More money! 8 tips for your next salary interview

The statistics are shocking: women still earn less than men. According to the Federal Statistical Office, there is an average wage difference of 21 percent between men and women in Germany. This puts us in one of the lowest ranks in Europe.

One reason for this is that occupations in which more women work (e.g. nursing, education) are paid less and that women are more likely to work part-time. On the other hand, women often earn less than their male colleagues in the same job with the same qualifications and working hours. Why? “Social conventions, corporate cultures and gender stereotypes play a major role here,” says Elke Holst, Senior Economist and Director of the German Institute for Economic Research in Berlin.

So something has to change – both socially and concretely with you. Because if you and other women manage to get more out of it, you will be role models for others and drive change forward. That’s why here are 8 tips for your next salary negotiations.

1. build up a little rage

It’s like the lottery: To win, you have to fill out a ticket. For the salary, it means you have to ask for it. This is the first basic condition, because if you never ask, the answer is always no. A study by the University of Lüneburg and the Research Institute for the Future of Work (IZA ) in Bonn in 2018 showed, however, that women tend to ask for a salary interview less frequently. The reason, according to the study’s directors: “Women feel their salary is unfair less often.

And those who do not feel treated unfairly do not develop the drive to revolt. It IST but unfair if you don’t earn enough. So: Build up a little anger that fires you up (but don’t take a glowing anger into the conversation, it looks unprofessional).

2. know what you are entitled to

In order for you to get annoyed at all, you need basic data, which you are entitled to. Find out on salary comparison sites on the net about what is usual in your job and in your industry. But also discreetly ask colleagues who have been doing the same job as you for the same length of time and with whom you have a correspondingly trustful relationship. However, do not mention their statements in conversation, as this can have an inflammatory effect on superiors.

Always keep the balance between a friendly tone and clear demands. © Fizkes /

3. making Equal Pay a theme without sounding like revolution

Depending on how modern your company and your boss are, you can say that “in these times it should be a matter of course that man and woman get the same money for the same activity”. This doesn’t have to come in a rebellious resistance fighter tone, a smiled remark somewhere in the middle section is enough. Every superior with a conscience won’t be able to simply wipe this sentence aside.

4. do not mention the first number

A salary interview can quickly turn into a little mind game. As soon as the supervisor asks, “How much did you have in mind?” you’re in trouble. If you give them too high a number, they laugh at you as too greedy. If you give a lower number, there is a risk that more would have been in it for you, but if bosses can have you cheaper: Great. So don’t get involved in this game for now, say: “Oh, I’m sure you have fair payment in mind. I just want what’s right for someone with my qualifications.

What’s someone like me worth to you?” If you don’t get an answer to that either, come up with a number that balances modesty with entitlement (see next point).

5. not only demanding justice, but also appreciation

Of course this is about justice. But if you’re honest: you don’t want to be paid what you call “fair”. You want someone who feels good. You want appreciation. And what you are worth should not only depend on what some charts say. So you can add to what you humbly consider “fair”.

The US -Career advisor and bestselling author Joel Garfinkle (“Get paid what you’re worth”) advises you to add about 20 percent on top of what would be your highest demand, because: “Once you have given a number, you can only negotiate downwards.

Best basis for the salary interview: You should know what you are worth! © Fizkes /

6. not saying “I want more” but “I am worth more”

Not even men nowadays can walk into a salary interview and say, “Yo, boss, give me more money, because I’m such a horny guy!” As an employee you should always make it clear in a salary negotiation that you deserve to earn more because you and your job are so valuable to the company. This also and especially applies to your negotiating skills shown in the salary interview.

This is especially true for women, as a study by US -scientists Hannah Riley Bowles and Linda Babcock, which appeared in the journal Psychology of Women Quarterly. The more you make it clear that you are less concerned with your personal ambitions than with advancing together, the more successful you can negotiate.

7. do not stop asking

That’s the annoying part now. It’s unlikely that your superiors will give you a suitcase full of money right away. But you must not let up if your wishes are not fulfilled the first time. Ask for a follow-up meeting in a few months, perhaps with a target agreement on what you should have done by then. If possible, always find new approaches to prove that you should earn more: a new project here, a successful result there, your commitment in tricky situations or for special tasks.

This may be uncomfortable, yes, but that’s what the board wants. Not in the sense of a worsening pain, but more like a recurring itch that can be removed by a little scratching with the salary scraper to make room for great all-round relief. So: Stay tuned, you are worth it!

8. change jobs

It’s not exactly a negotiating tip, but you should know: According to a survey by recruitment agency Robert Half, the best way to get a raise is to change jobs. The most common reason for a salary increase was a change to another employer (18 percent), and as many as 16 percent received more money after changing jobs internally. So when you negotiate a salary for a new job, set your demands higher accordingly.

If more money is involved in the same company, it is better to ask for a promotion immediately if there is a chance of success.

Until salary equity is established everywhere, you can only do something small, for yourself. In every salary negotiation, it is important to keep at it with skill and persistence – with our tips there is a lot in it for you!