Tag Archives: Talent

Breaking Out Of Long-Term Unemployment | Glassdoor.com

It’s especially difficult when one encounters HR staff and recruiters that are clueless to what happened in 2009.

Breaking Out Of Long-Term Unemployment

Posted by Yahoo! Hot Jobs • April 22nd, 2010

Long-term unemployment can wreak havoc on a person’s sense of self-worth and well-being. Worse, big resume gaps, or current unemployment, may also mark a job seeker as “damaged goods” and make a long job search even longer.

“I wouldn’t say the bias [against hiring the unemployed] is pervasive, but too many hiring managers don’t realize that the world has changed and that people have had a hard time finding jobs through no fault of their own,” says Cheryl Ferguson, president of Recruiter’s Studio and recruiter for Decision Toolbox.

Throw in the towel? Don’t even think about it, career experts say. They suggest these practical steps to help even the most discouraged unemployed job seeker get motivated and beat the odds.

1. Check your mental attitudes.
It’s a vicious circle: the longer you’re out of work, the more anxious, insecure, or depressed you may be–and this can hurt your chances of landing a job. “Attitude is a crucial part of the job search, and unfortunately it’s easy to be caught up in negative mental self-talk, especially with the media telling us how terrible everything is,” says Helaine Z. Harris, a Los Angeles-based psychotherapist.

If anxiety or depression is significant, don’t be afraid to seek counseling. If that’s not an option, simple calming breaths and even meditation can be effective, Harris says. “It’s essential to relax and clear the mind, so you’ll know the right actions to take and be able to magnetize the opportunities you want.” Connecting with nurturing friends and sharing your feelings about being unemployed can also help if you’re feeling isolated.

2. Move your body.
There’s documented evidence that physical exercise improves mental health and reduces anxiety. And a gym regimen or even daily walks around the neighborhood can help your job-search efforts by adding structure to your day. “Regular exercise creates more self-discipline and shows that you can do hard things, which makes it easier to handle tasks like making difficult phone calls,” says Penelope Trunk, creator of the social network site Brazen Careerist.

3. Step away from the computer.
Job boards and social networking sites such as Twitter can be helpful, but they are not the only ways to connect. And relying on them can perpetuate the unemployment “hermit” trap. “If you’ve been out of circulation for a while, you have to remind people you’re still around,” Ferguson says. “You’re also likely to be a little rusty in networking, so it’s important to get out once or twice a week, at least, for a face-to-face meeting, lunch, or networking event.”

4. Re-examine employment strategies and tactics.
With a clearer mind, an energized body, and a fuller social calendar, you can better gauge the effectiveness of your search. Career coach and author Dr. Marty Nemko urges unemployed job hunters to not assume they’ve been doing everything right:

“Are you really spending 30 hours a week job searching? Do you have a job-search buddy, so you can be accountable to each other? Are you active in your professional association, in-person and online? After an interview, have you sent a proposal that explains what you’d do for the employer? Have you followed up relentlessly with warm leads? If you’ve done all of those things and still aren’t getting a job, you probably need to change your job target to a more in-demand job title or a lower-level job,” says Nemko.

5. Fill the resume gap.
A resume should be a history of things you’ve accomplished, not necessarily a chronology of things you’ve been paid for, according to Trunk. With that philosophy, there’s no reason to have a gap in your resume. “There are very few professions where you have to be on the payroll in order to do the work,” Trunk says. “If you’re a programmer, write a patch on your own time. If you’re a shoe designer, design your own shoes. Just do it. You’ll have something to show on the resume, and you’ll be taking back your power.” (See all HotJobs articles about resumes.)

6. Don’t be defensive about unemployment.
You’ve been out of work for a while. So what? So have many of the other candidates. “Don’t hide the fact you’ve been unemployed,” says John M. McKee, job coach and founder of BussinessSuccessCoach.net. “People won’t hire others who are prickly.”

McKee adds that you might need to stop saying the word “unemployed” if the word is getting in your way. Trunk agrees: “When someone asks what you’re doing now, don’t say you’re out of work, because you’re not. You’re just not getting paid. Talk about the projects you’ve done and what you’re learning, and then mention, ‘I’m looking for a paid position like this.’”–Larry Buhl, for Yahoo! HotJobs

via Breaking Out Of Long-Term Unemployment | Glassdoor.com Blog.

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55% of Medical Device Industry Professionals Looking for New Job in New Year

I’m using the author’s headline.  The stats are 28% are “unemployed/actively looking” (aka me) + 28% are “Strong Possibility”  = 54%.  Still, that’s a lot of people that may go into play.  We won’t know until confidence picks-up.  It’s easy to say that you’re “out the door” but it’s another thing to actually walk out that door.

[I made the charts as big as I could so that you can read the data, sorry if it doesn’t look pretty]

Orlando, FL – January 8, 2010

55% of Medical Device Industry Professionals Looking for New Job in New Year
27% of Medical Device Industry Executives Will “Definitely” Pursue New Employment in 2010; 28% Indicate “Strong Possibility.”  Only 22% are committed to staying in current role.

According to a poll of 2000 medical industry professionals randomly surveyed January 4-7, 2010, more than half are looking at 2010 as the year to make a job change.

The study posed the question: “What is the likelihood you will change jobs in 2010?”

Overall, 26% of the respondents polled answered that that were either “unemployed” or “actively looking.” Thirty-one percent answered that they were happy in their current situation bur are keeping their options open.

Most telling may be the final category: only 11% expected no change in their employment under any circumstances in 2010

Paula Rutledge, President of Legacy MedSearch, a retained search firm working exclusively in medical device recruitment, was not surprised by the results.  “For the past eighteen months, professionals in all aspects of the medical industry have had to work harder – many times for less pay and with fewer resources – to make up for reductions in staff.  I’m not certain if this trend is sustainable with the first glimmers of hope in medical starting to become evident.  Many pharmaceutical and large capital equipment companies will continue to contract through 2010, evidenced the Pfizer (400) and Merck (500) layoffs announced January 7. However, with all the ‘fat’ cut away from most companies, there will be a slight increase in hiring, particularly in the customer-facing functions (sales & marketing), and those professions associated with patient-issues (quality, regulatory, compliance, and clinical affairs).”

Bureau of Labor Statistics January Report Shows Mixed Results
Even with a slight edge up in the January 2010 initial jobless claims (up 1,000 from the previous week of 433,000), the 4 week moving average continues a downward trend and jobless claims in twelve states, including California, actually declined. The unemployment rate still hovers at over 10%,1

That said, the medical device industry, with a higher employment pool of college graduates more likely mirrors the overall unemployment rate of 4.6% posted for management, professional and related occupations 2

Medical Device Sales Executives “Most Discontent”
In a breakdown of the poll results by Title, a mere 9% of healthcare sales professionals are completely satisfied with their current position – and this excludes pharmaceutical sales representatives who have seen mass lay-offs for nearly three years.

Age Makes a Difference
One anonymous respondent who had been laid off in 2009 commented: “Over 80% of the people using outplacement services were at least 50. It’s all about companies saving salary & pension dollars and so many of us are not ready or able to retire.”


In terms of the perception of job prospects, the baby boomers are split down the middle, with 51% actively looking or choosing to keep their options open.

Those options include uplifting roots and relocating to the right stable job, says an anonymous Graphics Designer.  “I am a technical designer and was laid off 3 times in 17 months. It is simply getting ridiculous. I finally found a job, but took a huge step back. I’m at the point where I’d relocate to a job (in a desirable area) if it had a stable future and the sky was the limit.”

Legacy MedSearch plans to keep the poll active through January, and the poll results can be seen here.

About Legacy MedSearch
Legacy MedSearch is a retained recruitment firm focused exclusively on Medical Device & Technology with an emphasis on Engineering, QA/RA and Clinical Affairs, Product and Marketing Management, R&D and Sales.

via 55% of Medical Device Industry Professionals Looking for New Job in New Year « Legacy MedSearch blog.

The Elusive Right Path to Offshoring Engineering

First it was IT and transactional functions. Now its Engineering’s turn.  Same horse, different rider. If you have followed the whole offshoring conversation, there is nothing new here but this article is a tight and tidy summary of the pitfalls and some of the considerations.

I’m a Total Cost of Ownership (TOC) fanatic, so I tend to remind folks that is not just about the immediate cost.  Always step and look that the big picture and the affect of “collateral damage”, remedial activity, governance, contingencies, insurance, additional overhead, etc…  All those costs are part the decision and the cost in going offshore.

Now if you’re really super-cool, you’ll also do some formal risk analysis and weigh the cost of failure(s) and value key intangibles into your decision model.  Heh, but that’s for the advanced class…

BTW, I thoroughly enjoy reading strategy+business, strongly recommend.

The Elusive Right Path to Engineering Offshoring
Farming out product design and development can be a risky venture, as many organizations have learned the hard way. Here are five steps to making it work.

Few companies today would hesitate to outsource routine operations like IT services, call centers, or back office functions, but farming out engineering and product development is difficult or off-limits for most companies, and rightfully so. By their very nature, engineering and R&D are mission critical. What comes out of these units — the hits or misses, the innovation or lack of it — often determines the future of the larger organization. Letting another company, particularly an enterprise thousands of miles away, handle engineering tasks could be an invitation to disaster. Everything from knowledge transfer — dispensing a company’s design and development procedures and preferences to an outsourcing firm — to quality of work may suffer when the supervision of far-flung engineers in offshore locations is left to vendors often woefully ill-equipped to manage complex projects or adequately meet the client company’s needs.

Yet, despite its clear downside, engineering outsourcing has been slowly gaining in popularity over the past decade and is expected to be a business worth US$150 billion a year by 2020, which would make it five times larger than it is today. In most cases, companies are seeking to cut costs for an expensive activity. Engineering R&D can run anywhere from 3 to 10 percent of revenues, depending on the industry.

Western companies are also increasingly interested in tapping local engineers in emerging nations to develop products suited in culture and language to the needs of consumers in areas of the world where sales are growing. When companies fail to outsource these activities to regional operators, wasteful errors occur that would be laughable if they weren’t so expensive to mitigate. For example, a German machine tool company recently attempted to design, entirely in Europe, a product destined for the Brazilian market. As a result, drawings, service manuals, and equipment tags were improperly translated. One instruction was supposed to read, “Advance the ram,” but was translated into Portuguese as “Squeeze the goat.” That mistake and many similar ones ended up costing the German company dearly in reworking tags, text boxes, callouts, and service manuals and hindered sales of the new product in Brazil.

The largest engineering offshoring country is India, with about 25 percent market share, but China is also a big player and its influence in the sector will increase in the coming years; together, India and China graduate more than 800,000 new engineers each year, most of whom are willing to work at pay scales far below those enjoyed by their Western counterparts. The Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Brazil, Hungary, Ireland, and the Czech Republic are also notable engineering outsourcing countries. As for client firms, North American companies are the primary engineering outsourcers, accounting for 70 percent of the business, with Europe and Japan responsible for the rest.

Given that more and more companies will likely see the financial virtues in engineering outsourcing, which will overtake their hesitation about entering into such an arrangement, it’s worth considering what it takes to do it right. A successful program is predicated on doing five things well.

1. Choosing the Right Project
The best candidates for offshoring are engineering jobs whose scope, roles and responsibilities, and hardware and software needs are clearly delineated; that require minimal face-to-face interaction between clients and offshore resources; that require no interaction between offshore resources and end customers; that have carefully documented task maps and testing procedures; and that do not involve proprietary or classified activities.

Many companies make the mistake of picking projects to offshore by cost or complexity — the most expensive and tedious are farmed out. Unfortunately, it is only by luck that these criteria can produce successful projects. This was borne out recently when a consumer goods company decided that only the most costly engineering activities should automatically qualify for outsourcing, in part because the company believed their high price indicated that they were arduous and difficult to manage internally. But the project failed, producing no cost savings, precisely because the company was unable to grasp that managing the complexity of the engineering tasks required significant in-person interaction between client and vendor, as well as substantial vendor-supplied on-site resources. Moreover, the offshore vendor was attempting these difficult engineering tasks for the first time, adding a greater dimension of risk to the project.

2. Identifying the Appropriate Business Model
Typically, offshoring models for IT services or business processes are either vendor-run operations or captive arrangements, in which a company opens up its own offshore subsidiary. However, because engineering is a core function, many more models are possible that give companies a bigger stake in the remote operations and more control over the R&D activities. Besides vendor and captive sites, other approaches include captive with staff augmentation resource (a company has its own remote engineering facility that employs some staff from outside vendors); closed JV (a joint venture that exists only to serve the client company); tripartite JV (a joint venture among three companies — the client, the outsourcer, and an engineering design firm); open JV (a joint venture that serves the client company as well as other outfits); BOT (build, operate, and transfer — a vendor builds, runs, and staffs the outsourcing operation for the client for a period of time before selling it to the company); and reverse BOT or R-BOT (the client builds, runs, and staffs the outsourcing operation for a period of time before selling it off to a vendor to continue to operate it).

Each model has its pros and cons. For example, although concerns about protecting intellectual capital can be allayed by choosing the captive or the closed JV model, the level of investment and management to oversee either of these arrangements is often significantly higher than a straight vendor-run approach. As a result, companies that choose vendor-run models often do so for strategic value, such as tapping into the outsourcer’s mechanical engineering skills or to get access to an emerging market. In those cases, to the greatest degree possible, the client company would likely allow only in-house personnel to access intellectual property.

3. Teaming Up with the Right Vendors
The capabilities of the engineering services company should matter even more than price in selecting outsourcing partners. A low bid by itself is a poor predictor of whether a vendor can actually meet the requirements of the project. Companies considering engineering outsourcing should do a capabilities assessment through a carefully designed request for quotation (RFQ) or request for proposal (RFP) that includes questions about the vendor’s expertise in supporting the engineering processes required in the project; the number of full-time employees and the skill sets they possess; employee attrition; the vendor’s business model, experience, and pricing structure; and the anticipated number of resources needed on-site at the client’s facilities to learn the culture and tasks and transfer them to the outsourcing location (if many people are needed to support this aspect of the venture, it could raise the cost of the project significantly).

In a perfect example of how not to put together an RFQ/RFP, a U.S.-based Tier One automotive supplier distributed a skimpy, single-page questionnaire to seven offshore and onshore engineering vendors. Because the company showed little eagerness to have the vendors detail their true capabilities in a uniform way so they could be compared with one another, the exploratory process had little value. As a result, incumbent onshore vendors that were well known to the client won the bid and offshore companies that were considered the top experts in the field were shut out.

But the RFP is just one step in picking the right vendor. Once the top five vendors are identified through the questionnaire process, a robust interviewing and negotiating effort must follow. Companies should closely review vendor presentations related directly to the job at hand, visit vendor sites at offshore locations, and have numerous rounds of discussion relating to process, task completion, price, and ability.

4. Creating Iron-Clad Performance Metrics
Just as employees on the job are evaluated, the performance of contract companies must also be assessed. Surprisingly, in only rare instances do clients and vendors establish specific criteria for measuring performance, and when they do, the criteria are hardly ever enforced. Two approaches to metrics should be employed: service-level agreements (SLAs), which include incentives for good performance and penalties for underachievers, and key performance indicators (KPIs), which lack incentive plans. In general, it’s best to limit the SLA to three or four tangible and measurable items, such as project timing and scheduling or budget performance. By contrast, KPIs should reflect aspects of the job that can be readily monitored, such as employee attrition or the length of time it takes to resolve a problem. If improvements are needed in KPIs, they should be negotiated in collegial, not legalistic or contentious, discussions.

To their detriment, many companies define SLAs loosely and leave too much to interpretation, making these agreements difficult to enforce. Alternatively, client companies feel that negotiating or determining the best metrics to track is too time-consuming, so they choose easily achievable benchmarks or agree to the performance levels proposed by the vendors. Either way, the relationship sours when a couple of projects fail and the client company attempts to penalize the contracting outfit for failing to live up to the SLAs.

It is critical that SLAs and KPIs are planned, negotiated, and agreed on before the contract is signed. Contracts should include clear and concise definitions of expected work and performance levels; quantifiable and measurable benchmarks; who tracks performance, when, and how; how frequently these agreements are reviewed and perhaps renegotiated; and, in the case of SLAs, incentives and penalties.

5. Establishing a Strong Governance Structure
Governance is the most important pillar. Strategic and cost initiatives, including engineering outsourcing, are better managed when they are supervised by an executive who champions the project. In the case of engineering, the vice president of engineering or product development is the likely candidate to take on this job.

But the governance structure must go beyond just a single individual assigned to the effort. The most effective setup for an engineering outsourcing initiative includes a steering committee composed of key executives from both the client and vendor companies; a program management office made up of senior managers from IT, finance, engineering, and purchasing, among others, to review the project monthly or quarterly; and at the bottom of the pyramid, execution teams, including the client’s project managers and the vendor’s project team, to oversee daily and weekly activities.

One of the common mistakes that companies make in engineering outsourcing is failing to create a separate governance structure. More often than not, these initiatives are led by a vice president with multiple responsibilities and little time to pay much attention to the offshoring program. As a result, outsourcing-related issues are dealt with perhaps once a quarter under the umbrella of an operational meeting, which includes a slew of other organizational issues. The amount of time spent discussing any of these issues is usually driven by the urgency of the matter — projects in crisis get the most attention — and not its long-term importance. Such omnibus operational meetings are the wrong venues for granular discussions about outsourcing and whether it is delivering the anticipated value to the company.

A clear governance process not only increases the efficiency of sourcing initiatives but also ensures that objectives are met and financial benefits are realized. In addition, it can ensure that disputes and conflicts involving the engineering outsourcing agreement are resolved quickly, with little strain on the organization, and that the long-term relationships with contract companies are strong.

Clearly, engineering outsourcing comes with an array of risks that make it unpalatable for some companies. However, used wisely, engineering offshoring can give a company significant leverage over competitors, not only in lower labor costs but also in product and process innovation and through gaining a foothold in emerging markets. But given how critical engineering is to product design and development, offshoring and outsourcing cannot be taken lightly. By following the right steps, a robust and productive offshore engineering initiative can be built that will deliver the right outcome.

Author Profile:

  • Vikas Sehgal is a partner with Booz & Company based in Chicago. He specializes in product strategy, innovation, emerging markets strategy, and globalization for automotive, transportation, and industrial companies.
  • Sunil Sachan is a principal with Booz & Company based in Chicago. He specializes in engineering offshoring, globalization, product development, and innovation, with a focus on emerging markets.
  • Ron Kyslinger is general manager of manufacturing and director of corporate strategy for Comau Inc. Previously he was the senior manager of business strategy for Chrysler Corporation reporting to the office of the chairman.

via The Elusive Right Path to Engineering Offshoring.

  • Also contributing to this article were Heral Mehta, an associate with Booz & Company in Mumbai, and Sreedhar Vangavolu, a contractor with Booz & Company in Detroit.
  • Practical Job Search Advice: Give up salary history?

    I just love Liz.  She is so practical and down to Earth. There are just so many half-baked ideas out there on how to forecast performance of a new hire.

    Wednesday, December 23, 2009

    Give up salary history?

    Hi Liz,

    I learned about a position of interest and I emailed several LinkedIn
    connections asking about the co. and if they knew of an appropriate contact, to (tactfully) avoid the HR black hole. Each time I was told to contact their HR. I contacted HR and was told to complete an online app. I completed the app and drafted a very tailored cover/pain letter, customized my resume and submitted both online. I exceeded their experience by more than double and met their ed preference for a grad degree. At the bottom of the app after completing everything as I went to submit it, I was informed that I was subject to a background check and verification of salary/experience. I wasn’t thrilled about it but had invested a lot of time so I submitted the app. I received a call from
    HR asking me for my salary requirements – I gave the range and was told it was high and asked would I flex $10K? I wasn’t excited but said depending on their compensation package, I would. Then in spite of the years of direct experience I exceeded vs. their requirements, she
    commented that it had been several years since I’d performed the management areas needed by them ( in spite of having documented solid results for 4 companies on my resume), vs. what I’ve done with consulting the past few years.
    From her comments, it sounded as if they haven’t found the right person  – now I know why. I was starting to feel like I was getting attacked to bring me down.
    While I could commute, it would be 2-3 hours commute each way, so I told her I’d need to relo and wouldn’t commute. Right now I’m honestly ambivalent about this whole situation.

    Since I submitted the app acknowledging past salary/employment verification,  if I am contacted re: an interview or additional info, in spite of my favoring your recommendations to not disclose past salaries, do I have to provide company HR contacts for salary verification  or- can I provide an employee reference to verify salary? I won’t lie but I want to avoid HR.
    I also don’t want to disclose consulting income – do I say that’s privileged as part of my  tax reporting information?
    What else would you recommend addressing with this co. upfront before I commit to more time/meetings with them?

    Thanks, Liz,

    Carmen

    ———————- NOTE FROM LIZ:—————————

    Dear Carmen,

    You filled out an online application, and in that process you gave the employer permission to contact your past employers. That approval has NOTHING to do with your own disclosure of your past salaries or your consulting income. It is entirely up to you whether to say anything about that, or not.

    As you mentioned, I don’t see any reason for an employer to ask about your past salary, and I encourage job-seekers to keep that info to themselves. Here’s a little script for that conversation:

    THEM: So Carmen, what did you earn at ABC Plastics?
    YOU: I’m focusing on jobs in the $55K range, so if this position is in that
    ballpark, it makes sense for us to talk about it.
    THEM: But what were you earning at ABC Plastics?
    YOU (big smile in your voice): I think it’s important for us to determine
    together whether the job opening is in a range that works for me, and whether my skills and background work for you and would command a $55K job in your pay structure. Do you think that is something we could figure out in this phone call?
    YOU: Well, that number is in our range — it’s at the high end.
    YOU: That’s great, then, if you feel I’ve got the background that you’re looking for, let’s figure out what the next step is.

    You are already ambivalent about the job, and who can blame you? Who wants to commute hours every day? Your on-the-fence-ishness is one more reason to keep your past salary info to yourself. Don’t worry about giving the employer ways to verify your past salary. If you’ve already given them permission to get that info from your past employers, it’s up to them to do that spadework. Lots of them won’t bother, if your background fits the job requisition.

    As for consulting income, you don’t have to spill the beans on that, either. Why should you?

    Before you agree to more meetings, I’d get a straight answer on these questions:

    1) Is your desired salary in their target hiring range?
    2) Is there an opportunity for relo, or for you to telecommute, at least part of the time?
    3) Given the concerns that they expressed about your past management experience, what is about your background that makes you still a candidate for this job? (If they won’t give you a clear answer on this one, RUN!)

    Carmen, the biggest piece of advice I can give you is to trust your gut. If you’re qualified, you’re qualified. If you’re not, you’re not. Companies who put down their job candidates are not generally companies that anyone enjoys working for.

    Best,

    Liz

    via Practical Job Search Advice: Give up salary history?.

    Top Oddball Interview Questions Of 2009

    Just when you think that the job market could not get any more…

    Top Oddball Interview Questions Of 2009

    Posted by Glassdoor Team • December 30th, 2009

    //

    For anyone who has gone through a job interview lately – or perhaps in the past 40 years – you can expect certain questions like: ‘What are your greatest strengths?… and weaknesses?’ or ‘What are your career goals in the next five years?’. While any interviewee should be prepared to answer staple interview questions, in this market you had better be prepared to stand out and tackle the more thoughtful – and sometimes odd – questions.  Glassdoor.com career expert and HR veteran Rusty Rueff reminds us that interviews can be unpredictable and it’s important to be quick on your feet, express what’s important for the employer to know and beyond everything else, stay on your message.(Rusty provides some tips on Glassdoor blog on how to control the interview whether you receive a direct or curveball question.

    As we wrap up 2009 and its job-related ups and downs that look like a Richter scale report, we have identified our Top 25  oddball interview questions from the more than  14,000 interview questions submitted by job candidates through  Glassdoor.com Interview Reviews:

    1. What was your best McGuyver moment? – Schlumberger Junior Field Engineer
    2. How many tennis balls are in this room and why? – Yahoo Customer Service Rep
    3. If you were a brick in a wall which brick would you be and why? – Nestle USA Procurement Intern
    4. How would you move Mount Fuji? – Microsoft Software Development Engineer in Test
    5. If two cars are traveling in a two lap race on a track of any length, one going 60 mph and the other going 30mph, how fast will the slower car have to go to finish at the same car to finish at the same time? – Morgan Stanley Trader
    6. Are your parents disappointed with your career aspirations? – Fisher Investments Client Service Associate
    7. Tell me how you would determine how many house painters there are in the United States? –Acquity Group Business Analyst
    8. What should it cost to rent Central Park for commercial purposes? – Bain & Co Business Analyst
    9. If I put you in a sealed room with a phone that had no dial tone, how would you fix it? – Apple Software Engineer
    10. If you could be any animal, what would you be and why? – Pacific Sunwear Sales Associate
    11. How many hair salons are there in Japan? – Boston Consulting Associate
    12. If both a taxi and a limo were priced the exact same, which one would you choose? – Best Buy Customer Service
    13. How to measure 9 minutes using only a 4 minute and 7 minute hourglass? – Bank of America Quantitative Developer
    14. What are 5 uncommon uses of a brick, not including building, layering, or a paper-weight? – Kaplan Higher Education Data Analyst
    15. What is the probability of throwing 11 and over with 2 dices – American Airlines Financial Analyst
    16. What is your favorite food? – Apple Store Manager
    17. Say you are dead- what do you think your eulogy would say about you. – Nationwide Product Manager
    18. Given a dictionary of words, how do you calculate the anagrams for a new word? – Amazon Software Development Engineer
    19. How many lightbulbs are in this building? – Monitor Group Entry Interview
    20. Given a square grid of numbers, considering all the numbers at the boundary as one layer and numbers just inside as another layer and so on how would you rotate each of the layers of the numbers by a given amount. – Microsoft Engineer
    21. How would you sell me eggnog in Florida in the summer? – Expedia Market Manager
    22. Develop an algorithm for finding the shortest distance between two words in a document.  After the phone interview is over, take a few hours to develop a working example in C++ and send it to the manager. – Google Software Engineer
    23. Given a fleet of 50 trucks, each with a full fuel tank and a range of 100 miles, how far can you deliver a payload?  You can transfer the payload from truck to truck, and you can transfer fuel from truck to truck.  Extend your answer for n trucks. – Palantir Technologies Business Development Engineer
    24. You are in a room with 3 switches which correspond to 3 bulbs in another room and you don’t know which switch corresponds to which bulb. You can only enter the room with the bulbs once. You can NOT use any external equipment (power supplies, resistors, etc.). How do you find out which bulb corresponds to which switch? – Goldman Sachs X-Div/Back Office
    25. If you saw someone steal a quarter. Would you report it? – Amazon Shipping Manifest Clerk

    Would  you be prepared or ready to answer some of these questions?

    You can see how others answer these and other interview questions on Glassdoor.com job interview reviews, because keep in mind that according to Glassdoor users, 45% of those who made it to the interview process did not receive an offer. In addition you may need to speak with a number of different interviewers before you reach the person who has the authority to decide who gets hired. In fact we found that in order to get an interview, 42% had to detail their past job experience through online applications, 14% discussed their background with a recruiter and 3% percent went over past professional highlights with a staffing agency.

    Via: http://www.glassdoor.com/blog/top-oddball-interview-questions-2009

    Rethinking Happiness | PBS Video [free until 21-Jan-2010]

    Enjoyed seeing this one. Great timing.  Some interesting tools to cope and some fascinating insight on what does and does not help make us happy.

    One segment focused on a Lehman Brothers analyst and how he’s been coping with sudden unemployment and being forced into the Mr. Mom role.  I can relate to this one.

    Program: This Emotional Life

    Episode: Rethinking Happiness

    The last episode explores happiness. It is so critical to our well-being, and, yet, it remains such an elusive goal for many of us.

    Positive strategies to help us build resilience and lead fuller, happier lives

    Duration: (1:54:33)
    Premiere Date: 01/05/2010
    Episode Expires: Thu 21 Jan 2010
    TV Rating: NR

    Rethinking Happiness | This Emotional Life | PBS Video.

    Yes Virginia, there are legitimate biz uses for YouTube

    The CEO of GlaxoSmithKline delivered his report card via YouTube.  That sure beats sending an email or paper document.  I’m sure that an order of magnitude more staff and investors heard his message via this medium.  They have may actually listened and heard this time.

    This YouTube video is a fine example of what all this Web 2.0 hubbub can do for you and your business.  As a leader, this is  a great medium for getting your message out to the entire staff.  Let’s face it, people want/need to feel connected with their leader.  A very brief video does the trick…better than glossy handouts ,  emails, and information cascade meetings.

    Of course, if this method of communication catches on, it will be interesting to see how IT depts respond.  YouTube and all forms of video have been on IT blacklists since day one.  The perception is that: 1)  there is no business need,  2) they devour bandwidth, and 3) it complicates the architecture.

    My hope is that CIOs and IT depts take this foreshadowing and embrace it; that they initiate the conversation and be proactive.  I hope that there isn’t a repeat of what I’ve seen done with videoteleconference.  Wherein, some IT depts just installed systems and then threw it all over the wall to the “business”; whether anything was used or not was not their concern.  What a great disservice.

    So I hope that with this one, we don’t just look at the gadgets and software; but instead,  work with corporate communications (PR), investor relations, and HR to LEAD them to create some killer applications of this information channel.

    So,  we will see.

    GlaxoSmithkline CEO offers his report card…via Youtube « Beaker’s Blog.