I recently finished up an interview for a faculty position with the University of Nebraska - Lincoln. Interviewing for faculty positions at universities is very different than an interview with a small business or Fortune 500. I think it's because people tend to stay in their jobs a while and a tenure track faculty position is rather secure - they really want to be sure about you before they put a ring on the relationship. It's a very arduous process (rapid-fire interviews, meals, presentations, more interviews, and meetings), not to mention exhausting (but don't let that show). With USU it was four hours. I was in Nebraska for 2 full days.
I'm an Eagle Scout so I don't believe you can ever be too prepared. I found these interview questions from this blog post
by Seth Godin
and this Inc.com article
by Jeff Haden
. I prepared by reviewing them over and over. If you find that the questions you're being asked aren't these, then steer the interview in the direction you're prepared for (remember, they are all there to hear what you have to say). Trust me, if you can provide some awesome responses to these questions, coupled with serious enthusiasm, then you're going to nail it.
And to all you admin/HR folks in charge of hiring key decision makers...take note.
Without further adieu:The 19 Most Useful Interview Questions
- How long are you willing to keep pushing on a good project until you give up?
- How hard is it to get you to change your mind when you're wrong?
- How much do you learn from failing?
- How long does it take you to learn something new?
- How hard is it for you to let someone else take the lead?
- How much do you care?
- If we're sitting here a year from now celebrating what a great year it's been for you in this role, what did we achieve together?
- When have you been most satisfied in your life?
- If you got hired, loved everything about this job, and are paid the salary you asked for, what kind of offer from another company would you consider?
- Who is your role model, and why?
- What things do you not like to do?
- Tell me about a project or accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your career.
- Tell me how...
- What's your superpower, or what's your spirit animal?
- Why have you had x amount of jobs in y years?
- We're constantly making things better, faster, smarter or less expensive. We leverage technology or improve processes. In other words, we strive to do more--with less. Tell me about a recent project or problem that you made better, faster, smarter, more efficient, or less expensive.
- So, (insert name), what's your story?
- What questions do you have for me?
- Tell us about a time when things didn't go the way you wanted-- like a promotion you wanted and didn't get, or a project that didn't turn out how you had hoped.
explains how Google recently changed it's search algorithm. This is a HUGE shift, it's not a fad. Social media continues to evolve and disrupt...and it's getting deeper. Imagine how search will change now that it is becoming more and more social?
If you haven't gotten involved, you are way behind. The ROI of social media will take six months to a year. The major investment is in your time. It's a process, so don't treat it like a project. Be patient, many have given up because they got into it thinking they were going to make $$$ right away - this kind of approach is completely wrong.
You have to build relationships and gain trust before you can start selling your stuff. Once you've carefully invested the time and proven that you care, you will begin to see the sales come in from your social media efforts. Trying to sell and push products before relationships are established is just spamming and it's tacky.
The best advice I can give is to get into social media to listen, learn, and share. Be generous, respectful, and kind. Share your personal story, opinion, expertise, and spin on the issues that affect you. Trust me, if you share meaningful content people will listen. Everyone loves a good story.
It takes time to build a tribe so get started.
I've been enjoying these amazing TED Business Talks
on my awesome new LG Tone Wireless Bluetooth Stereo Headset
with my iPhone 5 on my 19 minute drive to work.
It's so refreshing to gain such amazing insight and knowledge every morning before I dive into work.
Here are three perspicacious talks I hope you'll take the time to listen to this week
Every January, myself along with a tremendous committee of caring leaders gets to organize and host the Southern Regional Utah FIRST Lego League Regional Qualifier at Sunrise Ridge Intermediate in Saint George, Utah.
I had such an amazing experience watching these remarkable youth program and build autonomous robots, complete missions on the field tables, give presentations on their innovative inventions, and exhibit teamwork, gracious professionalism, and cooperation.
Recently, in an effort to better understand our national economy I read Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future
. I wanted to understand why we have such high unemployment, yet leave so many jobs go unfilled in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
To gain a better grasp on the STEM crisis (and it is a HUGE crisis by the way), this brief Executive Summary
will bring you up to speed.
Currently, only four percent of our nation’s workforce is composed of scientists and engineers - and this number has been rapidly declining in recent years. Why is this important? Well, because this group disproportionately creates jobs for the other 96 percent.
Leverage is at play in our economy. Everyone benefits when we have more science nerds, gear heads, tech geeks, and mathletes. When there's progress in the lab the multiplier goes into affect, starting with the scientist and engineer inventors, then streams down to benefit the entrepreneurs who rally investors and manage the risk, their skilled workers who build the products, the marketer who connects it with consumers and creates demand, the truck driver who delivers, the salesperson who sells, and the maintenance person who repairs, and of course the consumer who realizes the benefits.
Additionally, for every job that is directly created in this said chain of manufacturing and marketing activity, on average another 2.5 jobs in disparate labor such as: operating restaurants, grocery stores, barber shops, filling stations and banks is generated.
Progress enabling products like: smartphone apps, MRI machines, robot exoskeletons, genetically modified silk, invisibility cloaks, spray on skin, 3-D printers, self-driving cars, artificial bone, sustainable disposable solar panels, eye implants, and flexible glass
are built on the work of a few scientists. In several years (or less) these breakthroughs will create millions of jobs. Right now we have the jobs we do because of products that were still in research just a few decades go: the Internet, CT scanners, iPods, and GPS.
When our children are young they are sponges. They enjoy learning letters and numbers. Eventually they discover they enjoy STEM subjects because they can be fun to learn and it's personally satisfying to solve a math problem, build a robot, or reach a conclusion for the school science fair project.
Then something happens at the end of high school and in college. STEM is not as fun and it gets hard. They hit the dip - the learning curve. Learning gets harder and they opt to drop out or focus on something easier because they're afraid, discouraged, and/or can't see the bigger picture of how they can be a part of something huge.
We can't let this happen.
If your son and/or daughter is interested even slightly in STEM, then motivate and guide them to pursue their interests to their full potential.
My perspective about training has changed forever. Special thanks to Mike Myatt
for sharing The #1 Reason Leadership Development Fails
Mike has taught me that "training is...the #1 reason leadership development fails." I asked myself, "Really? Training? Why?" The answer is because "development strives to call out the unique and differentiate by shattering the status quo." Training really is an attempt, "to standardize by blending to a norm and acclimating to the status quo." And the status quo is something we all need to fight
The reason why training kills leadership is because it presumes
. "It presumes
the need for indoctrination on systems, processes and techniques...[and] assumes
that said systems, processes and techniques are the right way to do things."
I've never been a fan of best practices (we do it all too often in academia) because as Mike points out, "Training is...a rote, one directional, one dimensional, one size fits all, authoritarian process that imposes static, outdated information on people." I think the primary reason I despise trainings is because I don't enjoy lectures and such one directional presentations. I need to ask questions, I want people to ask me questions. I crave meaningful dialogue. I don't care what happened in the past. I learn so I am better prepared to meet future needs.
From now on, every time I am invited to attend a conference and give a "Best Practices" presentation I'm going to call it "Next Practices" and we're going to have a dialogue! That's a promise...a challenge to the status quo.
Training is for mindless cogs, non-thinkers, sheepish people who want to work in a factory and be told what to do. Development is for innovators, critical thinkers, and creative problem solvers. We don't need more factory workers, we need creative problem solvers.
If you're like me, you still need help determining the difference. Here are Mike's 20 points that differentiate between training and development:
- Training blends to a norm – Development occurs beyond the norm.
- Training focuses on technique/content/curriculum – Development focuses on people.
- Training tests patience – Development tests courage.
- Training focuses on the present – Development focuses on the future.
- Training adheres to standards – Development focuses on maximizing potential.
- Training is transactional – Development is transformational.
- Training focuses on maintenance – Development focuses on growth.
- Training focuses on the role – Development focuses on the person.
- Training indoctrinates – Development educates.
- Training maintains status quo – Development catalyzes innovation.
- Training stifles culture – Development enriches culture.
- Training encourages compliance – Development emphasizes performance.
- Training focuses on efficiency – Development focuses on effectiveness.
- Training focuses on problems - Development focuses on solutions.
- Training focuses on reporting lines – Development expands influence.
- Training places people in a box – Development frees them from the box.
- Training is mechanical – Development is intellectual.
- Training focuses on the knowns – Development explores the unknowns.
- Training places people in a comfort zone – Development moves people beyond their comfort zones.
- Training is finite – Development is infinite.
In his revolutionary eBook Stop Stealing Dreams
, a solution the US public education system, Seth Godin
helps us understand the history of school and its relationship with the industrial revolution.
Essentially, factories needed interchangeable, fearful, obedient workers who were on time, and prepared to perform repetitive tasks.
Schools were invented to train youth to be on time to class, follow a repetitive schedule, do repetitive work, do their homework (or else!). And it worked! Schools churned out a workforce for the labor market.
Well, the labor market has changed...but school hasn't. Here's a starter list of what school is for
What we need today are youth who are passionate, innovative, and caring problem solvers.
If you'd like to know how we get there, then get your free copy of Stop Stealing Dreams
and READ it.
If we choose to change the system here's what we need to do:
- Homework during the day, lectures at night.
- Open book, open note all the time.
- Access to any course, any where in the world, anytime you want to take it
- Precise focused education
- No more multiple choice exams. Measure experience instead of test scores
- Cooperation instead of isolation.
- Teachers transform in to coach.
- Lifelong learning, start working earlier.
Don't for a minute believe these two myths:
- Great performance in school leads to happiness and success.
- Great parents have kids who produce great performance in school.
Here's what's true:
- Grades are an illusion, passion and insight are reality.
- Work is more important than congruence to an answer key.
- Persistance in the face of a skeptical authority figure is priceless.
- Fitting in is a short term strategy that gets you no where. Standing out is a long term strategy that takes guts and produces results.
This video is all about Seth Godin
's triangle of: Strategy, Tactics, and Caring.
Here's a preview of what you'll learn:
We now live in a 'Connection Economy.'
It's now easier than ever for you to speak up and be heard.
Normal is crumbling.
Be willing to fail.
Work without a map.
How to market: Tell stories to pockets of people who share a world view.
Spend most of your time doing work that is revolutionary.
There's nothing more exciting to me than developing new scientists in 4-H
. It feels great to be a part of accomplishing such a huge goal. Now onward with more science!
In Cooperative Extension I get to be involved in so many excellent activities.
My favorite by far has been Code Camp
: A programming, design and entrepreneurship contest all rolled up into a ridiculously compressed 24-hour event. It's crazy fun! Teams ranging in size from one to four participates complete against other teams to build the best web or mobile app. This year's event featured three divisions:
- Industry teams who competed to develop company ideas and claim bragging rights.
- Collegiate teams who wanted to impress potential employers.
- Novice teams many were youth exploring the industry and learning new techniques from the pros.
I was so proud of all the 4-H youth who participated and shipped some impressively coded games.