Negotiating a Salary as a QA/QC Manager
Published: Aug 13, 2009
A Quality Assurance (QA) Manager is responsible for the design and implementation of policies and procedures to ensure that quality standards are met during production. The QA Manager oversees the testing of processes and products throughout the development lifecycle. A QA Manager relies on experience and judgment to plan and accomplish their goals. Usually, a QA Manager will report to the Vice President or Director of a company.
Research the company. This is a mandatory step anytime before any interview you go through. Companies want to feel that you took time to learn about them. Besides, you can't convince a company that you want to work for them when you know nothing about them.
Negotiate the job. This should begin on the first interview. Find out exactly what the job description is. Then figure out if this description is within your scope of experience. If you find that the job is below your experience level then upgrade the job. Add additional responsibilities to the job description. You may find that the company has other open positions, and that you can fill more than one. As the job description increases so should the salary range. If the salary range or job description does not meet your needs then bring up your project management, QA testing, or programming experience. Help the interviewer place these skills into the QA Manager position you are applying for.
Interview the interviewer. At the end of the interview the hiring manager will ask you if you have any questions. Take out your list and start asking. Be professional and don't ask anything you should already know. Here are some sample QA Manager questions: What kind of assignments may I expect in the first six months of the job? What are the responsibilities of the testing team members? What development and QA methodologies are the company currently using?
Outshine the competition. You are not going to be the only person that is applying to that QA Manager position. A likely candidate for a QA Manager position will not go through a single interview. Count on three to five interviews, and possibly one of them being a panel interview. Pay close attention to the interviewer. They may give you insight to what is happening with the other interviewees. Don't bad mouth others, but use this opportunity to show your strengths in the areas that others are weak. Follow up each interview with a letter of appreciation. When sending this try to keep the note simple, but also use this as an opportunity to bring up something personal. A light hearted, "Hope the Bruins win this year," may go far, if this was a topic you and the interviewer shared.
Get the offer. You have made it through the interview process and the company has decided to hire you. You will most likely meet the President or the Vice president of the company. This higher up manager has a single purpose, to explain the company to you. He has no real input in the hiring process (believe it or not). His job in the interview process is a personal relations role. Essentially, he is welcoming you to the company. Be polite and do not try to sway this person. They are busy. The hiring manager will offer you a salary and a benefits package. The ball is now in your court. Do not take this first offering. Accepting an offer is not a negotiation.
Negotiate the compensation package. Here are key tips to remember when negotiating: Make sure you know what the national average pay scale is for the job you are applying for. Also make sure you know what the company's pay scales are and how they work. This way you know if you are getting a good deal by the companies standards and by national standards. Currently, the national median for a Quality Assurance Manager is $89,584. Negotiate the base salary first. Once this has been agreed upon, then go for additional compensation. Items that may be controversial you will want to bring up last. If there are any hesitations by the hiring manager about these last requests, back off quickly. They are typically the least important items. Remember that you are both on the same side. Neither wants the other to resent what decisions are made at this juncture of the negotiation. Make sure to have the hiring manager make the first bid. Sometimes they can be very persistent. They may come back with, "What was your last salary?" Do not let this sway you. You should start a little high and ask for benefits. This allows the hiring manager flexibility in the negotiations. Be reasonable in your requests. Do not get greedy. Ask for what you are worth and be firm.