I always expect candidates to negotiate for a higher salary. The negotiation process has become somewhat of a game: Sometimes offers are made on the low side to allow for negotiation, just as candidates ask for more than they expect to get, all in the hopes that the compromise will please all parties.
My advice to you is to remember that they want you. Give your prospective employer a range you are willing to accept. The low end of the range should be what you would actually accept if you receive a job offer. Be willing to negotiate a second time and don't negotiate an amount that you have previously indicated you would accept. If you can't get any movement on the salary, be creative and ask for other things, such as a sign-on bonus.
Pay attention to how your prospective employer treats you as a candidate. This may be a good indication of how they will treat you as an employee. If you don't ask for what you want, you won't get what you want.
Laura Smith is EVP and US and Canada HR director of Edelman.
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