Archive for August, 2011

Commuters, take note

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

Want to make the most of your morning commute?  Try Kindle-ing any of Time’s 25 Most Influential Business Management Books, listed here.


What Would MacGyver Do…on Barbara Walters?

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

MacGyver, the 1980’s television icon played by Richard Dean Anderson, was a secret agent who never carried a weapon.  Instead, MacGyver relied on improvisation and a sound working knowledge of scientific principals, his Swiss Army knife, some duct tape and the occasional paper clip to finagle his way out of just about any predicament.

But ol’ Mac never had to sit through an interview with Barbara Walters, who famously asked Katharine Hepburn “If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?” 

Barbara’s inquiry falls into the category (however obliquely) of the vaunted behavioral interview question, increasingly employed not only by TV journalists, but also by Human Resources departments and a great many hiring managers. 

MacGyver’s improvisation skills would undoubtedly come in handy during a behavioral interview.  But why?

Behavioral interview questions are meant to show either how you think on your feet (as Google’s famous questions like “Why are manhole covers round?” might) and/or to determine how you have actually responded to real world situations and challenges (as in “Tell me about a time a supervisor challenged your behavior; how did you handle it?”).  Of course, there are also honest self-assessments that simultaneously gauge tact (“What is the biggest mistake you’ve made in your career?” – which we’d guess Mac might answer with “My choice in barbershops”).

Once dreaded but rare in frequency, today more and more interviewers are using the advanced strategy of behavioral questioning to delve deeply into a candidate’s psyche.  And while we here at Rockwood won’t be able to help you stop the flow of sulfuric acid with some chocolate the way Mac did in the pilot episode (later confirmed on Mythbusters), we can help by providing you with the top 10 most popular behavioral interview questions from, this article covering behavioral question strategy and the exhaustive “Complete List of Behavioral Interview Questions” from

So check out the Swiss Army knife of links above and get to building your interview cruise missile.  Or at least familiarizing yourself with Dendrology.



Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

Here’s another great article from Yahoo Finance furthering one of our prior posts on what not to share…this time, it’s what not to share with HR.


America’s got talent…and it’s on the move

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

While the ultimate economic results of the debt deal remain to be seen, one thing is and has been certain: there will continue to be movement among employees who are actively seeking change.

A pre-debt deal survey by Mercer Consulting from June showed that nearly 1 in 3 employees was actively looking for new work and another 21% were dissatisfied with their employers.

While the number currently seeking employment is down from Right Management’s December 2010 survey of 84%, Mercer’s overall sample size was almost 20 times larger globally and nearly twice as large in the US…and also did not likely draw from a search firm’s candidate database (Right Management is the consulting division of staffing giant Manpower – who we are sure doesn’t mind us pointing this out, ahem).  Of course, Right’s survey was well in advance of the debt deal.

Notwithstanding the surveys (or the debt deal, for that matter), 2 million people quit their jobs in May, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics figures cited in a Bloomberg article yesterday, contending that confidence in the economy is the driver of that particular bus.

While we await last month’s BLS Employment Situation release tomorrow, one thing is certain: jobs are changing hands, irrespective of Howie Mandel.