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Published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on May 31, 2000. All rights
Let’s Talk About Me
All too often employers waste a job interview talking
about themselves and not quizzing the candidate, says Jesse
director of the New Jersey Department of Labor’s Division of Business
Services. "Recent surveys have shown that the job interview is
the least effective way to choose from job candidates, and that’s
usually because it’s done improperly," says Behrens, a 16-year
veteran of the Department of Labor.
Its Division of Business Services offers several employer human
support services programs, including one on "Selection
and the Selection Process," on Thursday, June 8, at 9 a.m. at
the Labor Building in Trenton. The seminar is sponsored by the
Association of New Jersey. Call 609-984-3518. Cost: $10.
Behrens is an advocate for a technique called the "structured
behavior-based interview," wherein questions posed to job
are specifically job-related, such that the interviewer elicits
about what the candidate has done in the past that correlates with
the job to be filled. If the job demands problem-solving skills, for
example, the interviewer asks a candidate to explain situations in
which he or she has resolved problems in the past. "Structured,
behavior-based interviews involve good, open-ended questions where
the candidate does most of the talking," says Behrens.
In addition to the resume, results of skill and personality tests,
and references, the interview is an essential component of the hiring
process. But it’s here that employers are most clumsy, says Behrens,
who says DON’T do the following:
and prepare good open-ended questions so that the interviewee is doing
80 percent of the talking (Behrens calls this the "Eighty-Twenty
answers. "If you tell them the job is stressful and you ask `how
do you handle stress,’ they’re going to tell you what you want to
hear," says Behrens.
making employment decisions based on race, religion, gender, age,
disability, or family status. "All too often that information
is directly or indirectly elicited," says Behrens, "and while
that, in and of itself, may not be a violation of Civil Rights law,
it provides the company with information that they should not have
and it may come back to haunt them when they try to justify who they
lot of interviewers have a fear of doing this," says Behrens.
tight labor market, there’s certainly a lack of people that have the
skills that many jobs require, so there’s a tendency to settle for
less than what would be a good job match," says Behrens.
that companies only give name, rank, and serial number of the employee
in question, but if you don’t make the effort, you could put yourself
in danger, says Behrens. "There’s a legal concept called negligent
hiring that applies when the employer should have known that a person
was either violent, a thief, or incompetent," says Behrens. When
possible, try to reach the person closest to the ex-employee.
you get the information anyway because they don’t know any
Reference checking is critical, says Behrens, because "past
is the best predictor of future behavior."
Taking information about customers and translating that
into new products is an opportunity community banks need to snap up,
says George Scharpf, CEO of Amboy National Bank since 1981.
"We have been able to analyze our client base and start to promote
those who we believe are more likely to be interested in certain
Where are big bank "Goliaths" most susceptible? Are Goliath’s
one-stop financial services what customers really want? How does
work with technology to create powerful customer relations?
Scharpf and CEOs from two other community banks, Charles Hamm
of Independence Community Bank and Stephen Laine, CEO of First
BankAmericano, will answer those questions on Thursday, June 8, at
8:30 a.m. at the New Jersey Bankers Association meeting on "Davids
versus Goliaths" at the Woodbridge Hilton. Call 609-924-5550.
With over $1.4 billion in assets, 15 offices and 250 employees in
New Jersey, Amboy is a Goliath in New Jersey, says Scharpf, but it
functions more like a David in that it is actively involved in the
community — particularly in the area of housing — in Monmouth
and Middlesex counties. "We feel homeowners are a very large
of New Jersey so we redirected the company to target homeowners and
homebuyers," he says. "We will be able to serve a larger
of the community than the big banks in terms of service loans. Since
we’re heavily oriented towards housing, we believe we have improved
our capabilities in dealing with customers who either are homeowners
or want to be, so we develop products."
In the 1980s, Scharpf, who worked for Citibank in New York after
from Notre Dame in 1962, introduced the half-pay mortgage at Amboy,
which allowed homeowner to make a payment every two weeks. Also, as
a result of the Gramm Leach Bliley Act, banks are now able to offer
financially-related services for the first time, and Amboy is starting
with Title Insurance for homebuyers and Homeowners Insurance,
Integrating technology, particularly Internet technology, is still
an uncomfortable area for community banks, however. "We’re
to see a steady flow of deposits and home equity loans come through
the Web," says Scharpf, "but we don’t haven’t anything to
differentiate in terms of pricing. Technology in and of itself doesn’t
do a lot. It’s only if you can increase the quality of the experience
you have with clients. It also helps if it increases the volume and
keep the same number of people."
Above all, small banks have the capacity for relationship-banking
that large banks just don’t have, so they need to capitalize on this,
You have pop quiz from your professor — it arrives
This is how Mercer County College intends to give its pop quizzes
this summer. In a paradigm shift marking the onset of the electronic
age, MCCC is offering nine summer courses online for those who can’t
make it to campus or want to upgrade their skills for a new career.
"Students responded so favorably to our first online courses that
we have expanded," says Yvonne Chang, Mercer’s director of
Appropriately, of the courses offered online many cover Internet
programming, Microsoft Windows, Quickbooks, PhotoShop and QuattroPro.
Two certificate programs, Project Management Principles and Paralegal
Certificate, will also be taught online.
Courses are delivered to students via E-mail twice a week for six
weeks and are supplemented by interactive quizzes, assignments,
and online discussions. Sessions run from June 14 through July 21,
July 12 through August 18, and August 9 through September 15. Most
courses cost $99. Call 609-586-9446, or to get your feet wet, try
registering online: www.ed2go.com/mccc.edu.
Snelling Personnel Services at 350 Alexander Road is
offering local college students scholarship money totaling $1,500
for working with the agency on a temporary basis this summer. Each
week that student works on an assignment for a Snelling clients their
name is entered into a pool. At the end of the summer there is a
for the scholarships. The more weeks students works, the more times
their name is added to the pool. Call 609-683-4040.
Volunteers from Goldman Sachs on Mount Lucas Road spent two
days painting rooms in the Eden Family of Services’ newest group home
— Noonan House. Located in Rocky Hill, Noonan House is scheduled
to open this summer and will house six adults with autism. It is
ninth group home, named in honor of the chairman of the board of
William Noonan. Call 609-987-0099.
The Princeton Family YMCA’s Seventh Annual Family Festival and Bike
Tour, held on May 21, was sponsored by Church & Dwight, Dow Jones,
Fleet Bank, Johnson & Johnson, Kepner Tregoe, Mason, Griffin &
Merrill Lynch, Princeton Capital Management, Princeton Nassau Conover,
RCN, Charles Schwab, and Saphire Associates.
Rider University received a grant of $150,000 from the New Jersey
State Library to support the wrappings and preservation of the
Louis A. Leslie shorthand collection housed in the university’s
Last year the state library provided $14,204 for preservation work.
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