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 Friday, April 18, the 108th day of 2014. There are 257 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: A new steamer, Keithsburg, now is at our levee taking on board the balance of her fixtures preparatory to assuming her position on the daily Rock Island and Keokuk line.
1889 -- 125 years ago: C.W. Hawes was appointed deputy county clerk by county clerk Donaldson.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Mrs. O.E. child, of Moline, was named president of the Women's Home Missionary Society of the Methodist Church Rock Island District of the Central Illinois conference.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Augustana College is making plans for a drive for funds to erect a field house and make football field improvements.
1964 -- 50 years ago: A expanded election coverage system featuring a 16-foot chalkboard showing up to the minute running totals, attracted a large and enthusiastic crowd to The Argus newsroom last night.
1989 -- 25 years ago: Balloons frame Rock Island attorney Stewart Winstein who was given a surprise party in the rotunda of the Rock Island County Courthouse on Thursday to honor his 50th year of practicing law.




(More History)