Don’t start negotiations by putting your employer on edge. Start easy: “When can I get into the 401(k) match?” This is a basic question with a clear, predetermined answer. You’re warming up your employer and easing into the questions that are most important. Throw out another easy question that keeps the conversation on the right foot. The third question can focus on what was placed on the top of your priority list. If it’s about your bonuses and its criteria, then ask for clarification on the issue. From there, alternate between a tough and easy question. When you open the dialogue about your base pay, be firm in asking if your employer can do any better. Be sure to resell yourself by restating your experience and value to the company.