Have a competing offer

The best way to negotiate a better salary is to have a job offer from another company.  I know, in this job market it's tough enough to get one offer, but I'd thought I'd mention it.  If the company really wants you and you can say "Well, I'd like to come here but your competitor offered me $3,000 a year more...", you are in a great negotiating position.  So my advice is to keep looking and interviewing even if you think you are getting close to being hired by one company.  A second offer (even if you don't want to work there) is your strongest negotiating card.

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