JobTrak

PHONE INTERVIEWS

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?

-Misty

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

ASKING FOR A RAISE

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

Director

Governor’s Intern Program

Governor’s Office

NEGOTIATE

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?

-Christy

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

Tellabs

www.tellabs.com

Students can submit their job searching questions to:

Keri Resh Kraft

JOBTRAK.COM

1964 Westwood Blvd, Third Floor

Los Angeles, CA 90025

[email protected]

or visit the JOBTRAK Career Forum at http://www.jobtrak.com/forum/

For other advice see the Job Search Tips at www.jobtrak.com

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