Owen: Hey Cam, you working today?
Cam: Yup. ①I'll be hitting the office at about nine. Hey, isn't your interview today?
Owen: Yup, at 10 am.
Cam: Wow, ②you look cool as a cucumber. Aren't you nervous? I'm always a nervous wreck before interviews.
Owen: Actually, ③I feel like a cat on hot bricks. One minute I'm jumping with excitement, ④and the next I'm biting my nails off. I just can't wait for it to be over.
Cam: What kind of things are you going to ask for?
Owen: What do you mean? It's an interview—they ask me, not the other way around.
Cam: I didn't mean you should interview them! I meant things like salary, holiday, medical insurance, bonuses, etc. This stuff is important.
Owen: Well, this is only the interview; I think I should probably wait until they offer me a job before I start making demands. I don't want to look greedy.
Cam: Actually, if I were you, I would seriously consider this stuff before walking into that interview today.
Owen: How come?
Cam: Owen, everything is negotiable, but if you don't walk in there with a clear idea of what you want, and the confidence to speak up, you'll wind up settling for a contract that will only make you miserable.
Owen: I see your point, but I wouldn't even know where to begin. I've never tried to negotiate before, at least not as far as a job is concerned.
Cam: Well, first things first, you need to decide what's important to you: Money? Holidays? Flexibility? Benefits? What are your work values?
Owen: You said that the starting salary should be around 5000 RMB per month, right? That's fine for me, as long as there's a chance for raises or promotions in the future.
Cam: So that means that opportunities are important to you. Great start! What about holidays?
Owen: Well, most of my family are back in Beijing, and I'd really like to visit them at least once a year.
Cam: Okay, so a long enough holiday to see your family. Or why not suggest that any traveling assignments to Beijing be filled by you?
Owen: Wow, that's a really good idea. And very creative!
Cam: ⑤Don't be afraid to give solutions that are outside the box. Just remember to focus on what you value—the rest is easy.
Owen: First you refer me for the job, and now you're helping me to make it perfect. I owe you dinner if this works out!
Cam: I'll hold you to that. Good luck today!