Pandemic leads to online job interviews, salary negotiation

Sarah Pinkerton | Photographer

By Annaleise Parson | Staff Writer

As the pandemic made remote interviews by either Zoom and Skype more common, job candidates have a few more steps to complete in order to stand out professionally in interviews.

Shelby Cefaratti-Bertin, the marketing coordinator for the Baylor Career Center, recommends students have a clean, blank background either virtually or within their space, keep their computer plugged in and
dress professionally.

“Some people say, ‘Well, you just have to dress professionally from the waist up; you can be wearing jeans or pajamas from the waist down.’ No, think about it as a uniform. You want to be fully prepared,” Cefaratti-Bertin said. “You want your hair to be done; your tie to be tightened, all of those details at the time.”

Cefaratti-Bertin said remote interviews by Zoom, Skype or other video platforms are going to become more common in the industry as more people learned how to use the platforms during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Online remote interviews also provide the opportunity for the job candidate to share documents during the meeting such as their cover letter and resume rather than having the interviewer shuffle their papers during an in-person interview.

The Career Center has staff available to help students through the process of salary negotiation, as well. Students from all majors are welcome, from freshman year to graduate school, and can also receive aid with resumes, graduate school applications, internships and networking opportunities.

One of the most common questions asked in job interviews is about the candidate’s goal salary for the position and how much the candidate will be paid. Once candidates are offered a job with a salary amount, there is room for negotiation. Amy Rylander, the assistant director at the Career Center, said salary negotiation is far more than just pay and involves both research and a credible reason for requesting more money on the candidate’s part.

“Salary is not the only piece of the offer that you can negotiate. Look to vacation or paid time off, signing bonuses, annual bonuses and moving allowances,” Rylander said. “All these items can potentially be included in an offer and can be negotiated.”

Rylander also said the timing of the negotiation must be done carefully in order for the candidate to maximize their options.

“Be careful about being a ‘serial’ negotiator,” Rylander said. “All negotiation requests you make need to be made at the same time.”