Business

A Sample of Behavioral Questions and Answers in a Job Interview

Behavioral questions are included in job interviews because they are thought to be accurate predictors of future job success. Rather than those with simple "yes" or "no" answers, behavioral questions tend to be more revealing of past performance than typical interview questions. Although there are perhaps a dozen types of behavioral questions, most fall into a handful of categories. Leadership questions focus on strategies an employee has used to manage teams, as well as for hiring, developing,

How to Write a Business Proposal & Plan

If you want to expand your existing business or even start a new one, you need a comprehensive business plan. A business plan serves multiple purposes. For the business owner, the plan articulates a thorough definition of the business and the market. The process of writing the plan can help the business owner flesh out necessary details. For the investor, a business plan is basically a proposal that explains the viability of a business. If you need money, you will need a business plan. Write a

Limitations of Decision Making Strategies in Management

Decision making strategies are characterized in many ways. However, there are a handful of strategies that apply specifically to managerial decision making within an organization. Decisions in most companies involve managers at all levels. In addition to the quality of the decisions made, management must consider the time involved and the overall impact on the group. No strategy is perfect. Each has its limitations. Consensus decision-making strategies involve the entire group, allowing everyon

Effective Employee Evaluation Training for Management

Effective employee evaluations should help both managers and employees. For managers, it’s an opportunity to correct problematic behaviors, acknowledge improvements and recognize exemplary performance among staff members. For employees, it’s the chance to hear praises sung or correct problematic behaviors before more serious issues arise. But if managers have not been trained to effectively draft and deliver an evaluation, the session can create a human resources nightmare. While training may no

How to Create Functional Conflict in an Organization

Functional conflict can be good for an organization. It promotes the healthy exchange of ideas, clears the air and promotes creative thought and keen decision making. Leaders should build conflict into decision-making processes, says Michael Roberto, professor of management at Bryant University in Rhode Island and former Harvard Business School professor. Some companies pride themselves on having a collegial culture, and the idea of conflict is anathema to them. But good things happen when oppos

What to Do When You Aren't Happy With Your Job

Work seems much easier when you love your job -- you can breeze through the toughest times and still feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day. However, when you do not enjoy your job, it’s much more difficult to get through the day, let alone feel energized by what you do. Before quitting becomes your best option, implement a few key strategies to help you tolerate your current situation with your sanity in check. There can be a variety of reasons why you're unhappy with your job, i

How to Deal With an Indifferent Supervisor at Work

In addition to managing your day-to-day performance, your supervisor should serve as a coach, mentor, and advocate to you. Under good conditions, most do. But, when the pressures and the demands of running a successful business begin to overwhelm a manager, apathy can set in. When your supervisor is indifferent, she may not effectively function in any of her roles. If this happens, you may need to take steps to maintain your optimism, as well as your career trajectory. Every employee should hav

How to Design a Performance Management System

A good performance management system improves a company’s overall profitability. Performance management systems help establish employee expectations around specific roles, outline resources available to them, and provide the structure for employee appraisals. The best systems are endorsed from top management and align with the needs of the business. Advanced planning can help you implement a performance management system effectively. Get employees involved in the early planning of a new system.

10 Worst Interview Responses

Don’t be complacent about the routine questions asked during interviews. These questions can be tricky, and how you respond to them can determine whether you are hired. Prepare by reviewing the worst responses and taking the time to formulate better answers. A little preparation can give you an edge over unprepared applicants. Tell me about yourself. “I was born in a rural town in downstate Illinois. I went to grade school at…” Why not: The interviewer wants a brief synopsis of your professiona

How to Get Past a Demotion

Even without a pay cut, a job demotion – or reclassification, as such demotions are currently known — can be a debilitating experience. These days, demotions are quickly becoming a common way to deal with budgetary cutbacks. If you have been demoted, it can leave you feeling enraged and ready to quit. Given the current economic realities, however, you may want to reconsider. You can get past a demotion and, perhaps, even thrive. In the past, a demotion was likely to be a penalty for poor perfor

How to Develop a More Diverse Skill Set in the Workplace

It's hard to be all things to all people. A barista is not a bartender, though both deal in shots and shakers. Still, if the world's supply of coffee suddenly dried up, it wouldn’t hurt to know how to mix an extra-dry martini. Indeed, in most occupations, it pays to develop a diverse set of skills. For one, diverse skills help ensure that you can do more than surf the Internet during the slow times. More importantly, diverse skills enable you to build your relevancy in the workplace and position you as a serious contender -- maybe even for the corner office.

Emotional Intelligence and Women's Initiatives: There's Gotta Be a Pony

What accounts for the derailed careers of seemingly brilliant lawyers from top schools and the meteoric rise of others who barely graduated from a second tier law school? The developers of intelligence instruments have long recognized that there is a social component of cognitive intelligence, one that is not captured in IQ tests. As laypeople, we recognize it, too. We call it street smarts, common sense, maturity, a way with people, and a whole host of other terms that don’t quite hit the mark. Without a doubt, some people have personal characteristics that help them overcome, even seemingly clear with ease, obstacles in the most challenging environments. They are the folks who see the glass as half full and will grab a shovel and start digging through a whole pile of manure because “there’s gotta be a pony in there...

Harness Momentum for Transformational Change

Have you ever seen an inconsiderate motorist cut off an 18-wheeler and watch the truck driver try to slow down? Usually the maneuver is accompanied by an angry blast of an air horn and, you imagine, some fairly strident language, as the trucker tries, unsuccessfully, to make a seamless transition to a lower gear. It's not so easy to stop a truck. Change – the kind that transforms a traditional brick-and-mortar into an e-business – is particularly challenging for large firms. Like an 18-wheeler, large companies find it difficult to turn on a dime. Resistance takes on a life of its own, building momentum that overtakes change...

Why the Resistance to Workplace Diversity Training?

Diversity happens--even in companies that draw from relatively homogeneous employee pools. In addition to sex and race, diversity also refers to religion, sexual preference, age, class, even schools attended. Diversity training is intended to help individuals overcome personal biases and work better with others. There are many barriers, however, that can interfere with the implementation of training and its effectiveness. Companies that recognize the barriers and address them are the successful companies into the next...

Not Just a Project

Many companies make the mistake of thinking of an e-business initiative as an IT project. Ecommerce can be just a project, one that provides another means of distribution or a means to capture operational efficiencies. Depending upon your business goals, e-commerce may be appropriate and the absolute right thing to do. E-business, however, is different. However, for a traditional brick-and-mortar company at the top of the mountain and hoping to stay that way, e-business should fundamentally change the way it does business. In fact, there is a better, higher mountain forming right now. Economic shifts are reshaping businesses and changing the structure of the...

Grant Options Targeting Black Women

Despite the promise of free grant money all over the internet, these opportunities are few and far between for black women who want to enter or advance in the business world. There are some government grants, however, if you expand your search beyond Uncle Sam, there are more grants available. Typically, these grants are available to help black women enter fields where they are traditionally underrepresented. Exclusionary programs are rare (and discriminatory), so while none of these programs are solely for black women, they are strongly targeted. And while you’re searching, don’t forget to ask your school. Many schools with large endowments (Ivy Leagues and private schools) have programs that you will only discover if...

How to Create the Customer Experience

What is the customer experience? It is everything your customer sees, touches, feels or interacts with on your Web site and through all your customer touch points. This includes the seamless interaction through phone and mail contact, as well as the face-to-face experience with your frontline employees. The customer experience is intended to lead, rather than follow technology. In other words, the customer experience is not merely a by-product of the system's functional capabilities or its distribution capabilities. Whiz-bang technology alone does not...
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