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Q. I have a telephone interview coming up and I have a concern. Is it appropriate to ask the interviewer if I can contact them instead of them contacting me? I live with a lot of people and the living situation isn’t that great, how should I tell that to the interviewer?


A. That depends on the employer. Some employers don’t like to be rushed; on the other hand, I wouldn’t jeopardize the job because you’re afraid to ask. I would suggest explaining the situation to the employer in a professional, appropriate manner, e.g. ‘My roommates aren’t always the most reliable at passing on messages. Would it be OK if I call you back in about a week?’ Be prepared for them to be less than cooperative, however, and try tackling your living problems instead. Why do you feel your roommates might hinder your chances of getting a job? It might be time to explain firmly to your roommates that this job prospect is important to you, and ask that they do you the courtesy of taking down accurate messages and being polite to callers. If all else fails, consider getting a phone option with your own extension, or even your own phone line. Good luck!

Gwendolen Blackburn-Gray

Graphics and Production Manager

University Directories


Q. Recently, I have been considering asking for a raise at my current job. It has been almost a year since my last evaluation and salary raise. I have taken on additional job responsibilities, but no additional compensation has been offered. I am hesitating to request a raise because lately my agency has undergone some major funding cutbacks. About two-thirds of my co-workers had to be laid off. Is it worth asking for a salary raise? -G

A. You can always negotiate, and the worst thing you could possibly hear is no. I am guessing here, but I think that the organization you are with is a non-profit. As a government employee, I understand that environment. You want more in a place where budgets are tight. It sounds as though you are doing a good job, but they may really not have a lot to offer you in terms of a raise. You can always look elsewhere, but be sure of one thing: If you threaten them by saying that you may leave, be prepared for them to call your bluff and show you the door.

Ryan Tucker


Governor’s Intern Program

Governor’s Office


Q. I will be getting an offer from a company as an entry-level staff accountant. Although I am coming in as an entry level, I have 10 years extensive background in accounting and feel that I should get above the industry standard starting salary. Should I negotiate before I sign the contract?


A. Before the offer is closed is the only time that you CAN negotiate! When you approach the employer to negotiate, state your case, citing your extensive background and related experience and skills. Be specific. The stronger business case you make, the more likely it is that the employer will support you.

Julie Cunningham

Manager, Global College Relations


Students can submit their job searching questions to:

Keri Resh Kraft


1964 Westwood Blvd, Third Floor

Los Angeles, CA 90025

[email protected]

or visit the JOBTRAK Career Forum at

For other advice see the Job Search Tips at


JOBTRAK.COM is the dominant player in the college job listing and resume markets. The company has formed partnerships with and provides private-label, co-branded job listing and resume databases for more than 1,000 college and university career centers, alumni associations and MBA programs nationwide. More than 500,000 employers have utilized JOBTRAK.COM to target college students and alumni for internships, full-time and part-time employment opportunities, and, in 1999, more than 300,000 job listings representing over 900,000 job openings were posted on its site. JOBTRAK.COM has in excess of 50,000 visits to its web site daily from job-seeking students, graduates and experienced professionals. Forbes Magazine recently rated JOBTRAK.COM ‘best site for students and graduates looking for their first job or internship.’

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