Negotiating Aviation Salaries

Negotiating Salaries:

Successful salary negotiation occurs after the job applicant and the employer share a common understanding of the job and the applicants willingness and ability to do it.

Ideal Salary agreements:
  • Are based on mutual respect
  • Create gain for both parties
  • Lay a firm foundation for a good working relationship

You're ready to negotiate when:

  • You've gathered information about the aviation labor market and you know how much a job like this typically pays
  • You've determined your needs and wants
  • You've gathered sufficient information about the employer, the work, the environment and the people with whom you will be working with
  • You've done all you can to convey your willingness and ability to do the job, and the employer has all the information needed to reach a decision about you
  • Typically, salary negotiation occurs toward the end of the interview or after the applicant receives a job offer from the employer

What is the job worth? 
It is important to remember that the relationship between the employer and the employee is a business relationship. Typically, employers analyze the dollar amount they have invested in employees and forecast the financial return they are likely to receive based on the efforts of the employees.

  • Employers know that new employees usually cost them more than they can expect in productivity. In time, new employees become experienced and more productive. Then the employer eventually breaks even and finally returns a dollar for each dollar of effort
  • Savvy job hunters know how long it will take to bring them up to speed. Their salary demands are based on that knowledge. Also, they coincide salary negotiations with their break-even period.

Gain leverage: 
Postpone salary discussions until you've shown that you are the best candidate for the job.  Mentioning specific sums of money in the preliminary information-gathering stages can eliminate you from the list of potential candidates before you've ha a chance to show what you can do.

  1. Salary question on the applicant form:
    Answer, Negotiable
  2. On a resume:
    Say, Salary is negotiable
  3. At the job interview:
    Let the employer be the first to mention salary.

Wait until you know more about the job and the employer and the employer knows you before you price yourself too low or too high.

It pays to increase your negotiation power
Your negotiating power reflects how much you're in demand. You have more room to negotiate when:

  • You work in a fast-growing field in which there are many job-openings with few skilled people to fill them
  • You can demonstrate unique strengths that few applicants have
  • You have job offers from more than one company, and you let potential employers know that you are in demand
  • You have a job or you have savings reserves to fall back on, and you're not feeling financial or psychological pressure to take the job.

Know your needs
How much salary do you need to support yourself and your family?
- Determine the minimum income you need.
- If the salary offer doesn't cover your needs, you can:

  • Accept the job and moonlight or find other work to supplement the income
  • Walk away from the job offer because the salary is non-negotiable and insufficient
  • Negotiate a higher salary

Know your wants
What extras would you like to afford, beyond the needs? Perhaps you want a better car, an annual vacation abroad or to save for retirement at a faster rate. Determine what salary would let you afford the extras that you want.

If the employer begins discussing salary in the early part of the interview, postpone negotiations by saying something like, Id like to discuss that but could you tell me a little more about the job first, to continue the information-gathering phase.

It pays to gather information about the aviation labor market before you negotiate your salary.

What you need to know:

  • What the job entails. Analyze all the details you've been given by the employer
  • What typical earnings are according to aviation industry standards.
    → See department of Labor statistics at your local city or county government office.
    → Write or telephone trade associations.
    → Take a look at the current Avjobs Salary Information.
    → Ask the reference librarian at your public library.
    → Search the Avjobs job system for comparable jobs.
    → Carry out informational interviews
  • What typical earnings are within the company and how they compare to the rest of the aviation industry.
    Find out the name of the company's closest competitor and ask them what they would pay. Its likely to be similar
  • Find out if there are many other applicants.
    How do they compare with you? This is difficult to investigate but employers will sometimes tell you up-front
  • Find out how long they've been looking for someone to fill the job.
    Employers may mention it in passing.  The longer a position has be vacant, the more an employer may be willing to pay

After you receive a job offer:

  • Is when you have the most negotiating leverage
  • Step back from the situation and evaluate the offer
  • List the pros and cons of accepting the offer as it stands
  • Determine what is acceptable and what could be better
  • In most cases - YOU DO NOT HAVE TO ACCEPT THE OFFER ON THE SPOT.  Mention that you would like to think it over, and provide your answer tomorrow or in the next few days.

Applicants should avoid accepting a salary that they feel is too low, so that they don't feel cheated in the long run.

Making a counteroffer
Many companies and governmental agencies have a published salary scale or range. Salary ranges allow for differences between candidates skills, qualifications and the amount of training they will need. If the job you seek is covered by a salary range your goal is to show that you have the strengths, skills and enthusiasm to merit a salary near the top of the range.

If the salary offer is low, make a counteroffer:

  • Compare it to aviation industry norms
  • Compare it to past work you've done that is similar, for which you were paid more
  • If you have a higher offer from another company, this is the time to mention it.
    Notice that in each case you peg your counteroffer to a real-world example of higher earnings. State your case simply without being arrogant.  Employment is a "2-Way" street.  You can always say "No, Thank you"

If the employer wont raise the starting salary and you still want the job:

  • Ask them to describe the conditions under which they would be willing to pay more
  • Focus on how you can either save the company money or generate more revenue for the company
  • Negotiate a contingency that your salary will be increased in 3 to 6 months if your work meets a certain criterion that you both agree upon. Get it in writing so that you have a record of the agreement in case the person who hires you leaves the company
  • Is there another aspect of the job offer that you can negotiate, besides the salary? For instance, could you have 3 weeks of paid vacation instead of 2 weeks, or maybe more benefits?
Employers need to avoid paying too much, so that they don't feel that the applicant has exploited them and is more of a burden than and asset.

When you accept an offer, do it graciously and get everything in writing.

Successful salary negotiation:

  • Is neither adversarial nor antagonistic. The employer and the applicant are not enemies
  • Gives both the employer and the applicant the feeling that they've won

20 Things That Aviation Employers Consider in applicant interviews

20 Things That Aviation Employers Consider in applicant interviews

If your job search is to be successful then you need an understanding your own goals and needs, to understand those of employers. Below are twenty items that employers consider when interview and hiring:

  1. Communication Skills
  2. Enthusiasm
  3. Motivation
  4. Experience
  5. Education / Training
  6. Career Maturity
  7. Initiative
  8. Marks in School
  9. Listening Skills
  10. Punctuality
  11. Overall Appearance
  12. Assertiveness
  13. Manners
  14. References
  15. Knowledge about the Employer
  16. Sense of Humor
  17. Report Writing Skills
  18. Personality
  19. Ability to resolve conflicts
  20. Leisure Activities

Prep for the 10 Most Common Interview Questions

Be prepared for your next interview.  More than likely, you will be asked at least one of the following Most Common Interview Questions.

What Are Your Weaknesses?
Keep it business related.  This question can easily being answered by actually emphasizing your strengths.  Stating that you are constantly working to improve all of your abilities can show that you are open to change, ambitious and a hard worker.

Why Should We Hire You?
Summarize your positive attributes and experience.

Why Do You Want to Work Here?
Do your homework.  This is a good opportunity to impress the interviewer by letting them know you have researched the company and find what and how they do things is similar to your way thinking.  Stating actual facts and figures about the company is a definite bonus.

What Are Your Goals?
Easy.  This is a great chance to state your serious interest in this company.  State that you looking to obtain a position with a strong company with the potential for you to grow.

Why Did You Leave (Are You Leaving) Your Job?
Never badmouth your previous employer.  If you have been with your previous company for a long number of years, a good comment might be.  After 5 years of hard work and promotions, I found it was time to apply my experience on a new level.    If you're unemployed, you can state your reason for leaving in a positive manner: "I managed to survive two rounds of corporate downsizing, but the third round was a 20 percent reduction in the workforce, which included me."

If you are employed, focus on what you want in your next job: "After two years, I made the decision to look for a company that is team-focused, where I can add my experience."

When Were You Most Satisfied in Your Job?
The interviewer wants to know what motivates you. If you can relate an example of a job or project when you were excited, the interviewer will get an idea of your preferences. "I was very satisfied in my last job, because I worked directly with the customers and their problems; that is an important part of the job for me."

What Can You Do for Us That Other Candidates Can't?
What makes you unique? This will take an assessment of your experiences, skills and traits. Summarize concisely: "I have a unique combination of strong technical skills, and the ability to build strong customer relationships. This allows me to use my knowledge and break down information to be more user-friendly."

What Are Three Positive Things Your Last Boss Would Say About You?
It's time to pull out your old performance appraisals and boss's quotes. This is a great way to brag about yourself through someone else's words: "My boss has told me that I am the best designer he has ever had. He knows he can rely on me, and he likes my sense of humor."

What Salary Are You Seeking?
Doing your homework here can really help.  Knowing what the going rate in that area might be, or what someone with your experience is.  It is to your advantage if the employer tells you the range first. Prepare by knowing the going rate in your area, and your bottom line or walk-away point. One possible answer would be: "I am sure when the time comes, we can agree on a reasonable amount. In what range do you typically pay someone with my background?"

If You Were an Animal, Which One Would You Want to Be?
Interviewers use this type of psychological question to see if you can think quickly. If you answer "a bunny," you will make a soft, passive impression. If you answer "a lion," you will be seen as aggressive. What type of personality would it take to get the job done? What impression do you want to make?

Aviation Job Interviews

The purpose of the job interview is to persuade the employer that you have the skills, background, and ability to do the job and that you can comfortably fit into their organization. Everyone must understand that you are not just being evaluated on your experience and education alone, but also by your looks, personality, confidence, enthusiasm, and any other attribute that can help them decide whether or not you are right for the job. You may find out that some people get hired just because the interviewer "liked"  them. Of course this is not always the case, but developing effective interviewing skills can help!

Take Charge of Your Career

Take Charge of Your Career with the Avjobs Career Guide

Never go to an interview unprepared again!
This Comprehensive (8.5 x 11, - 167 pg.) Guide Includes: Career Type, Education Requirements, Who Employs, Complete Job Descriptions, Job Outlook, Salary and Benefit Information, Tips on writing Dynamic Resumes and Cover Letters, and Interview Techniques that get you hired. With the Avjobs Career Guide you will know: what to expect, where to find the jobs, know the application process, what airlines really look for, and a lot more... more >>

Job Interview Follow Up

Are you playing the employers game the way they expect you to?

Always follow up & interviews with thank-you letters, phone calls, and, when appropriate, resumes that have been revised based on information and suggestions provided by managers. Even if managers have no positions available, once they have had personal interaction with you, they may think of you the next time they have, or hear of, an appropriate opening.

It is critical to stay in touch with these managers, at least on a bi-monthly basis.