Keeping Money On Your Mind
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Keeping Money On Your Mind

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A presentation for young adults entering the labor force. Discusses how to prepare for an interview and manage earnings.

A presentation for young adults entering the labor force. Discusses how to prepare for an interview and manage earnings.

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  • The job search has changed dramatically over the past few decades. No longer it a simple “meet and greet” to see if you meet the minimum requirements of a position. The world has experience tremendous strides in technology, resulting in a global economy. Needless to say, the complexity of jobs has increased significantly. Unfortunately, the skills needed to meet these demands are falling. One study by the U.S. Department of Education found that less than half of all high school seniors could handle mathematics problems involving fractions, decimals, percents, elementary geometry, and simple algebra. Between 45 and 50 percent of adults in the United States have only limited reading and writing abilities needed to handle the minimal demands of daily living or job performance.As a result, businesses now spend billions of dollars on skills training for their employees. As you can imagine, a company is focused on the bottom line, therefore they wish to screen out any individuals who lack the ability to function in their organization. This is the new interview of the 21st Century. It is not uncommon for company’s to ask interviewees to take one or more placement tests, participate in various interviews and even require samples of your work. In order to interview successfully you will need to practice your interview style. It is recommended that you go on practice interviews before going for the job you truly want. This does not mean that you should not be prepared for these Pre-interview interviews. Quite the contrary – these are your opportunities to hone your skills. With the advent of the Internet it is now easier than ever to gather information. Before any interview, practice or otherwise, you should conduct a thorough review of each company. In this review you will want to list questions that you wish to ask your interviewer. Just as they are assessing if you are a good fit for their company, you want to assess of the company is a good fit for you. Remember, your position will be you major source of income and will command a significant amount of your time. You should develop questions for your interviewer to help you determine if this is a wise financial move for you, and that you can see yourself performing the necessary duties for 40 plus hours a week. As a result of your preparation you will experience a residual benefit - you will feel less nervous and more confident, a plus in interview situations.
  • Over the years, the educational attainment of the U.S. labor force has risen dramatically. Not coincidentally, some of the fastest-growing sectors of employment over the past few decades have been in areas requiring higher levels of education. Human Resources Department scans all résumés prior to interview, and weed out those that do not have the necessary education. These departments also use technology to help them in their hiring efforts. and other sites offer employers the ability to electronically scan resumes on ling for key words – education in specific. Therefore, your financial success is predicated on what you bring to the table. (Refer to chart)
  • Employee skills, knowledge, and abilities are among the most distinctive and renewable resources a company draws upon for their success. Therefore, the “Knowledge Worker” is becoming more of an asset to organizations. Simply put, Knowledge Workers have the ability to plan, make decisions, and employ problem-solving skills. This being the case, more organizations are focusing on professional development of their employees. As mentioned earlier, studies are showing that less people are prepared for the duties of the workforce. Employers have become increasingly reluctant to hire people who are not trainable. As students, you should strive to become a knowledge worker, as more jobs are being off-shored to other countries. While most of these are in the labor sector, the off-shoring of technical positions and management is on the rise. However, the world is beginning to learn that there are no substitutions for good old American know-how. Essentially, the future of our economy is dependant on the skills of its employees. The future of our employee’s careers and financial success is dependant of the level of education they receive. (Refer to Chart)
  • Your objective is the “sell” the interviewer on your ability to do the job you are interviewing for. You should recall two or more of you strengths and design a specific approach in orating them to your interviewer. The best way is if you can tie your achievement to the mission of the company. Most companies will post their mission statements on line, and all employees within the company, especially the interviewers are keenly aware of this statement. Also, understand your weaknesses and your interviewer will attempt to use them against you.
  • Now, it is important to realize your not hitting up the club, but rather entering a corporate atmosphere. Many companies have clients visiting, and you may need to represent the firm in meetings as part of your job. You will, in essence, be the face of the organization. Bottom line, be conservative in clothing choices and do not wear a lot of jewelry or makeup.In addition, they day of your interview is actually a really good day to shower, cut nor nails, trim your beard and or mustaches (females and males) and so on. Also, do not take a bathe in the High Karate. (Old cologne that will bring Bondies in the summer to mind.) Of course you want to have a pleasant scent, but you don’t want your interviewer scrambling to open a window when you come in the room.
  • Needless to say, first impressions are everything with interviews. This is the one shot you have to convey your seriousness in the position. Your level of seriousness is comprised of your preparation and your appearance. Schlepping into an interview in your American Eagle hoodie and Vintage low-rise jeans is going to do nothing but get you an escort from security to the parking lot. It is best that, when interviewing on the East Coast, that you wear a suit – male and female. On the West Coast things are more relaxed, so slacks and a collared shirt may be appropriate. While this might border on stalker, you may wish to stop by the office building to see what the other employees are wearing a go a step or two above it for your interview. While Vans and an Angels and Airwaves Tee may be the preferred work attire, it most certainly is not appropriate for an interview. Author John Molloy (Dress for Success or The New Woman’s Dress for Success Book) suggests that those starting out in the workforce should visit expensive stores, noting details— the exact shade of blue in a suit, the number of buttons on the sleeve, the placement of pockets, the width of lapels—and then go to stores in your price range and buy a suit that has the details found on more expensive clothing.Depending on the interviewer, they may wish to give you a tour of the office. Now, some companies are huge, and the tour could last some time, so be sure to wear comfortable shoes. While on the subject of shoes, be sure they are shined and the heels are not worn. Remember, you need to convey you want the job, not that you need to get a job to get shoes that are not coming apart at the seems. Also, take some time out to get a haircut before your interview and be sure that it is styled in a conservative manner. While your quaff may be appropriate for the Korn cover band you’re in, your gigs are not going to cover the rent – a career will.
  • You may be meeting with one individual, or many so it is advisable to bring several copies of your most recent résumé. Also, during the interview you may need to take notes, especially those applicable to your follow-up letter. (Be discussed later) In addition, you want to be a copy of your portfolio. This can consist of any items that are pertinent to the job you are seeking – schematics, your best college papers, and so on. As mentioned earlier, interviewers may want to see samples of your work. If you did not list your references on your résumé bring a listing. Generally, between three and five should be appropriate. Choose references that can speak about your skills related to the job you are applying for. As a college student or a new graduate, include at least one professor and at least one employer or adviser—someone who can comment on your work habits and leadership skills. Don’t use relatives or roommates, even if you’ve worked for them. Always ask the person’s permission to list him or her as a reference. For each reference, list name, title or position, organization, city and state, and phone number. Take complete details about your work history and education, including dates and street addresses, in case you’re asked to fill out an application form.
  • As mentioned, you will want to take notes. This will help you to draft your follow-up letter. You want to capture as much information as you can. Be sure to ask if the interviewer if they mind you taking notes. If they have objection, be sure to make your notes as soon as the interview is finished. The name of the interviewer(s)
  • Opening We are all human. The interviewer knows that you may be nervous, so they will take some time to set you t ease. While he or she may engage you in small talk, it is important to realize that they are evaluating you the entire interview. Keep your answers focused and make notes on the information the interviewer is giving up to tie them in with your answers later. BodyThis is the “meat of the interview. Here, the interviewer will give you an opportunity to showcase your strengths. They will also try to exploit your weaknesses (gaps in employment, education, so on.) Remember, this is a screening process, and could be the first step in many interviews to come. Interviewers are looking to thin the herd at this point. They are also trying to sell you on their company as well. If you are a qualified candidate, they will try to entice you to keep their company in mind. CloseThe interviewer will explain what happens next (they will call you, schedule of next interview, etc.) Close with an assertive statement. Example: I look forward to continuing our discussion as to how I can be an asset to your organization.
  • First interviews seek to screen out less qualified candidates rather than to find someone to hire. Negative information will hurt you less if it comes out in the middle of the interview and is preceded and followed by positive information. If you blow a question near the end of the interview, don’t leave until you’ve said something positive—perhaps restating one of the points you want the interviewer to know about you. Do some research regarding the most commonly asked interview question, and perform un-pressured thinking before the interview so that you’ll be able to come up with answers that are responsive, are honest, and paint a good picture of you. Choose answers that fit your qualifications and your interview strategy.Example: Why should I hire you?“Passion! I realize that there are likely other candidates who also have the ability to do this job. Yet I bring an additional quality that makes me uniquely qualified to become a member of your team - -my passion for excellence. I am committed to producing superior results. For example . . .”
  • A stress interview deliberately puts you under stress. If the stress is physical (for example, you’re given a chair where the light is in your eyes), be assertive: move to another chair or tell the interviewer that the behavior bothers you. Usually the stress is psychological. A group of interviewers fire rapid questions. A single interviewer probes every weak spot in your record and asks questions that elicit negatives. If you get questions that put you on the defensive, rephrase them in less inflammatory terms, if necessary, and then treat them as requests for information.Example: Why did you major in physical education? That doesn’t sound like much of a major (Locker, 2005). You’re asking whether I have the academic preparation for this job. I started out in physical education because I’ve always loved sports. I learned that I couldn’t graduate in four years if I officially switched my major to business administration because the requirements were different in the two programs. But I do have 21 hours in business administration and 9 hours in accounting, and my sports experience gives me practical training in teamwork, motivating people, and management.Increasingly common is the variety of stress interview that asks you to do—on the spot—the kind of thing the job would require. An interviewer for a sales job handed applicants a ballpoint pen and said, “Sell me this pen.” (It’s OK to ask who the target market is and whether this is a repeat or a new customer.) AT&T asks some applicants to deliver presentations or lead meetings (Locker, 2005). 
  • Behavioral interviews ask the applicant to describe actual behaviors, rather than plans or general principles. Thus instead of asking “How would you motivate people?” the interviewer might ask, “Tell me what happened the last time you wanted to get other people to do something.” Follow-up questions might include, “What exactly did you do to handle the situation? How did you feel about the results? How did the other people feel? How did your superior feel about the results? (Locker, 2005)”
  • Situational interviews put you in a situation that allows the interviewer to see whether you have the qualities the company is seeking. For example, Southwest Airlines found that 95% of the complaints it received were provoked by only 5% of its personnel. When managers explored further, they found that these 5% of employees were self-centered. To weed out self-centered applicants, Southwest now puts several candidates into a room and asks each to give a five-minute speech on “Why I Want to Work with Southwest Airlines.” But the interviewers watch the audience to hire the people who are pulling for other speakers to do well, as opposed to those who are only thinking about their own performance (Locker, 2005). Situational interviews may also be conducted using traditional questions but evaluating behaviors other than the answers. Greyhound hired applicants for its customer-assistance center who made eye contact with the interviewer and smiled at least five times during a 15-minute interview (Locker, 2005).
  • After a first interview, make follow-up phone calls to reinforce positives from the first interview, to overcome any negatives, and to get information you can use to persuade the interviewer to hire you. Career coaches recommend that you pose questions such as “Is there more information I can give you?”“Where do I stand?” “How does my work compare with the work others presented?” A letter after an onsite visit is essential to thank your hosts for their hospitality as well as to send in receipts for your expenses. The letter should Remind the interviewer of what he or she liked in you.Counter any negative impressions that may have come up at the interview.Use the jargon of the company and refer to specific things you learned during your interview or saw during your visit.Be enthusiastic.Refer to the next move, whether you’ll wait to hear from the employer or whether you want to call to learn about the status of your application.
  • Lending is a risk-based industry; your risk establishes the interest rate you receive on loans. To determine the risk you present, creditors review your credit history. Your individual history is a track record on how you maintain financial obligations. Having made good decisions helps you to obtain a lower interest rate; bad decisions will earn you a higher rate. Higher interest rates are particularly troublesome when you are considering home ownership. A credit bureau, otherwise known as a credit reporting agency, is a clearinghouse for credit history information. Creditors provide these bureaus with information on how their customers pay their bills. The bureau compiles this data, along with public record information, in a file for each consumer. There are more than 1,000 local and regional credit bureaus throughout the United States. Most are either owned or under contract to one of the nation’s three major credit bureaus: TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. The major credit bureaus maintain data on more than 170 million Americans. It is important to realize that credit bureaus do not rate credit. Credit bureaus simply provide information to their subscribers. Their subscribers are lenders. Each lender has its own formula for evaluating a credit application, and only the creditor can tell the consumer why they made a decision to extend or deny a credit request. Credit bureaus supply lenders with the contents of credit reports, which they can review in order to assist them in making their decision. Many times, the decision does not have anything to do with the credit report itself, but is based on things like income, length of residence, or employment history.
  • Credit has gone beyond assessing the risk an individual presents in the repayment of loans. Credit is now being viewed to establish how responsible an individual is. Employers, especially those in the finance industry, routinely check the credit scores of applicants. Landlords review credit reports and scores to evaluate if a prospective tenant will pay their rent on time. Even the car turns industry has taken reviewing credit reports to assess a drivers responsible major. And finally, some medical and law schools view the credit scores of applicants.
  • The traditional credit scoring system developed by Fair Isaac Corp. allows the information within your credit report to be distilled into a three-digit number ranging between 300 to 850. The higher the score, the more creditworthy the consumer is considered therefore they will be extended a lower the interest.Under this system credit reporting agencies used their own proprietary formulas, based on the FICO model, to generate their own scores. Each agency has their own name for the score that is produced from their organization. They are as follows: Equifax: Beacon ScoreExperian: Experian/Fair Isaac Risk Model ScoreTransUnion: Emprica ScoreIf the information were identical at all three credit reporting agencies, scores from all three would be within a few points of each other. However, the way lenders and other businesses report information to the credit reporting agencies sometimes results in different information on each of the reports. To further complicate matters, the reporting agencies may also report the same information in different ways, resulting in slight fluctuations in each of the scores. While each creditor uses its own criteria to access credit risk, the following list illustrates the general ranges of credit scores and the grades assigned to each.720 and above: A+ Credit700 – 719: A Credit 675 – 699: A- Credit 620 – 674: B Credit 560 – 619: C Credit 500 – 559: C- Credit 499 and below: D Credit
  • According to Fair Isaac, the breakdown of your FICO score is as follows:35% of the score is determined by payment histories on your credit accounts, with recent history weighted a bit more heavily than the distant past; 30% is based upon the amount of debt you have outstanding with all creditors; 15% is produced on the basis of how long you've been a credit user;10% is comprised of very recent history; 10% is calculated from the mix of credit you hold, including installment loans (like car loans), leases, mortgages, credit cards, etc.
  • The single most important thing you can do to ensure a strong financial future is developing a Spending Plan. Your specific plan is directed by the goals you develop for yourself, and the financial resources you have available to reach them. While this may seem to be overwhelming, is a surprisingly simplistic approach to review your spending habits, ensuring that you are on the right path to achieve your goals. Upon successful completion of the steps in your plans construction you will have direction in managing the various aspects of your finances, which include spending, credit, saving, and investing. Development of your personal Spending Plan involves several painless steps. Each one is important and all must be coordinated if your financial plan is to succeed. The following are the main steps in the process:Evaluating the current situation: “Initial Spending Assessment”Recognizing “need’s” and “want’s”Discuss options (if necessary) and/or adjust spending accordinglyReview spending plan: “Spending Plan”Establish and implement short- and long-term goals into your plan Track spendingReview and modify plan when necessary.Spending generally falls within six categories in an average budget. It is recommended that each category take up a certain percentage of your monthly income. These percentages are as follows:Home: 35% Debt: 15% Travel: 15% Other: 20%Savings: 10% (5% after Emergency Fund established) Goals: 5% At the conclusion of your assessment you may find that your spending doesn’t match the recommended parameters. That’s fine! Remember, the point was to know where you are so you can make a plan to get where you wish to go. You can now analyze each of your expenses and determine what can be adjusted to help you achieve your goals.


  • 1. Entering the American Economy
    Keeping Money on Your Mind
  • 2. Preparation
    Practice makes “money”
    Pre – Interview Interviews
    Research each company
  • 3. Learning = Earning
    US Department of Labor - 2007
  • 4. “Knowledge” is Key
    Forester Research Inc. - 2004
  • 5. Social Media
    Everyone is using it, even EMPLOYERS!!!
  • 6. Connected
    Although technology allows us to become more connected, there is a time and place for everything
  • 7. Strategy
    Showcase two or more strengths
    Character traits
  • 8. Selling Yourself
    Understated jewelry and makeup
    Impeccable personal hygiene
    Light cologne or perfume
  • 9. Selling Yourself
    Wear a business suit?
    The budget “executive”
    Comfortable shoes
    Shoes shined
    Conservative haircut / style
  • 10. What to Take to the Interview
    Extra copies of your résumé
    Pad and pen
    Information regarding references
    Detailed work / education history
  • 11. Note-Taking
    The name of the interviewer(s)
    What the interviewer liked about you
    Negative points or weaknesses
    Answers to your questions
    When you’ll hear from the company
  • 12. Parts of the Interview
    Two to five minutes
    Breaking the ice
    10 to 25 minutes
    “Selling the Seller”
    Two to five minutes
    What’s next?
  • 13. The Screening Process: Getting to Know You
    Tell me about yourself.
    Why should I hire you?
    Why do you want to work for us?
    What have you read recently?
    Where do you see yourself in five years?
    What is your greatest strength?
    What is your greatest weakness?
    What questions do you have?
    On with the Show
  • 14. Stress Interviews
    Time Challenge
  • 15. Behavioral Interviews
    Decision Making
    Personal Attributes
    Team Building
  • 16. Situational Interviews
    In the “Hot” seat
    Analytical Skills
    Problem-solving skills
    Working on the fly
  • 17. “Hey, remember me?”
    Counter negative impressions
    Use company “jargon”
    Be enthusiastic
    The next move
  • 18. Managing your Credit
    I Got the Job, Now What?
  • 19. Why is Credit Important?
    Lending is a “risk-based” business.
    Good credit = low risk
    Low risk = low interest rate
    Tracking Your Risk
  • 20. The New Focus on Credit
    Poor credit may prohibit you from:
    Getting the job you’d like,
    Finding an apartment,
    Receiving low insurance premiums, and
    Gaining admission to certain universities.
  • 21. FICO Scores
  • 22. What Makes Up a FICO Score?
  • 23. Manage Credit…
    Don’t let credit manage you.
    Create a Spending Plan and stick to it.
  • 24. Questions?