earns more than you?

Well, maybe you need to learn the art of effective salary negotiation.

The operations demand cost-cutting and the axe falls on salary. How unfortunate? However, these can be tackled through effective salary negotiation. So, moving on to the tips to negotiate a raise in salary:

1.   Preparation is the key to an effective Salary Negotiation

While talent and experience are key to a higher salary in every sector, what is, more crucial is effective salary negotiation.

And more importantly, you need to quote what you deserve, not what you think you deserve.

So, think before you speak up.

“Fail to prepare – prepare to fail”. Without knowing your value, you are in a weak position to negotiate.

It is vital that you research and understand market rates for similar roles.

For example look for our guidelines for average hospitality salary in Dubai and Hospitality salaries in Maldives.

For more generic salary information across all the industries, you can visit ‘Glassdoor salary calculator’ and ‘Payscale salary calculator’.

The recruitment advert or job description may already state a salary range. However, if there is no indication of salary you need to do your research for the following:

  • How low will you go?
  • How much is your living expense?
  • How much are you hoping to earn?
  • What is your compromise position?

You must be comfortable with the range within which you will be negotiating.

Most of us get stuck in a dilemma to put a clear price on our candidature for the job. Maybe we are too polite to speak up. The dilemma of either quoting too low or quoting too high hits us.

It is useful to be a pro in the art of negotiating the best salary for yourself. Some useful salary negotiation tips are useful to get your point ahead in the best possible manner as has been beautifully presented in the below image.

Courtesy- AAUW

Negotiation is part of everyday business life – if you can’t negotiate over your own pay packet, how would you negotiate over a clear career progression plan?

So, start the process with Preparation. You need those extra bucks; don’t you?

2. Knowing your Market Worth is crucial

If you are not new to the game, the chances are that you have a rough idea of your market worth.

Do you know the average salary for various jobs in your industry? Well if you have travelled across countries and have been in the industry for years then you pretty much know the rules of the game.

But, if you are a fresher or getting back to the job market after having worked for one employer for many years, knowing your worth can be a little tricky.

Nonetheless, not knowing your worth based on your skills, education, and experience is one of the biggest salary negotiation mistakes in the hospitality industry.

That’s why it pays to do a little homework.

Check out online salary calculators, job postings, and salary guides. Even a bit of research will pay off big.

At times the biggest mistake candidates make is to have a hazy understanding of the industry standards of a particular job role.

It’s good to have a better understanding of the industry range to gauge the mind of the interviewer.

Image Courtesy- Negotiation Experts

3. Don’t Bring up the salary question too early

Money is a key factor for all of our decision to change a job but this is quite obvious.

Isn’t it?

So, why to mention the obvious until and unless specifically asked for the same.

There’s nothing that can put off an employer quicker than raising the salary question too soon.

The rule of thumb is to wait until the employer brings up the salary matter.

It doesn’t hurt to be patient; after all, the issue will come up eventually.

Don’t divulge what you think is the best salary for you. It’s an error that can cost you dearly.

Dealing with the whole system of negotiating salary is an art. You must be well aware of the art of the deal to ensure that you don’t lose on some extra bucks and perks.

This is even more important in industries like the hospitality industry and sectors like banking and finance where salary for the same position varies and depends on the departmental budget.

So, it’s definitely a bad idea to reveal your acceptable salary in the early stages of the interview.

It is always better to ask several questions to lead your recruiter towards mentioning their range.

Just stay calm and try to keep ducking early questions on an acceptable salary.

You must be willing to put in the effort into the research. A little extra on research will help you get a raise in salary before you join the organisation.

So, in case you don’t feel confident about how to negotiate, don’t let that feeling pull you down.

Watch a few videos to gain some confidence in this art of negotiation.

Here’s an excellent video to help you in doing just that.

Watch it now or come back to it later. It’s not one of the quick one-minute video recommendations. It’s a bit longer than that. However, it’s worth a watch due to its pretty solid content on the art of salary negotiation.

4. Sell yourself – the most important Salary Negotiation tip

The key mantra is ‘be outspoken, expressive and confident’. Be ready to market yourself.

Make sure you have a clear rationale as to why you are worth the salary you are asking for and give examples of the value you will add to the organisation.

Do not reveal your salary expectations. Let the employer offer you. Just speak about your personal achievements and leave the salary negotiation to the last.

Perhaps you’ve been out of work for long, and you really need the job.

If you are in the hotel industry and have suffered setbacks due to the covid-19 pandemic, you might think about what if I miss this all-important opportunity.

Maybe it’s an overseas opportunity you have been eyeing for in the past year or so.

But you don’t need to settle or accept the initial offer from the employer — it’s one of the top salary negotiation mistakes you can ever make in the hospitality industry.

While it might feel intimidating or uncomfortable, negotiating is a crucial part of getting a top-notch offer.

Oregon Institute of technology mentions based on a survey that it’s worth asking for a slight pay hike even when you are a fresher.

Fresh graduates at times get a better deal when they negotiate in an effective manner. Have a look at the below infographic to show the survey results.

Yes, you need to be polite and must have enough control over your emotions while setting out your expectations.

The art of negotiation lies with not revealing your hand until the last minute and it is wise never to discuss salary until you receive a verbal offer of employment.

The information that an employer has an intent to hire you puts you in a stronger position to negotiate.

Try to avoid revealing your previous salary. If at all you are being forced to reveal the previous salary, do add a few more things to that like:

  1. You were having high bonuses or cash incentives
  2. You had an immense learning opportunity
  3. You were awed by the property or the brand
  4. You were promised a hike very soon

And so on just to make sure you don’t get trapped early and it leaves scope to negotiate at the end.

5. Turning down an offer too quickly can be a big mistake

Normally we are all too quick to jump to conclusions.

And, a lot of professionals do it after they have through gruelling interview rounds already.

Declining an offer from an employer too hastily can be a great put-off, and one of the most common salary negotiations mistakes one should avoid at all costs.

Of course, this can be a wise idea if the offer is well below industry par. You might want to wait out or negotiate a bit.

It’s not uncommon for recruiters to add company stock shares and big bonuses alongside seemingly small offers especially if you are in Sales & Marketing, Front Office etc.

Just check all the perks, let them know your expectations, negotiate a bit and defend your expectations by sending salary slips and other benefits.

6. Don’t make the negotiation all about you- focus on deliverables

This is a key salary negotiation mistake to avoid at all cost during the interviews.

Instead of negotiating based on your needs, it might be best to focus on your qualification and the value you’ll bring to the company.

Making it all about you is one of the worst salary negotiation mistakes you can make.

Don’t just keep speaking about your personal expenses, family needs, your personal worth, profits because of you to your previous employer etc.

Try to bring the matter in modest and indirect ways as in what your role or qualification deserves.

So, skip a self-centred negotiation. You are bound to score better in negotiation through modesty.

7.   Remember to check the complete package

Make sure you analyse the additional benefits before rejecting what on the surface may seem a lower salary than expected.

May be your industry has a lot of perquisites so analyse all the offered benefits on various parameters.

Additional benefits can add up to 50% of your basic salary, some may be fixed and some negotiable (bonus, commission, training, holiday etc), but they still need to be discussed.

The complete package also includes the work-life balance, learning and training opportunities, career progression, national/international exposure etc.

8.   Respond with a clear head

Never make a decision in any emotional state. If you are offered a position, be positive and keen, but ask for time to respond. It can be a few minutes to a couple of days depending on the complexity of the offer.

Salaries can be a bit tricky. It is dependent on so many things and usually has a huge range. So, better negotiator you are, better are your chances to get a raise or a higher package.

It’s useful to be calm and clear on your approach.

If you feel an offer is below your expectations express this, when the offer is made, and ask for time to consider.

The employer should be able to give you an indication of flexibility there and then.

If you decide to decline a job offer ensure you are polite, honest and gracious.

All industries these days are highly networked and you never know who you may come across again in your professional future.


One of the key ingredients of a successful interview is an effective salary negotiation.

It is a daunting task to answer a straightforward question from the employers; ‘what is your expectation in terms of salary’?

Most people find salary matters a tricky issue to handle during the interview process, especially in the hospitality industry.

Once you get to the job offer stage, it is all part of negotiating terms and conditions.

Salary negotiation is a key skill in any industry.

Hope you liked the compilation of the salary negotiation tips and mistakes to avoid.

These negotiation strategies hold true to any industry. Sure, you have prepared well for the interview by preparing the Common Questions and answers, but salary negotiation skills would help you get in with some extra confidence and some extra money.

So, here you go. Some tips to help you take your next career move in style and with confidence. If you don’t make these mistakes, you are sure to get a better deal.

Hope this article would help you in effective salary negotiation. We wish you the very best.

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