The most important action you can take to win negotiations about salary is to do some research on salary levels for the function, company and industry in question.

By arming yourself with such information, you will know what to expect and have a sense of what is fair. This puts you in a very strong position.

Before the interview

Before you go for a job interview, here is the salary negotiation research that you can do:

• Have a look at public information on salaries for your location

Information on the function and industry is easier to obtain but, often, you will find great data for a particular company as well.

Typically, recruitment firms, job sites and government agencies conduct salary surveys and publish their findings. So all you need to do is search for such publications for your city or country.

For Singapore, you can find a compilation of these surveys here:

•  Get in touch with people you know

Contact friends, family members, classmates and so on who may have experience working in the field or company, and get the inside scoop from them.

These people are a great source of information and you can get detailed insights from them for specific companies as well (which is priceless).

Ask them for details of the salary levels as well as how compensation packages are structured, for example, split between base pay, bonuses and allowances.

•  Ask people you don’t know

To get more company-specific information, you can also contact strangers who are not working in the company currently but have worked there in the past.

With social networks such as LinkedIn, this has become much easier and you will be able to get a handful of people to respond to your request.

During the interview

During the selection or interview process, you can negotiate a better salary if you find out enough about the role, including the exact scope of your responsibilities, results that are expected from you, average working hours per week and amount of travel.

This will help you assess what you would consider a fair salary, given the value you will be providing the company and the amount of time and effort you need to devote to the job.

Taking these steps and doing adequate salary negotiation research will greatly improve your chances of getting a good compensation package.

It will also help to show the representatives of your potential employer that you have done your homework and have a professional mindset.


Article by Amit Puri, managing consultant at Sandbox Advisors, a firm that helps people with careers, job search and training in Singapore. He is an experienced career, business and HR professional. For more information, visit