The impact of saying ‘I’m negotiable’

Picture this…

You walk into an interview feeling calm and confident. You breeze through the interview questions and you get along with the DP, GM or department manager really well. You’re feeling really good about it and right at the end of the meeting you’re asked, “so what kind of money are you expecting?” Let’s be honest, you know what you’re on now (or were most recently on) and you know what you’d like. Everyone wants to climb up the $$$ ladder, nobody really wants to go
backwards. You’ve spoken with your partner / friends /colleagues and you know what you want. So you answer, “$55,000.” There’s a pause, and the interviewer says nothing. You start to feel awkward and those good feelings you had moments before have disappeared, so to break the silence, you say, “…but I’m negotiable.”

Everyone is negotiable, simply because there are many factors involved in accepting a new job offer. Location, organisational culture, franchises and dealership size all influence your decision. The thing is, most people are negotiable. It’s part and parcel of the automotive industry. By saying that you’re negotiable, you’ve potentially given the interviewer the impression that;

  • You don’t value yourself
  • You might have been asking for too much initially
  • You’re easily persuaded

Rather than coming in strong with a figure and then backing away from it, consider the way that you deliver that all-important number. Be honest with yourself, do industry research if you need to, and remember to be realistic. Try lines like;

  • “I feel like the skills and experience I posses reflect…”
  • “I believe that based on what we’ve discussed about what I can bring to the dealership…”
  • “Based on what you’re looking for…”

In summary, avoid saying that you’re negotiable, especially before the interviewer has an opportunity to object. Remember that silence is a common technique used in interviews when discussing salary and packages. The good news is that it’s not just for interviewers, you can use it too.