I am sure you have a range in mind.”

Chris Voss, ex-FBI hostage negotiator, gives excellent advice on how to ask for a raise without getting demoted or fired.  Watch this short video.

What follows are my transcripted notes of his presentation:

You want to push your opponent to the highest limit of a negotiation range without taking them out of the comfort of that range.  People respond to ranges where they won’t respond to specific numbers.  When they ask you how much you’re looking for, your first response to that should be “Are you making me an offer or are you just fishing?” Give them an opportunity to respond to that.  Again, when they ask you about salary expectations, say, “I am sure you have a range in mind.”  Take the end of it that favors you.  They’ll actually feel somewhat relieved that you’ll want to stay at that number.

If they’ve given you a number that doesn’t work for you, the first response is the world-class way of saying “No” and keeping the conversation going, “How am I supposed to accept that?”  which let’s them know that it’s really a problem for you.  You’ve empowered them by giving them the opportunity to make it better.  Always important in any negotiation to be able to say “No” pleasantly.  So be pleasant. They’re going to evaluate you in a job negotiation about how well you can represent them!  and represent their interests and be pleasant while you’re doing it.

Gary North has good insight on how to deal with employers and raises.  Check this out . . .

Do not expect to be appreciated. If they are not giving regular raises, you are not appreciated. If they are loading on extra hours, you are not appreciated. You are simply a pack mule. You will be exploited, not appreciated.

This is why you have to be working systematically to develop your reputation outside the business. You have to let them know that they do not have their clamps on you. If they think that you have no alternatives for employment, they will treat you unmercifully. Expect this. It is standard operating procedure in business today. They don’t expect loyalty on any basis except this: fear. They don’t offer loyalty, and they don’t expect it. This was not true a generation ago, but it is true today.

When the bean counters from the business schools began to take over American business in the 1970’s, that ended loyalty downward. On this point, you would be wise to read The Puritan Gift. It shows the world we have lost. I don’t think we’re going to get it back. We may get it back in small, upstart businesses, but not in a business that has been operating for more than 40 years.

It’s not the questions, it’s the answers.  It’s the building of rapport and understanding your the buyer’s needs.  The buyer, in this case, is the hiring manager.  You’re selling your skills, or at least you should be.

I hear it all the time, “What kinds of questions can I expect during an interview?”  Not sure that that is even the right question.  If it’s a job you really, really want you may want to consider building rapport immediately.

Come into the interview clean, well-dressed, and the picture of organization.  Then build rapport.

If an interviewer opens up questions to you, be careful not to give negative answers.  It’s okay to be cagey with someone you don’t know.  At his point, they have no power or influence over you.  You can at any moment rise up from your seat and walk out.  But if you stay, do not give negative answers.  One, if the interviewer isn’t pleased with you, he’ll use your negative replies to earlier questions and then ask you to elaborate on those negative replies.  Don’t do it.  If he does, it means he’s highlighting the negative and not focusing on your strengths and skills.  And the interview turns into some torturous dodge ball with him throwing hardball from 3′ feet away.

When he raises points you want to seize on or align yourself with, try answering with the phrase “That’s right!” with mild but clearly heard enthusiasm.

When you talk about yourself, also do it with some buoyancy in your voice. Do not adopt a regretful tone.

One guy you want to listen to and read is Chris Voss, a former FBI hostage negotiator. Imagine the pickles he’s been in and the kind of high-intensity conflicts he’s had to work himself out of because someone’s life depended on it].

In a negotiation, instead of asking “Why?” phrase the same question like this, “What makes you ask?