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'Why Should I Hire You?' and Other Favorite Interview Questions

'Why Should I Hire You?' and Other Favorite Interview Questions

Brian A. Young likes to spend time with potential hires, even if they won't report to him. "It's the most important thing you have — the people — so we take a lot of time in hiring," explains the vice president and CIO at Creighton University in Omaha.

Young, like many hiring managers, puts great effort into the interview process. He says it's a chance to move beyond the résumé and learn more about the skills and personality traits that candidates can't encapsulate on their CVs — an especially important task as the IT labor market continues to tighten.

"It's not frenzied, but it is tougher hiring people. A lot of the activity is to find good talent, [not] just bodies," says Shadman Zafar, CIO for the telecommunications line of business at Verizon Communications Inc.

With that in mind, we asked some IT executives to share their favorite interview questions. Here are their responses.

Describe your toughest assignment so far. "You get an immediate feel for their weaknesses as they're telling a story," Zafar says. "You can also tell how they counter their weaknesses."
Share with me a conversation you had with your boss or others in your life where some feedback you heard was tough to take. "I think that shows a lot about someone's willingness to listen well and act on that feedback," Young says.

In response to this question, a woman once told him that her boss said she needed to learn when to abandon e-mail and communicate in person. She said she then went around to friends to get their feedback so she could find ways to improve. She also said she was hoping to take a public speaking course to help her communicate better. Good answer.

What will you do if you don't get this job? Responses to this question show how seriously candidates take their career paths, says Katherine Spencer Lee, executive director at Robert Half Technology, a Menlo Park, Calif.-based IT staffing company. Individuals who are also applying for other jobs or planning to further their qualifications in a specific field demonstrate a commitment to their aspirations. That's a plus.
But those who can't articulate a plan might just be trying something new on a whim. Moreover, Lee says a candidate's response tells her how fast she has to move: If someone says he has other interviews, Lee knows she has to act fast.

One of the more interesting responses she has had to this question is, "You can't afford not to hire me because I'll go work for your competitor."

Lee says she has hired candidates who have given that response, but it has to be delivered right. It needs to sound confident, not arrogant.

Why should I hire you? "It's the opportunity to see if the individual wants the job," says Sherry Aaholm, executive vice president of IT at Memphis-based FedEx Corp. "I want to see if they're passionate and if they've done their research into that position."
One interviewee gave a classic wrong answer: "Because you already know me." A previous relationship won't get a candidate the job, Aaholm says, nor will such an uninspired answer.

Have you ever had to terminate someone? Aaholm says responses give her insight into how well candidates work with their teams, whether they're willing to help develop and train people who are struggling, and whether they can make the tough decision to let someone go when it's just not working out.

Tell me about a problem your company had and how you used technology to solve it. "You want to see how they use the knowledge, not just that they have the knowledge," says Robert Rosen, CIO at the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases in Bethesda, Md. Rosen says he slightly alters that question for candidates applying for more customer-oriented IT positions, asking, "What business problem were you trying to solve, and how did you bring value to the customer using technology?"

What are your long-term goals? "I want people who have a vision and a goal," says Robert Moon, senior vice president and CIO at LeapFrog Enterprises Inc., a developer of technology-based learning products in Emeryville, Calif. Moon says he can also determine, based on the candidate's response, whether he can mentor or move the person through the organization to help him reach those goals.
"My favorite answer is, ‘I want your job,'" Moon says.

What book is currently on your nightstand? "It gives me an idea about the type of person they are. Are they readers? Because that means they tend to be learners," says Brian L. Abeyta, second vice president in the project management office of the IT department at insurance provider Aflac Inc. in Columbus, Ga.
Abeyta says he's not looking for specific reading material, but rather sincere answers. He says he suspects that people who tell him they're reading a project management methodology book are just trying to impress him. "I've had a few people say they don't have time to read, or they read magazines," Abeyta says, adding that he puts a premium on getting honest answers.

How close are you to the technology, and how important is that to you? "I've found that most often, [the answer] I get is what's important to them as opposed to what they think I want to hear. It's a broad enough question that people start talking," says Joel D. Jacobs, acting CIO at The Mitre Corp., a not-for-profit company that provides research and development support to the government.

Jacobs says he usually hires high-level IT workers, not hands-on developers. Yet various positions still require different levels of in-depth technical know-how. This question helps guarantee the right fit between the candidate and the position.
Jacobs says one candidate initially responded with a "deer in the headlights" look and said he hadn't thought through a question like that. He then explained that he sometimes dug deep down into particular technologies to develop better understandings, although he didn't want to spend all his time working at that level.

Jacobs says the candidate's ability to so clearly articulate a response to the surprise question impressed him. Moreover, the candidate's response was consistent with the open position's work requirements, another bonus. Jacobs offered the candidate the job.

Pratt is a Computerworld contributing writer in Waltham, Mass. Contact her at marykpratt@verizon.net.

Mary K. Pratt
Source >>

DHR International names Flowers to St. Louis office

DHR International names Flowers to St. Louis office

DHR International said Tuesday that it hired Ed Flowers as executive vice president and managing director in the firm's St. Louis office.

Prior to joining DHR International, Flowers was corporate senior vice president of human resources for Atlanta-based Russell Corp., which was purchased last year by Fruit of the Loom Inc., a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway. There, he was responsible for the overall global human resources function for the corporation, reporting to the CEO.

The Business Journal reported last month that DHR International plans to move its executive group and the bulk of its operations from Chicago to St. Louis, bringing 125 jobs. DHR's corporate offices and headquarters will remain in Chicago.

DHR's St. Louis office, currently located at 8000 Maryland Ave., has 14 employees and is led by co-managing directors Michael Burrows and Scott Harris.

Headquartered in Chicago, DHR has more than 40 offices worldwide with 440 employees and expects more than $100 million in revenue this year.

Source >>
St. Louis Business Journal

President & CEO of Russell Reynolds Associates on CCTV

President & CEO of Russell Reynolds Associates on CCTV

Multinational companies in China face a special challenge in terms of finding their own way to adapt to the local environment. And finding the right staff to achieve this could prove critical to the survival of any start-up company. In today's interview, we speak with the President & CEO of Russell Reynolds Associates... about key issues in effective recruitment.

CCTV International

With economy's growth, CEOs are in high demand

With economy's growth, CEOs are in high demand

George L. Davis Jr., US Comanaging Partner Egon Zehnder International| On the Hot Seat

July 22, 2007

George L. Davis Jr. , 45, is managing partner for the Boston office and comanaging partner for US operations at Egon Zehnder International, the world's largest privately held executive search firm. Before joining Egon Zehnder, Davis held senior management positions at Manufacturers Hanover Trust, A.T. Kearney, Time Inc., and Walt Disney Co. He spoke with Globe business reporter Robert Weisman on a visit to the newspaper's offices last week.

Q How goes the search for executives these days?

A It's a very active market for executives right now. We've had strong economic growth across multiple industries over the last two to three years, and the demand for talent is very strong.

Q What types of jobs are in greatest demand ?

A Well, CEOs. [Chief executive] tenure used to be 8 1/2 years. Now it's down to 4 1/2 years. So there's been high turnover. There's been a lot of investment from private equity guys, and they want new leadership for their companies. Chief legal officers and chief financial officers are also in high demand.

Q Are the demands of those jobs different now because of Sarbanes-Oxley, the antifraud law, and more stringent financial regulation?

A Absolutely. I think the effort and time and capital required to comply with these new regulations for a public company have changed a lot of the landscape. And companies are asking for new skills.

Q So who are the ideal candidates for these jobs? When you're paging through resumes, what kind of background are you looking for?

A Academic background is always a starter, but it's not the be-all or end-all. Someone who's had a significant track record of performance is always the most important.

That's absolutely paramount. And success at different stages of a company's growth is also highly sought after.

If someone could grow an early-stage company but then show success at growing a large-cap company, that shows another degree of complexity.

Q Why would someone want to be a CEO today, given the short tenures and the intensified scrutiny and regulations they're seeing?

A It's a chance to build, a chance to show what they can contribute. It's less about economic wealth, about personal economic wealth. It's more about building something. And people like to have that sense of accomplishment.

Q How does Boston compare with other markets where you recruit?

A Boston is a unique market with high academic achievement, with strong private equity and venture-backed funding. So there's a huge entrepreneurial and managerial base here that I've seen, compared with other regions of the country.

Q But sometimes you hear venture capitalists say they have a hard time finding people to run certain types of companies here, like Internet companies. Are there deficits you see in the Boston area?

A I think every search is almost a national search now. You can't just be hunting in your local pond for talent. We've brought the best local people to multinational companies based here. And we've brought the best national talent to entrepreneurial companies here.

Q Is it tough to attract out-of-state talent to Boston because of the high cost of living?

A You know, that's a rumor. You hear it a lot in the marketplace. Yes, housing has been an issue. But people will come to good opportunities.

Q What about the shrinking number of home-based corporations in Boston today? Is that an inhibitor in luring executives here?

A That's a very valid point. It is a concern that we should, as a community, embrace to grow our local companies to a national and international scale. You have to have a national and global mindset.

Q How flexible are Boston candidates about moving to other areas?

A When we talk about being geographically flexible, you need to think about bringing people in from everywhere or hiring people from Boston in San Antonio or Palo Alto [California]. People think we're too parochial. Some will say, "We'll go from Exit 26 on the Mass. Pike to Exit 32."

The Boston Globe

Boyden Global Executive Search Names Michael Catlow and John Hickey as Directors in Melbourne Office

Boyden Global Executive Search Names Michael Catlow and John Hickey as Directors in Melbourne Office

Veteran Search Professionals to Expand Presence in Fashion/Textiles, Sports and Property Investment and Development Sectors

MELBOURNE, Australia--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Boyden, a global leader in executive search, has named Michael Catlow and John Hickey as Directors in the firm’s Melbourne office. Mr. Catlow brings extensive international search experience in the textile, fashion and sports industries and Mr. Hickey specialises in executive recruitment in the real estate, property development and construction sectors.

“Michael and John are great additions to our Melbourne office and to the Boyden firm,” said Bruce Abbott, Managing Director of Boyden Melbourne. “Michael adds a notable track record in the growing fashion and sports sectors and John brings valuable expertise and contacts in property investment and development. Their presence in corporate management, industry organizations and government entities will be a strong asset as we expand our operations.”

Mr. Catlow joins Boyden after serving 10 years with another leading executive search and human resource consulting firm, where he established a top textile and apparel business unit and launched a sports industry recruitment subsidiary. Earlier in his career, he served in management and sales roles in Europe and Australia for Benninger AG, Pacific Dunlop and Ramsay McDonald Group. Mr. Catlow has also represented the Australian government on various trade missions to Brazil, India, United Arab Emirates and United Kingdom.

Mr. Hickey brings more than a decade of experience in the appointments of CEO, board and other senior executives in an impressive cross section of clients in the Construction, Consulting, Development, Investment and Real Estate sectors. Earlier, Mr. Hickey’s deep experience in the property industry was built as a Development Manager for landmark projects in Australia and abroad. He began his career as a civil/structural design engineer.

Mr. Hickey has served on many industry committees and agencies. Mr. Catlow, a textile technologist, has served on boards/committees of RMIT (textiles), Australiasian Textiles and Fashion Magazine.

About Boyden World Corporation

Boyden is a global leader in the executive search industry with more than 65 offices in 40 countries. Founded in 1946, Boyden specializes in high level executive search, Interim Management and Human Capital consulting across a broad spectrum of industries. For further information, visit the firm’s website at www.boyden.com.


For Boyden World Corporation
Bruce Abbott, +61 (3) 9614 7222
Dan Margolis, +1 310-314-5599


Heidrick & Struggles Adds New Partner in Chicago

Heidrick & Struggles Adds New Partner in Chicago

CHICAGO, July 9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Heidrick & Struggles International, Inc. (Nasdaq: HSII ), the world's premier executive search and leadership consulting firm, today announced that Keith B. Meyer has joined the firm's Chicago office as a Partner in the CEO & Board Practice.

"Keith is a seasoned professional with extensive experience in top-level recruiting in numerous industries. We are pleased to welcome him to Heidrick & Struggles," said John Hawkins, Heidrick & Struggles' Global Head of Practices.

Meyer, 46, joins Heidrick & Struggles from Taylor Meyer Associates, LLC, a privately held board and CEO advisory firm that specializes in CEO succession planning, senior executive recruiting and leadership development services, where he was a founding partner. Prior to that he was managing partner of Egon Zehnder's Chicago office. During his career he has also worked for Pepsico, McKinsey & Company, and Exxon Corporation.

Meyer holds master's and bachelor's degrees in civil engineering from the University of Illinois.

About Heidrick & Struggles International, Inc.

Heidrick & Struggles International, Inc. is the world's premier provider of senior-level executive search and leadership consulting services, including talent management, board building, executive on-boarding and M&A effectiveness. For more than 50 years, we have focused on quality service and built strong leadership teams through our relationships with clients and individuals worldwide. Today, Heidrick & Struggles leadership experts operate from principal business centers in North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia Pacific. For more information about Heidrick & Struggles, please visit http://www.heidrick.com.

Source: Heidrick & Struggles International, Inc.

Financial News - Yahoo!


"Maximise Profit and Drive Excellent Performance with the Most Powerful Techniques in Succession Planning,
Leadership Development, Talent and Knowledge Management"
20-21 September 2007: Hotel Palace, Berlin, Germany
This event will get together HR specialists to discuss different issues in Succession Planning, Talent Management and Leadership connected to an Aging population and will offer you great understanding of actual demographic changes that the leading companies are facing.
For program and registration information please send Email with "more info Succession" in the subject field.
Mr Ola Samuelsson
Senior Marketing Manager
marcus evans
11 Connaught Place
London W2 2ET
Email marketing2@marcusevansuk.com


"Delivering bottom line results through efficient recruitment strategies, reaching and engaging the most knowledgeable
and skilled human power to achieve your company's goals"
11-12 October 2007: London, UK
Inspired by delegates' feedback and following the success of 1st annual Strategic Recruitment Conference 2007 marcus evans gives you the opportunity to attend 2nd edition of this pan-European case study driven comprehensive forum for all the recruitment experts and decision makers. You will encounter an exceptional array of speakers and organizations willing to share their experience with you.
For program and registration information please send with "more info Recruitment" in the subject field.
Mr Ola Samuelsson
Senior Marketing Manager
marcus evans
11 Connaught Place
London W2 2ET
Email marketing2@marcusevansuk.com

Achieving an Effective Compensation & Benefits Strategy

Achieving an Effective Compensation & Benefits Strategy
'Maximizing Flexible Remuneration Strategies to Attract, Retain and Motivate Employees'
4-5 October 2007: London, UK


In the current ultra-competitive business environment companies know that developing appropriate compensation and benefits strategy will enable them to attract and retain key talents that are necessary for any business to succeed.

Responsible decision makers know that they need to be able to offer competitive compensation and benefits conditions not only to compete with their direct competitors but as well to be able to rival for the best talents with other technology and general industry companies.

Attending the 1st annual marcus evans conference will show you how to design appropriate compensation and benefits strategy that will enable you to attract and retain key talents. You will have as well opportunity to learn how to link employee performance to your reward strategy and how to identify possible cost savings.

Key Topics:

* Setting Up a Successful Compensation Plan
* Optimizing the Salary Structure
* Implementing Global Pay for Performance Program
* Mergers and Acquisitions
* Creating Motivating Compensation and Benefits Packages


* Bertil Ostman, Head of Compensation and Benefits, E.ON SWEDEN.
* Frank Flynn, Head of Group Pensions , BANK OF IRELAND.
* Wim Depeape, Head of Compensation and Benefits, PROCTER AND GAMBLE.
* Maurice Fenton, Global Manager Compensations, SHELL.
* Mattias Johansson, Compensation and Benefits Manager, GAMBRO AB.
* Thomas Bork, Vice President Compensation & Benefits Group, LAFARGE A.S..
* Robin Mills, Director of Human Resources, WOOLWORTHS GROUP.
* Anna Hudakova, Vice President of Human Resources , SLOVAK TELEKOM.
* Euan Hutchinson, Reward Director EMEA, HEWLETT PACKARD.
* Ralph Wildeman, Director of Compensation and Benefits , AKZO NOBEL.
* Joanne Walker , Managing Director, PRACTIQUE.
* Angela Wright, Senior Lecturer in Human Resources Management, WESTMINSTER UNIVERSITY.
* Ghislian Thiry, Head of Pensions, DEXIA SA.
* Ondrej Koci, Manager of Human Resources, SKODA-AUTO.
* Ilona Matouskova, Manger of Flexible Remuneration , SKODA-AUTO.
* Bernard-Franck Guidoni-Tarissi, Head of Executive and Senior Management Compensation , FORTIS GROUP.

For program and registration information please send Email with "more info Compensation" in the subject field.
Mr Ola Samuelsson
Senior Marketing Manager
marcus evans
11 Connaught Place
London W2 2ET
Email marketing2@marcusevansuk.com

CRM for Higher Ed Vendor Intelliworks Names New CEO

CRM for Higher Ed Vendor Intelliworks Names New CEO

By David Sims
TMCnet Contributing Editor

Intelliworks, a vendor of customer relationship management (CRM) products for higher education, has announced the appointment of Todd Gibby as its new chief executive officer. Gibby brings more than fifteen years of management experience, including seven years as a senior executive at Blackboard Inc., and active Intelliworks board participation to this role.

Dev Ganesan, the former president and CEO, will assume the role of company chairman.
Gibby takes on the CEO role when the company has launched, Orion, an on-demand CRM product for higher education institutions. During the past two years, Intelliworks doubled the company's customer base, opened markets in Europe and Asia, and developed the infrastructure to support a multi-tenantSaaS model.

Gibby will work with Ganesan and the management team to scale operations, introduce new products to market, and build meaningful relationships with clients and partners.

Last month Intelliworks announced what company officials at the time called its "next generation CRM platform called Orion."

Built from the ground up as a pure Web-based on-demand product, Orion CRM is, Intelliworks officials claim, "the first multi-tenant Software as a Service (SaaS) product designed specifically for higher education."

As a vertically-focused Enterprise 2.0 product, Orion "embodies the principles of Salesforce.com (News - Alert) and Facebook offerings by incorporating simplicity, collaboration, and a rich user experience into the DNA of its architecture," said Anirban Chakrabarti, Vice President of Product Marketing for Intelliworks.

Source >>

Kodiak Networks names new CEO

Kodiak Networks names new CEO
Tuesday July 10

Kodiak Networks hired John Vice as its new president and CEO, replacing its founder, Craig Farrill.

Farrill, who helped found the San Ramon company in 2001, will remain on Kodiak's board of directors.

Vice worked most recently as a consultant. In the past he was CEO of Geyser Networks in Sunnyvale, and he worked 19 years at Nortel Networks.

Kodiak sells software used in mobile networks.

Published July 10, 2007 by San Francisco Business Times

SolidWorks names new CEO

SolidWorks names new CEO

Boston Business Journal - July 11, 2007

SolidWorks Corp. named Jeff Ray as the firm's new chief executive officer, it was announced Wednesday.

SolidWorks, a Concord, Mass.-based maker of 3-D mechanical design software for engineers, said Ray is replacing John McEleney, who is retiring.

Ray joined SolidWorks in October 2003 as chief operating officer, the company said in a statement.

SolidWorks was acquired in 1997 by France's Dassault Systèmes (Nasdaq: DASTY).

Boston Business Journal:

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