Career Watch: Job interview do's and don'ts

Ask a premier 100 IT leader: Jim Fortner

Ask a Premier 100 IT Leader: Jim Fortner

The Procter & Gamble vice president answers questions about training on the cheap and giving input to a nontechnical boss.

The company I work for used to be very generous about training, but it has cut back severely. I can't do it on my own, but I don't want to be left behind in skills. What can I do? It is critical that you continue to invest in yourself. Do not let your company's lack of funds be a barrier to advancing your career.

There are four types of training that do not cost much. First, many of the offerings on the Web present opportunities for real skills-building. The second option is distance learning, which is also generally accomplished through the computer. Third, local communities of shared interest can provide relevant training in technology, project management and even leadership. Finally, you can learn on the job by joining up with others outside your team so you can develop broader points of view. I have learned a lot over the years taking on different assignments and meeting with all kinds of people outside of my space.

Certifications are also important. They are visible signs that you are a learning employee, which every employer wants. For example, a certification in project management is a great asset.

The IT industry is alive and well in the U.S. The Digital Age is in the early stages, and having employees who have strong enterprise skills and who like to learn is invaluable.

I'm pretty much a tech guy. I wouldn't expect to be anyone's choice for a management role -- too head-down, results-oriented. Still, I sometimes have what I consider to be good ideas for the larger organization. My manager (who is far less of a tech guy) hasn't shown much interest in my input. I find that pretty irritating. What can I do about this? Let me commend your deep technical skills. Companies need IT leaders who are both technically and organizationally savvy.

Labeling yourself as technical tells others that you are not someone to involve in managerial and business issues. Begin professing that your passion is to improve business results. Next, build a relationship with your manager. As you get to know each other, you will appreciate each other's diverse sets of skills, and he may open up and listen to your ideas. Finally, present him with ideas that are carefully thought through and that clearly show how he can drive further business value. Managers are not stupid; they want to look good, and they appreciate employees who make them look good.

If you ever pit yourself against your manager, you will lose. Since your manager is not much of a tech guy, you will need to talk less technology and more business benefits and business processes.

If you have a question for one of our Premier 100 IT Leaders, send it to askaleader@computerworld.com, and watch for this column each month.

30,200 Net number of tech jobs added in the first half of 2010. In the same period of 2009, 143,000 net jobs were lost.

Source: TechAmerica Foundation

Smile, You're at a Job Interview

You probably know that you should make eye contact during a job interview. But a recent survey manages to quantify how many hiring managers would be inclined not to offer a job to someone who failed to make eye contact or displayed other instances of poor body language. Here's how various faux pas stack up.

* Failure to make eye contact: 67 per cent * Lack of smile: 38 per cent * Fidgeting too much: 33 per cent * Bad posture: 33 per cent * Handshake that is too weak: 26 per cent * Crossing arms over chest: 21 per cent * Playing with one's hair or touching one's face: 21 per cent * Using too many hand gestures: nine per cent

Source: CareerBuilder survey of more than 2,500 hiring managers, Q2 2010

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags careersIT management

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jamie Eckle

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?