Monthly Archives

April 2013

Career Tools

Most Common Interview Questions

Here are 34 of the most common interview questions asked by employers.  These questions primarily target a behavioral interview, or first round interview.  These questions provide insight into how the candidate will fit in with the current company culture, personal motivators, tactical approaches and previous accomplishments or learning moments.  While there are several other types of interviews, these questions will be most present during phone screens, career fairs, networking opportunities and as previously stated, behavioral interviews.  Test your luck with the list below, tips are also listed to assist with acing the next interview.

common interview questions

Career Tools

‘Our Time to Lead’ is Theme of 25th Multicultural Forum on Workplace Diversity in Minneapolis April 9-11

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“Our Time to Lead” is the theme of the 25th annual Multicultural Forum on Workplace Diversity, a national conference that will be held April 9 to 11 at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

The forum is sponsored by Target and presented by the Opus College of Business at the University of St. Thomas in partnership with the National Black MBA Association Twin Cities.

The forum is designed for professionals who manage a diverse workforce, are responsible for diversity within organizations of all sizes, or work with multicultural clientele. The largest diversity and inclusion conference in the country, the forum attracts more than 1,200 participants from 35 states and more than 400 companies.

The forum runs Wednesday and Thursday, April 10 and 11. A Career Services Center will be held Tuesday and Wednesday, April 9 and 10, and a Career Fair will be held Wednesday, April 10. More than 50 Midwest companies will be represented at the Career Services Center and Career Fair, which are free and open to the public.

Participants can choose to attend all or any of the days. Information can be found on the forum’s website, by phone at (651) 962-4377 or email at mcf@stthomas.edu.

The forum features four general sessions, 62 concurrent learning sessions, and eight program tracks for those interested in specific areas such as government, health care and law.

Among the general-session speakers are Barry Posner, professor of leadership at Santa Clara University and author of Leadership Challenge, and Phoebe Eng, social-change strategist and author of Warrior Lessons.

The forum began in 1988 as a two-hour video conference. In addition to its professional staff, more than 60 volunteers assist with planning workshops and logistics, and more than 150 volunteers will help staff the conference.

This post originally appeared in the UST Newsroom.

Career Tools

Multicultural Forum April 9-11

MCF

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Multicultural Forum on Workplace Diversity, a great celebration for inclusion and the University of St. Thomas.  This Forum is designed to ignite the leader within ourselves and to explore new ways to lead the way forward together.   At the Multicultural Forum, the belief of welcoming more people with more diverse backgrounds into all our conversations, organizations and lives has never been more important than it is today. This Forum has become the nation’s largest diversity and inclusion conference because of the strong belief that advancing diversity and inclusion is not just a moral imperative, but a competitive advantage in today’s global economy.

The Forum will provide thought-provoking keynote presentations, 58 lectures, a Resource Expo and Career Fair with many of the top fortune 500 companies located in central Minnesota and an opportunity to share your passion, enthusiasm and insight with over 1,200 participants.

At the Forum you’ll find:

  • Active collaboration: you’ll meet today’s organizational and business challenges head on with invigorating presentations, discussions and rich, interactive experiences.
  • Thought leadership: you’ll be challenged by a unique, expertly curated gathering of the field’s most passionate thought leaders, fresh perspectives and innovative ideas to identify evolving trends and better prepare you for what’s next.
  • Valuable tools: you’ll leave with smart, real-world, transferrable tools you can put to work right now within your organization to help grow diversity, inclusion and success.

The Multicultural Forum on Workplace Diversity is the largest diversity and inclusion conference in the country. The purpose of the Forum is to provide a compelling learning experience fostering business and thought leadership in workplace diversity and inclusion. Because education is our primary focus, we keep our costs low to allow our diversity and inclusion message to reach small and mid-sized companies, government organizations, nonprofit organizations and major national and global corporations.

Why the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business?

The conference is presented by the Opus College of Business at the University of St. Thomas in partnership with the Twin Cities chapter of the National Black MBA Association. Consistent with the Catholic intellectual tradition of the University of St. Thomas, the Opus College of Business educates students and working professionals to become effective, ethical global business leaders and to be constructive contributors to society.

To join us, and learn more about this amazing opportunity please visit: http://www.stthomas.edu/mcf/default.htmlOption3

Career Tools

Tangled: The Web of Social Media

Linkedin, Facebook, Friendster, Pinterest, Instagram, Myspace, the options for social media networks and social media sharing are endless.  The fast pace of today’s society demands instantaneous information, recognition, and responses.   For job seekers, a typical rejection or acceptance from an employer can take weeks, or even months, or elicit no response at all.  Connecting with companies and colleagues is quite simple with the help of Linkedin and Facebook.  Some users have a small city in their virtual rolodex, and unfortunately each user is typically out of touch with his or her network.  As social media options continue to multiply, and as webs of connections continue to expand, users should begin to contemplate their contribution to the mystic land of social media as well as the contributions made to their own network.

According to social media expert Neal Schaffer of Windmills Marketing, you should have 10 times as many connections as your age.  For the typical graduate student, that should be between 250-400 professional connections.  This number excludes friends and family, which according to Facebook is a mean of 100 people, but in actuality 84% of users have more than this. These 350-500 people do not include the user’s Twitter or Pinterest followers, as well as their possible blog readers.  To view this population on a rather small scale, a single person’s online presence could be viewed by 500 people on any given day, not to mention recruiters on Linkedin, or a simple Google search result showing.  If that isn’t overwhelming, I’m not sure what is.

According to Dunbar’s number that suggests the cognitive limit to the number of people with whom one can maintain stable social relationships is to be between 100 and 230.  With a wide array of options in which to communicate, and quicken the pace at which we are able to essentially stay “plugged in” to our various media streams and connections, one would think we are able to maintain hundreds of meaningful and fruitful relationships. This notion of ultra-connectivity proved to be incorrect through the work of Bruno Goncalves, Nicola Perr and Alessandro Vespignani.  They state, Microblogging and online tools… might be analogous to a pocket calculator that, while speeding up the way we can do simple math, does not improve our cognitive capabilities for mathematics. In this case, the basic cognitive limits to social interactions are not surpassed in the digital world.” (plosone.org, 2011)

These outlets for communication provide ample access to users and followers, but cannot create the same type of relationships direct communication and idea sharing generates through face to face contact.  The adage “Quality, not quantity,” still proves to be important with relationship generation and many new platforms seek to encourage such contact through different social media platforms described below.

Path

 

Path (www.path.com) is a social media platform similar to facebook, but is designed as a private networking site for friends and family.  This platform seeks to minimize the number of connections, but maximize the strength and meaning to each message shared.

 

 

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Nextdoor (www.nextdoor.com) location specific platform that allows neighbors to share news, arrange BBQ’s and strengthen the good ol’ cul-de-sac pack that once existed when neighbors actually knew each other.

 

 

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Meetup (www.meetup.com) will soon be your new social life.  This events-based platform allows users to create their own groups and events solely based on hobbies, and personal goals.  For example, if you owned a Dachshund, you could join Dachshunds Making a Difference in which 368 “doxie devotees” arrange play dates as well as adoptive families for Dachshunds.

 

 

All in all, social media can be a pretty great tool, one that has actually saved lives and animals through Facebook posts and tweets.  The amount of connections a person can have may be endless but so is the opportunity for impact.  Essentially, choosing the right platform, audience and overall message for yourself is key.  If done correctly, the powers of social media can work in anyone’s favor.

Career Tools

4 Steps for Self-Reinvention, with Cecily Sommers

Cecily Sommers, dancer, chiropractor, author, and professional futurist, spoke to a poised audience of over 50 University of St. Thomas alumni, students and staff members this week about the importance of finding your “fit.” Sommers career path has been anything but traditional, leaving several opportunities for self-reinvention.

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Sommers details her process for self-reinvention through four steps: dream, discovery, tension, and reckoning.  The notion of her desire to become a dancer happened as a child as she saw her neighbors dressed in tutu’s leaving for dance lessons.  She quickly envisioned herself as a prima ballerina, and began dance lessons shortly thereafter.  Discovery of a future in dance was due to her natural talent and desire to embellish musical notes with flourished movements.  Progressing throughout her dance career, tension was created as she became pulled in many directions with school, teaching and attempting to earn a living.  The reckoning that followed suit was a realization that dance could not provide the professional and creative challenges her own capabilities craved. Moving forward, she decided to pursue a Business degree, where she was forced to take science classes. This same process occurred while she transitioned from dancer to chiropractor, realizing in a science class that she had a strong desire to learn how the human form and circular system interact together in all aspects of survival.  The reckoning developed as she decided that the homeopathic route for medicine best fit her desire to heal.

As she continued on as a chiropractor, she acquired business partners, various clinics and quickly developed a successful knack for business development and leadership.  Of the various disciplines she has served, business has provided Sommers the opportunity to involve her strong abilities to think creatively, act professionally, and steer companies in pioneering and profitable directions.

Sommers_3D book shot

As an attendee, I found the dialogue she provided on an early Wednesday morning to be refreshing and self-introspective.  Finding the right “fit” was a key contributing factor for the lucrative and diverse professional background of Sommers.  At times I find myself ignoring the little voice I hear or the odd feelings I’ve felt while making a decision.  Most often, upon reviewing that decision in hindsight, the voice telling me “NO” was correct.  As a working adult, I no longer have the cop out of saying “peer pressure” lead me to the decision I made, I have only myself to hold accountable.  After listening to the insight provided by Sommers, I find myself reviewing the current opportunities and challenges I face and seeing how well they fit with my personal dreams.

Sommers will be speaking at TEDX on April 20, this will be her second speaking engagement with the world renowned nonprofit.  TED serves to bring together the three worlds of technology, education and design.  During her Remembering the Future presentation Sommers discusses the brains ability to conjure memories and that those same memories are the keys to our success.  Memories trigger happiness, and regret, they serve as a secret keeper but can also be the guide to our future.  Typically in a business venture, numbers, analysis and market trends are the determining factors for success.  The concept of being attentive to the “fit” as well as engaging previous memories can also serve as great deterrents or encouragers for future endeavors.  While Sommers suggestions may not meet traditional business practices, these concepts can be applied to all individuals looking to reinvent themselves or simply do a ‘gut check’ every now and then.