How to Bring Up Benefits in a Job Interview
You’ve begun the interview process for a new job. You’ve completed research and understand what the job requirements are. Then comes the latter half of this new position – the benefits package. However, this is probably one of the most delicate parts of getting a new job. There may be a shift in what benefits you currently receive or perhaps there will be new additions. A benefits package isn’t usually something to discuss in the first interview. It’s more appropriate and expected to go over them in follow-up interviews. This guide will help you prepare for and navigate the discussion of benefits when given a job offer.
Do Your Homework
The first part of this process is gathering information yourself. List your current job benefits – healthcare, disability, vacation time, and any other advantages. Once you’ve gathered those up, review the job posting and see what benefits the employer offers. If they align with your current benefits that’s a plus for you. Keep in mind that you may have to make changes to how much you contribute for benefits. For instance, maybe you don’t pay for healthcare at your current job. But, you may have to contribute to coverage in this new job. Either way, you will not know that unless you ask. If this is a concern for you, make sure to ask your potential employer.
Prior to your interview, have a list of questions at the ready from this research. Not all the questions will be relevant to the first interview so you won’t want to ask all of them. Instead, pull out a few that will give you more clarity about some of the employer’s benefits. For example, a simple question to start with is asking about the position’s day-to-day. This question could give insight into the position’s schedule flexibility and work-life balance. Whatever you decide to ask, make a note of the answers. Then in the following sessions, you’ll be able to get additional clarity on specific points if you need it.
Be Careful About Your Tone
It goes without saying that you may want to tread lightly when you’re discussing benefits. Coming across as forceful or demanding will not win you any favors or the new job. Yes, having healthcare for your kids is important. But, putting those needs first is not the way to go about your first interview. Being overzealous during your first encounter could be off-putting for a potential employer. If you find yourself getting frustrated or antsy, take a moment to pause. Alternatively, ask if you can revisit the conversation at a later time.
That said, you don’t have to tolerate rudeness from the interviewer either. Just like they don’t have to answer all your inquiries, you don’t have to respond to inappropriate questions. And if they’re dodging your questions too, maybe this is not going to be the right fit for you. Don’t be afraid to advocate for yourself and your needs, but remember to be civil during your interview.
Remember to Negotiate
This is most likely the last part of your benefits conversation. Once you’ve secured your new position, you could choose to negotiate with your prospective employer. For example, you may not need a commuter stipend since you plan on carpooling. Maybe you can discuss using that stipend for a monthly group fitness class instead. Or perhaps you want a hybrid work option and you can mention how that would benefit both you and your employer.
You might be in a situation where you’ve been presented with two job offers from different employers. See which of your two contenders can compromise to meet your needs. This outcome will show you a better offer. Additionally, it can help you with your negotiation skills in the future. Make sure not to get too brazen or you could rock the boat.
Interviewing for a new job is an exciting time. This is a new opportunity on your career path. While discussing the job itself may come easy, talking about the benefits can be a touch harder to do. However, by following the tips mentioned above, you can make this conversation a walk in the park.
About the Author:
Sara Carter is a co-founder of Enlightened Digital. She enjoys spending her days writing about technology and business, writing code, or chasing her kids and dog.