Answered by Traci, Hiring Expert at Accenture, on Tuesday, November 1, 2016
Congratulations! There is nothing quite like the feeling that you’ve just put your absolute best foot forward during an interview. My response to this, and the advice I would give to you accordingly, is very much dependent upon where you are in your career. Not knowing, I will try to comment on both. If you have just applied and interviewed as an undergrad and will be entering your career field as entry level (if you’re not an undergrad and this doesn’t apply to you, fast forward to the next paragraph), I want to ask you a hard, but very realistic question - how do you mean to determine what is fair compensation? For that matter, as you haven’t yet started and likely only have intern and part time work experience on your resume, how are you planning to accurately measure or state what your future contribution is going to be? I only ask now because I want you to think of these questions before you try to ask for something you don’t necessarily know you are qualified for. Now, if you have done your research and have examples of higher salaries being offered for similar positions at similar organizations, and in similar geographic locations, and feel like your offer is not on par (I would steer clear of using the word “fair”), then by all means bring up the conversation, but bring it up in a way that conveys having done research with clear examples from your experience to back up your ask. I say all of this to make sure you are thinking about the ask in the right way, and not just because you feel you deserve more.
Now, if you are not an undergrad, or I should say, not a person looking with little to no professional experience, and have a work history to use as a clear example of why you would like more money, first follow the above steps and do your research. Having done your due diligence, you should easily be able to make a great case for why you are asking for more….key word asking, not demanding. The best way to do so, just bring it up as one of your follow up questions about the offer. There is no need to side step or dance around the question, as most recruiters or hiring managers are expecting it. The more up front you are about your expectations, the better that person will be able to address them and keep things moving. I promise you, your recruiter or hiring manager will appreciate your candor!