Do your homework
As part of your research prior to an interview you should look into the salaries paid for similar roles. Try and narrow your research to roles advertised in the same area and by the same type of company. You could also try and talk to colleagues or people in similar positions.
Compare the market
Once you armed with that knowledge you can start to compare it with your current situation and see what extra costs you may incur with the new role. For example, there may be additional travel costs or your change of circumstance may lead to more need for child care. Take these extra costs into account.
Make a decision on your minimum salary
Armed with all that knowledge you now need to decide on a minimum salary you will accept if you are offered the role.
You should also consider other aspects of why you may deserve more money. You may have unique skills or experiences that are of value to the employer for example.
One thing you have to make certain of, wherever possible is that the amount that you need is definitely within their budget.
Aim high but be realistic
This is a key area of the process because although you will naturally want to negotiate the best salary you can for yourself, there is a very fine line where you can price yourself out of the market which can also be interpreted as being greedy. Like everything, salaries vary depending on market conditions so it’s vital you know what the “market rate” is for your position before you enter your negotiation or have some kind of idea of what the employer is looking to pay. As you enter negotiations with the employer you need to highlight your reasons for the salary you expect. Often you will be asked what you want, rather than the employer saying what they will give you. If this happens, aim for the higher end of what you think they are willing to pay and leave room for negotiation. Alternatively, you could ask what they want to offer you and negotiate from there.
Explore additional benefits
Throughout this process you should also consider other ways to be recompensed for your work. An employer may offer all kinds of benefits in lieu of payment: pension schemes, healthcare, insurances, bonus, hours, child care costs, company cars etc. Factor in the financial savings and improved quality of life you may receive from these benefits.
Overall, try to get the best deal you can. Negotiate fairly and sensibly and ensure you do not offend your potential new employer with unreasonable requests or over confidence.
As a bonus, good negotiation skills at this stage may further support your claim for the role and a higher salary as you are demonstrating good negotiation skills that you will take into your new role!