Category Archives: 1. The Scoop

Answering the Dreaded Salary Question… Ace That Online Job Interview… From The New York Times Questions Not to Ask in Job Interviews

Answering the Dreaded Salary Question

“What are your salary expectations?” may well be the diciest question job seekers are asked. How does one frame the response so that the salary range is not too high to turn off the potential employer or so low that it will drag down your income indefinitely?

The first thing to remember is that being asked about salary expectations is standard, but being asked about current salary is actually illegal in some states. Therefore, it pays to know your region’s regulations.

Because all job seekers know the question is likely to come up, preparation is key. Experts recommend the following strategies:

  • Research typical salaries for the job title and geographic location of the position. Factor in your skill level and any other unique qualities you bring to the table before tossing out a number.
  • Know your needs. Determine the amount you need to sustain yourself.
  • Ask for details of additional benefits. The amount an employer chips in for health care, child care, bonuses, or stock options can affect the final salary figure.
  • Delay your answer. If you do not know enough about the position yet, respond by saying you can’t answer until you know more about the total compensation package.
  • Respond with a range of salaries. Rather than picking a single figure, provide the potential employer with a salary range you would find acceptable.

From Insider

Ace That Online Job Interview

Online interviews are much like in-person meetings, so prepare by conducting pre-interview research.

  •  Investigate the firm. Visit sites such as Glassdoor or Indeed to learn about what employees say about their company. Pour over the organization’s website and social media to find out what the company says about itself.
  • Scope out the interviewer. If you know who will be interviewing you, visit LinkedIn to learn about the interviewer’s background and current position.
  • Prepare your interview space. Make sure lighting, camera angle, clothing, and background show you as a professional. Also try using your communication technology before the interview to ensure you are comfortable with it.
  • Practice answers. If you’ve never been on an interview, locate lists of typical questions and rehearse your answers ahead of time.
  • Focus on your value. Be prepared to convey what your specific skill set can bring to the organization rather than what the organization can do for your career.
  • Ask the interviewer questions. Make sure you have questions to ask at the end of the meeting. Jot down questions that arise during the interview, too.
  • Send a thank-you e-mail. Use specifics from the interview in your follow-up e-mail, which should go out within 24 hours after the interview.

Finally, remember that each interview helps prepare you for the next one. Learn from each experience.

From The New York Times

Questions Not to Ask in Job Interviews

It’s common knowledge that interviewees should have a list of questions to ask at the end of or during an interview. But here are some questions to avoid.

  1. Personal questions (Are you single? Is that a picture of your child?)
  2. Easily researched questions (What does your company do? Is your company eco-conscious?)
  3. Self-involved questions (Will I have my own office? Will I have to work long hours? Did I land the job?)
  4. Gossipy questions (Are the rumors about a buyout true? Is it true you promote from within the organization?)

However, it is okay to ask about the next steps in the hiring process.

From Insider

Faculty Burnout Blazes…Ta-Ta, Open Offices… LinkedIn Offers New Tool

Faculty Burnout Blazes

Between the pandemic, childcare issues, increased workload, and heightened expectations, faculty members are not in good shape. The risk for burnout is always high in academia, but now that risk is higher than ever. Instructors have had to move courses to a new platform, learn new technologies, avoid becoming ill—all while dealing with their personal lives.

Burnout, which includes mental health issues and disillusionment with work, occurs when people feel they have no control over their outcomes. The pressures of being on-call to students, caring for and teaching their own children, and high expectations from institutions combine to make this period especially challenging for all faculty.

Experts advise coping skills to ward off burnout:

  • Don’t compare yourself to others.
  • Know you are not alone.
  • Recognize more work does not always equal productive work.
  • Find space to recharge.
  • Focus on teaching instead of research.

From InsideHigherEd

Ta-Ta, Open Offices

Another fallout from the pandemic may be the beloved open office format tech companies have embraced for several decades. In its place is the “dynamic workplace.”

With many workers toiling at home, open offices have become akin to ghost towns, and  managers have been forced to rethink where their workers work. Organizations are talking about a “dynamic workplace,” in which fewer people come into the office on a given day and rotate being on-site with working remotely. These changes have obliterated the need for huge open spaces as a way to engender spontaneous interaction.

This new dynamic workspace will include moveable, soundproofed pods instead of fixed desks and café-style seating with outlets and wireless charging. To foster social distancing, workplaces will install sensors to track the number of people in an area and no-contact employee sign-in stations.

Whether companies even need the huge office spaces they currently use is up for grabs. Once the pandemic is over, it’s likely that a central location with workers huddled together will be no more.

From The Wall Street Journal

LinkedIn Offers New Tool

In addition to a new look, LinkedIn has added a tool that allows users to post minute-by-minute updates that disappear in 24 hours, called Stories.

Created to share “lightweight conversations” related to an individual’s worklife, the feature allows people to casually discuss their careers. This leads to providing career coaches a way to share spontaneous advice for job seekers.

But experts warn that the new feature looks and acts a lot like Snapchat or Instagram and users should not be tempted to post pictures of meals or overshare. Neither should Stories be used to denigrate a boss or an organization. Instead, users should use the platform to post questions to their network, provide insights on breaking news, and offer tips for developing new skills.

From Business Insider



Make Synchronous Teaching More Effective… Stay Focused When Working at Home… Facebook Returns to Its College Roots

Make Synchronous Teaching More Effective

Moving physical classrooms online comes with many challenges. However, instructors who teach in a synchronous setting can improve outcomes with a few strategies.

  1. Ask students to complete a task before scheduled class sessions. Then discuss that exercise during class.
  2. Require attendees to turn on cameras upon entering the session if their wi-fi and camera connections allow them to do so. Explain why seeing their faces helps you connect with your students.
  3. Remind students to mute their microphones when not speaking. This will avoid broadcasting background noise.
  4. Greet students as they “enter” class. A simple wave or a smile and a hello can do a lot to help students feel they are part of a community.
  5. Preface the class with an overview of what the day’s lesson will entail. Start class by telling students what they’ll be doing.
  6. Vary activities, and keep them short. It’s difficult for students to sit still through a long lecture. Break up the tedium for them (and you!) by changing activities several times.


Stay Focused When Working at Home

To quote BB King, the thrill is gone. Working from home has become more and more difficult the longer the pandemic goes on, and that’s bad for concentration. As the interruptions mount, experts offer ways to get back to business.

Control distractions. Silence alerts on phones and other devices, which can distract even the most dedicated worker. Turning off wi-fi can also help focus and minimize the temptation to check e-mail or social media.

Buy key supplies. Noise-canceling headphones and white noise machines can help block distractions. Stock up on sticky notes to jot down reminders, too.

Plan the day. Write down the day’s goals. Stick to working toward one goal at a time.

Schedule breaks. Use breaks to check e-mail, eat, and to conduct other at-home responsibilities.

Clear a workspace. Avoid working on a bed. Have a comfortable chair with proper back support and a spot on which to place your computer.

Finally, take care of yourself. Get enough sleep and avoid overeating, which can make you sluggish.

From The Wall Street Journal

Facebook Returns to Its College Roots  

Facebook, which started in 2004 as a way for college students to communicate but long ago morphed into the world’s meeting place, announced a new platform dedicated solely to college students. Facebook Campus is designed to allow students within an institution to share content that can only be seen by others attending that school.

Featuring chat rooms and a news feed for updates about fellow classmates, Facebook Campus will also publicize a campus’s future events and contains a campus directory. However, participants in that directory must opt-in—the app will not automatically populate with all student names.

The new platform has been adopted at some notable campuses including Brown, California Institute of Technology, Johns Hopkins, and Rice.