Hit The Books


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Posted Online: Oct. 06, 2011, 3:19 pm
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By Dawn Klingensmith CTW Features

Most job seekers show up to interviews well prepared to talk about themselves. Not so many arrive prepared to talk about their prospective new employer.

Knowing little or nothing about a company is a common mistake. Nearly four in 10 hiring authorities polled said lack of knowledge about the company was the most common shortcoming among interviewees, according to a survey of 1,000 senior managers by the global staffing agency Accountemps, Menlo Park, Calif.

By comparison, 20 percent said the most common error was being unprepared to discuss skills and experience, followed by inability to discuss career plans and goals (14 percent); not making eye contact (10 percent); arriving late (9 percent); and lacking enthusiasm (9 percent).

“Knowing about an organization’s services, history, goals and business challenges when you walk into an interview shows initiative and will allow you to make a stronger case for how you can contribute to the firm’s success,” says Accountemps chairman Max Messmer. “Thorough preparation also helps jobseekers ask the right questions to determine if the opportunity is a good fit.”

What sort of information are job candidates expected to know? “At the most basic level, visit the company website to find out who they are and what they do,” says Steven Raz, co-founder and managing partner, Cornerstone Search Group, Parsippany, N.J.

Understand the products or services a company offers and a bit about the company’s mission and history, including major milestones.

Candidates should also be up to speed on recent news involving the company. The website may have a section with news releases and press coverage. Candidates can also do a Google News search and check Twitter for mentions. (You don’t need a Twitter account to conduct a search.)

Candidates should find out who the company’s competitors are and what challenges the industry as a whole, and the company in particular, are up against, says Brett Good, senior district president, Accountemps. Check the company’s Facebook page and the LinkedIn profiles of the hiring manager and key employees.

Perhaps most important, understand why the organization is hiring, says Good. Companies seek additional staff for just a handful of reasons: to identify new revenue streams, preserve clients, increase productivity or efficiency, or to satisfy regulatory requirements.

“Think about how your role fits into one of those categories or buckets,” he says, “and how your skill set can bring about the desired results.”














 



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  Today is Wednesday, April 23, the 113th day of 2014. There are 252 days left in the year.

1864 — 150 years ago: Some persons are negotiating for 80 feet of ground on Illinois Street with a view of erecting four stores thereon. It would serve a better purpose if the money was invested in neat tenement houses.
1889 — 125 years ago: The Central station, car house and stables of the Moline-Rock Island Horse Railway line of the Holmes syndicate, together with 15 cars and 42 head of horses, were destroyed by fire. The loss was at $15,000.
1914 — 100 years ago: Vera Cruz, Mexico, after a day and night of resistance to American forces, gradually ceased opposition. The American forces took complete control of the city.
1939 — 75 years ago: Dr. R. Bruce Collins was reelected for a second term as president of the Lower Rock Island County Tuberculosis Association.
1964 — 50 years ago: Work is scheduled to begin this summer on construction of a new men's residence complex and an addition to the dining facilities at Westerlin Hall at Augustana College.
1989 — 25 years ago: Special Olympics competitors were triple winners at Rock Island High School Saturday. The participants vanquished the rain that fell during the competition, and some won their events; but most important, they triumphed over their own disabilities.




(More History)