Interview Small Talk Makes a Big Impression

“Oh, I notice you went to Whittier College. So did I.” “You were at Disney for two years? I worked for Disney, too.” “Toastmasters? I’m in Toastmasters, too.” All of the above are opening gambits that I’ve used while interviewing candidates. They often were greeted with an “uh huh” while the interviewee waited for a

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A Free-Agent Outlook Can Hurt Your Career

In his book “Free Agent Nation” (Warner Books, 2001), Daniel H. Pink focused on the more than 30 million Americans who, for a variety of reasons, have abandoned traditional employment and the idea of a job that lasts a lifetime. The free-agency movement promotes the notion that — because the loyalty contract between employers and

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Do Technology Experts Make Good Managers?

Even in the current uncertain environment, the U.S. economy is driven by nerds — a term that recently morphed from an insult into a quasi-compliment. Nerds specialize in computer science, mathematics, electrical engineering, physics, biophysics, molecular biology, nanotechnology, bio-nano and who knows what. They are smart, sometimes arrogant, and not necessarily the most sociable folks

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What I Learned From A Year of Free Agency

In 1998 I found myself, for the first time in my career, a “free agent,” meaning that I was not a “regular” employee anywhere; in fact, I was untethered to any organization and loosened upon the world. Fortunately, my spouse works, so I wasn’t desperate to accept just anything. I had his health insurance and

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The Language of Success, For Boom Times or Bust

Some people believe that the New York Stock Exchange’s Richard Grasso and the New York Times’s Howell Raines were forced out because they didn’t bother to update how they conduct themselves in these troubled times. Could it be that professional arrogance, denial and self-aggrandizement are bad for business? If you read the business news, you

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Discerning the Truth In Employment Data

Just as it’s been the principal benchmark that financial markets have used to evaluate the economic recovery for the past three years, job creation has become the central economic focus of the U.S. presidential campaign. Benjamin Disraeli’s statement on the three types of lies is appropriate because the way in which the employment statistics are

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Business Networking Online Can Advance Your Career

When networking is mentioned as a job hunting or career-advancement tool, you probably think of industry or professional meetings with picked-over hors d’oeuvres and people wearing “Hello, I’m…” name tags. The mere specter of working a room this way can cause even the most practiced executive to break out in a sweat.

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A Job-Hunter’s Guide To Executive Recruiters

Confusion about how recruiters operate has put many a career at a disadvantage. Executives in transition can’t afford to let faulty assumptions foul up their prospects. Knowing how the search industry operates will make you a better, more successful candidate. To help you get the facts straight, here’s a guide to working with recruiters based

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Cultivate a New Appreciation For Online-Screening Tools

It isn’t uncommon for employers to receive more than 500 applications for a single job. Many companies have databases containing more than 1 million resumes. To manage these huge volumes, companies increasingly are using online staffing-assessment tools to screen and select candidates. These questionnaires and tests allow companies to sort through hundreds of applications rapidly

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One Question, And Plenty of Debate

It is a hot business idea of the moment, a growth formula embraced by General Electric Co., American Express Co., Progressive Corp. and many others. But a growing chorus of skeptics question the value of the “net promoter” concept advocated by consulting firm Bain & Co., market researcher Satmetrix Systems Inc. and author Fred Reichheld.

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Opportunity Knocks, And It Pays a Lot Better

Managers like to say employees leave companies because of bad bosses or lack of career growth. A new report suggests a more straightforward reason: money. In a survey of about 1,100 U.S. employees, 71% of top performers listed pay among the top three reasons they would consider leaving their employer. Yet in a sister survey

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Pre-Hire Tests Aim To Stop ‘Fakers’

Psychology professor Richard Griffith is on a mission to stop “fakers.” To Dr. Griffith, of the Florida Institute of Technology, fakers are people who misrepresent themselves on personality tests increasingly used to screen applicants for entry-level jobs at call centers, retail stores and other customer-service positions. The tests typically ask candidates to agree or disagree

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Reaching Out to Recruiters As You Work Your Way Up

Developing strong ties with executive recruiters can pay off. Many organizations rely on them for help in finding senior talent and negotiating job offers. We asked Kimberly Bishop, senior client partner in the New York office of Korn/Ferry International, for advice on how to initiate and nurture lasting relationships with search professionals. Prior to joining

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Legal Trends: Prevent Now or Pay Later

Recently the Supreme Court issued two decisions that attracted a great deal of attention. These decisions will make it easier for employees to sue and will provide them with an incentive to do so. However, they also give employers insight into ways to avoid harassment or end it before it becomes an actionable offense.

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