The wage interview.

VR negotiated market wages during wage negotiations in 2000. This means that wages must reflect the employee’s work effort, his skills, education and competence as well as what the work involves and the responsibilities it includes.

The key aspect of the market wage system is the wage interview. The employee has a contractually bound right to an interview with his supervisor once a year about his work and a possible correction of wage terms. If an employee requests an interview it must be granted within two months and the interview results must be available within a month.

Good advice for the wage interview

A wage interview does not differ from other negotiations. Good preparations strengthen your position.

Here below are a few good pieces of advice which may perhaps help you.

Self-examination

It is up to you to show that you deserve a wage increase or whatever else that you want to negotiate. Examine your position and try to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses and also what opportunities you have. What is your contribution? How do you perform at work? Where and how is your experience and know-how best used? How can you strengthen yourself as an employee? Do you need continuous education? List your projects and work effort in the long run. Examine the position of your counterparty and the work environment.

Continuous education

Continuous education is necessary today to maintain one’s knowledge and market value in the work market. Everything recommends people’s increased education in the work market. People become better at their job, they offer better service and become happier in their work with more confidence. Be sure to register all the courses you attend as this has a positive effect on the company’s service or productivity, which strengthens your bargaining position in the interview.

" GÆS" (CWS)

Think about “CWS”; I Can, I Will, I Shall. Have faith in yourself as otherwise the employer does not. You need to convince him that you are worth receiving certain wages and if you feel that you lack confidence, then there are many self-empowerment courses available, i.a. at VR in collaboration with the University of Iceland’s Continuous Education (Endurmenntun HÍ).

Your market value

Acquire information about your market value, what the wages are for comparable groups and, last but not least, how deals are made. Use the wage research and your work diary.

Goal setting

Set yourself realistic goals as you lose your credibility if you ask for wages that you do not deserve, whether they are far too low or high. Contemplate what results you would accept. Are you looking for a wage increase or a promotion? Where do you see yourself in five years? By having clear goals you will go further.

Negotiation techniques

Adopt a negotiation technique and practice it. Try to keep the negotiations on a professional basis and do not become over-emotional. To reach the best results you may have to show flexibility which can be useful to both. The best agreements are made when both parties “profit”.

Timing

It is important to look at how best to speak with administrators about the wage interview. It can e.g. be bad to discuss wage increase if recent annual financial statements looked bad, then it pays to wait a while. Make an appointment with a supervisor with a few days’ notice so the supervisor can also prepare himself.

Practice

Success in a wage interview is based on good preparations but also on practice. Have someone you trust well to do a roleplay with you and practice what you intend to say and how you want to deliver it.

Practice makes perfect

To be denied can be informative. Do not fear rejection as a no can be a way to a yes. After the interview, record what went well and what could have gone better. Begin preparing yourself for the next interview by improving your performance and keeping a work diary.

To deal with anxiety

It is normal to feel stress symptoms when one goes for a wage interview and especially if one is doing it for the first time. The better prepared you are, the calmer and more balanced you will be. It is good to breathe deep before one goes to the interview and think that the supervisor is also human and probably a little bit stressed as well.

What can be negotiated in a wage interview?

The wage interview does not have to be entirely about the wages – everything is actually on the table. It could perhaps suit you better to negotiate flexible work hours or increased holidays to spend more time with the family. Here are a few items listed which perhaps could be negotiated:

  • Discount on the company’s products or that of other companies
  • Increased parental leave
  • Increased holiday-pay on wages
  • Annual fee of a professional organization
  • Subscription of magazines
  • Child care
  • Petroleum allowance
  • Car allowance
  • Clothes allowance
  • Travel allowance
  • Work diversity
  • Pre-emption rights
  • Study grant
  • Monetary bonus
  • Telephone allowance
  • Accident- and life insurance
  • Promotion
  • Flexible work hours
  • Computer for the home
  • Work conditions
  • Overtime work