Talking about money can get awkward faster than you can realise. For someone who has always been awkward around monetary discussions, it is natural to clam up when the question on expected income arises during an interview. While saying ‘Whatever is Standard' might sound like an easy way out, it is not an appropriate thing to say to a hiring manager. Especially, when you are applying for an internship and there are no set guidelines for ‘the standard stipend'.
So, if you are appearing for an internship interview, here are few tips on how to talk about the desired stipend:
Study the Market
It is always best to go in prepared and have a rough idea about the average stipend for the internship you are applying to. Do some research beforehand and have a (minimum) set number when you go in for the final interview. Begin with accessing online tools and job-review websites for an idea and ask your coworkers and network as they are more aware of the industry. Just ensure that you are acquainted with the person and that the questions are not unwanted. The best way to talk about your desired stipend is to already know what you want rather than making something up.
Be Firm, Be Polite!
You should refrain from talking about your salary unless the interviewer himself brings it up. It is bound to come up in the conversation (and some point of time) as it is equally significant to both you and the interviewer. When the conversation comes, you need to lay out your demands as precisely as possible but be respectful at the same time. You will not be deemed unappreciative for talking about your finances but just ensure that you do it in a confident way and not assertively.
Lead the Game
If you are having a serious conversation about your salary in the final stages of an interview, it is highly likely that the company is willing to hire you. So it may be useful to take a leap of faith and ask for more than you think you should get. Remember getting the right candidate is as big a struggle for the company as getting the right job is for you. Therefore, if your demand is within reasonable boundaries, there are high chances that the company will come back to you with a good counter offer. You can also try framing it as a question to seem more polite and leave room for negotiation.
Highlight Your Strengths and Abilities
The company is considering to hire you for a reason. You have a set of skills or degree that makes your resume stand out. Take a closer look at what the hiring manager saw in your resume that convinced him to hire you and remind him that you deserve to be given the extra salary. Restate your experiences, your education, and any accomplishments and how it makes you useful to their company. Stress on your abilities in front of the hiring manager to prove that you are worth the extra payroll.
Know When to Make a Call
Now you have stated what you want in civil, professional terms. Sum up when you get an offer with (or without) your preferred stipend, thank the manager and promise to get back by a specific date. If the offered stipend is not what you wish to have, take some time to ponder over your decision. Debate the pros and cons and discuss benefits, salary, bonuses, etc with the hiring manager. Take some time coming to a final decision rather than saying a yes or no on the spot. If you think that the internship gives you a great learning opportunity and can be really beneficial for your career, in the long run, do not make stipend alone reason to reject the offer. Make a wise and well-informed call.