Career Watch

Questioning the Questioners

At least 15% of the respondents to a survey conducted last year identified the following questions as among the most annoying they are asked during job interviews:

  • "What are your worst traits?"
  • "What would you say is your worst quality?"
  • "What's the biggest mistake you've ever made?"
  • "What are your flaws and failings?"
  • "What irritates you about co-workers?"

Respondents also identified questions they wished they would be asked during interviews, including:

  • "How can your specific experience benefit us?"
  • "Describe the skills and talents you have that will help us."
  • "What can you bring to this organization to improve it?"
  • "In a nutshell, if we hire you, what will you bring of value to this organization?"
  • Source: 2008 Hyrian survey of job candidates; Of the 231 respondents, 12% listed IT as their job category of highest interest

    Business Meets Academia

    How U.S. colleges and universities are working with the private sector to develop next-generation IT leaders.

    Daniel Webster College School of Business, Management and Professional Studies (SBMPS), Nashua, N.H.

    Number of degrees awarded in spring 2008: Undergraduate: 177; graduate (MBA): 42

    Does Daniel Webster have an IT advisory council? The SBMPS has an advisory council that addresses all of its programs, including the MIS undergraduate degree program and the MBA in technology and innovation leadership. The advisory council, which is made up of industry leaders and entrepreneurs, provides insight and commentary on existing programs as well as the future direction of the school. Council members include industry and business leaders such as Richard "Dick" Morley of R. Morley Inc. and Robert Good of Good Leads.

    Says Neil Parmenter, SBMPS dean, "The School of Business, Management and Professional Studies looks to these innovative, well-informed leaders for new program directions, modifications to our existing offerings to address current business needs, and to help us to provide the most valuable and relevant education possible to our students."

    What IT executive feedback has helped develop the curriculum? The MBA in technology and innovation leadership promises to be one of the school's flagship MBA offerings, Parmenter says, since it addresses unfulfilled needs in today's business environments. The program came about with input from members of the school's advisory council.

    The curriculum will include a core of proven management courses, plus five new offerings: economics of technological change, e-business and entrepreneurship, technological innovation management and strategies, new product design and development, and advanced human resource management.

    The advisory council and an SBMPS task force have made a number of recommendations for both the undergraduate MIS degree program and the new MBA program. Offerings that have resulted or are currently being implemented include project management, social networking and strategic management of technological innovations.

    "In addition," says Parmenter, "as we develop new programs such as an MBA in health information management, we expect the board will continue to play a very important role."

    Is there a review process by which the advisory council monitors the curriculum to ensure that it's current and relevant? The SBMPS is developing a review process for all programs and courses within the programs. "Given that our advisory board is significantly made up of industry/business leaders, as well as entrepreneurs and venture capitalists," says Parmenter, "their recommendations are welcome and valuable."


    Percentage of people in their late 60s who were working in 2006, up from 18% in 1985, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The BLS also says that over the next decade, the number of workers 55 and older is expected to rise at more than five times the rate of the overall workforce.

    Page compiled by Jamie Eckle.

    Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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