Salary negotiations are unnerving for both employees and employers but employers are more aware that they are a wrong figure away from losing a desired position or cheating themselves out of what they truly deserve. What you ask for during a salary negotiation doesn’t just influence how much you earn—it also tells your future employer whether you’re good at negotiating, which is a skill you can put to work for the employer once you’re hired.

Think of a salary negotiation as your chance to shine. The person on the other side of the desk is evaluating you, for more than the skills required to do the job. This is going to show you’re astute in dealing with the outside world. When you get the offer, don’t let your guard down—you’re still on the firing line. Feel confident, because they’ve come to you with an offer.

To make sure you get all you deserve, you should consider asking these questions:

Questions about the job

1. Request for a detailed job description

2. Request a start date, and don’t be in a haste to say you will start immediately it makes you come off as desperate and will go against you in the negotiations

Questions about the company

3. Ask how and when will you will be evaluated, and whether there will be an increase on the basis of that evaluation

4. Ask for details regarding benefits on the job, like health insurance etc

Questions about the offer

5. Ask whether the offer is a firm offer, in other words whether they are actually giving you the job or whether its part of the assessment.

6. Ask whether the salary they offer initially is negotiable. If it’s not, you can go ahead to negotiate other things

7. Is this base only? Asking if the figure you’re offered is total compensation or base compensation lets the interviewer know you’re interested in the details of bonuses.

8. Politely ask that they put the offer in writing. This is to remedy a situation whereby the interview offer is different from what they actually pay once you have accepted the position.

As you ask these questions, keep in mind that in addition to gathering necessary information, you’re showing your new boss that you’re a good negotiator. You want them to know they’re smart to offer you the job, but you’re not going to come cheap.