Most Important Thing I’ve Learned

I think that the most important thing I have learned this term was the information we covered relating to interviews. With the company that I will be w0rking for after graduation, one of the career paths that I can pursue and am most interested in is the path of employee recruiter. I was hired through the company’s campus recruiter process, and faced a series of both structured and unstructured interviews with many different members of the organization. I think that my new-found knowledge of the interview process that I gained from this class will be very helpful if I someday hopefully end up in this role.

First, I learned the differences, as well as the advantages and disadvantages, of both structured and unstructured interviews. In my own personal experience, I have been a part of many more unstructured interviews, so it was really interesting to learn that this is typically not a very effective tool to use. Some of the disadvantages of this type of interview include a lack of job relatedness, the naturally poor intuition of human beings, a negative information bias, and a similarity bias. On the contrary, some of the advantages to using a structured interview are better predictive validity, an easier process to defend in court, and an ability to pick up on things that other tests (such as a cognitive ability test) are unable to grasp.

I also learned a lot about how to develop an effective structured interview. Now knowing the six types of questions that can be used (clarifier, disqualifier, skill-level determiner, future-focused, past-focused, and organizational fit) as well as the most common scoring methods for such an interview (right/wrong, typical answers, and key issues) I feel as though I would be able to develop a strong list of interview questions and an accompanying scorecard for a round of interviews.

This knowledge has also given me a better insight into how to prepare for my own interviews in the future, what to prepare for, and little tips and tricks for success. For example, due to the negative information bias that exists, I will try and keep negative information to a minimum in my interviews, even if it is what the interviewer is asking for. Another example would be, knowing of the similarity bias, I will try and use the subtle hints from the interviewer related to how he/she is sitting, facial expressions, gestures, etc. to pose my own movements and reactions.


Self Reflection

I. What am I good at?

I am a strong communicator, whether it be written or verbal. I am not scared of public speaking and I am very articulate on paper as well. I have well-developed interpersonal skills and I love working with others and meeting new people. I have a good balance of being a leader while also knowing when it is time to be a follower. I am very hardworking and am good at putting my all into many different commitments or areas of my life simultaneously.

II. What do I value?

I value having solid, concrete relationships with many different people in my life, including family, friends, and co-workers. I value working hard in order to be able to afford the comfortable lifestyle that I imagine for myself. I value travel, and the ability to be able to see the world and all of the amazing things it has to offer. Lastly, I value my faith, and I want to continue to use this as a mantra for the way I live my life. 

III. How did I get here?

There are a lot of different things that got me to where I am today. I chose Oregon State five years ago as my college of choice simply because I liked the campus and they awarded me with a very large merit scholarship. I had no idea what I wanted to do at that point. I started as a double major in education and business, but after my first two years I realized my passion was more in business because I loved how wide of a range of careers were available to me, and all of the chances to move around and move up in this field. I started as a finance and marketing major, and I chose to add management to this list (making myself a triple major) after I got accepted to go on a study abroad trip to London that revolved around international management. Lastly, I am leaving Oregon State with a job lined up for me as a wine saleswoman in Southern California due to my college job at Dutch Bros. This company has made me the outgoing, energetic, hardworking leader that I consider myself to be today and I would not be where I am right now without this job.

IV. Where am I going?

In June, I will be graduating from Oregon State with three degrees in Finance, Marketing, and Management. In August, I will be moving down to Southern California to start my new job as a wine sales representative for a global wine production and distribution company. Moving to California after college has always been my goal so I am very excited to make this move. Once in California, besides starting this new job and after simply getting acquainted with the area and the people, I have already developed three other areas that I want to “go” in my life there. First, I grew up being a competitive volleyball player, so I want to join a competitive beach league. Second, I have always had a very strong faith and went to church very week growing up, so I want to find a church that I really connect with and get as involved there as I can, whether it be with the youth or the ministry or the community outreach. Third, I was a fitness instructor in Corvallis, so I want to continue doing this at a gym in California because it is something I really enjoy. Currently, I am very happy with where I am going, and I look forward to seeing how my path forms and changes in the coming months and years.


IPIP Results and Reactions

I find taking tests such as this one to be extremely interesting, so I chose to take the full 300 question survey. I did another version of the Big 5 Personality Test my freshmen year of college and I found the results to be pretty accurate, so I was excited to compare those results to the ones I received from this questionnaire.

For the most part, my results were what I expected them to be. I scored very highly on the extraversion facet, meaning that I am outgoing and enjoy being in social settings most of the time, which is a part of my personality that I can actively recognize in my everyday life. I scored a little bit before average on the agreeableness scale, which is the result that surprised me the most. According to the information at the end, this means that although I do care somewhat for the needs of others, in the end I do what I can to personally get ahead. In this case, I think the truthfulness of this analysis depends largely on what area of my life is being discussed. I scored very highly on the conscientiousness facets, which means that I set clear goals and am a hard worker, which I think is descriptive of my personality. I also scored on the higher end of the neuroticism scale, meaning that I am very emotional and sensitive. Again, I think the accuracy of this rating really depends on what area of my life is being looked at. Lastly, I scored toward the middle of the scale on openness to experience. This I think is an accurate representation of my personality because I do value routine and tradition but I also love adventure and new experiences.

As an employer looking at these results, I would say there could be some positives and some negatives. On the plus side, it shows that I am very outgoing and get along with others. I also think that scoring towards the middle on the agreeableness scale would be a positive aspect, because I think in many jobs it is beneficial to be able to work with others but also strive for your own personal success. Being a conscientious employee would also be viewed as a positive; employers love employees who work hard and set high standards and goals for themselves. A rather high score on the neuroticism scale could be viewed as a negative. Generally, I feel that employees who are overly emotional and sensitive and not always the most-desired candidates. The last facet I feel could be viewed as a positive or a negative aspect of my personality, depending on the job and the company I am applying for.

Overall, as it says in the summary at the end of the test, I do not think in many cases there is necessarily a “good” and a “bad” way to score for each of the different facets. Depending on the job context, I think that a variety of scores on the different scales could be viewed as strengths and weaknesses. For example, as a salesman, it would be a good thing in most cases to score highly on the extraversion scale because this is a job that requires a lot of social interaction and confidence in unfamiliar situations. On the other hand, in a position like a librarian or a lab technician, having an extroverted personality would not be nearly as important or valued.


Typical vs. Maximal Performance

Every manager, CEO, or anyone in charge of hiring knows how difficult, and crucial, it is to hire the right candidate for any open position in their company. The given scenario of choosing either Avery or Jamie for this job is no exception. As discussed in the lectures, there are different situations in which typical and maximal employees would be better suited (I will get back to this idea later). However, with no information given in the prompt about what type of company this business owner is running or what position they are filling, I think I would choose Avery, the employee with high ability and strong performance in critical situations, but low motivation and blow-average day to day performance.

I chose Avery based almost entirely on an idea we talked about earlier in this term: ability is something individuals have naturally, and it much harder to improve upon in time. Motivation, on the other hand, is something that with the right tools and people involved, can be created or improved. In this scenario, Avery has a lot of ability, but little motivation when it comes to his day to day work. My hope in choosing to hire Avery would be that I would be able to figure out what motivates him and find a way to improve his average performance by increasing his desire to succeed.

As I mentioned above, however, in practice there are certain companies and situations in which each of these types of individuals would be more practical. In my opinion, an individual who falls into the maximal performance category would do better in a position where he is crucially important, but only for a limited number of spaced out tasks. Some examples of careers where this type of person would do will I think would include being a politician, a firefighter, a medic, a surgeon, or a professional athlete. All of these professions are jobs where there are specific peaks involved when the individual would need to perform extremely well, but on a day to day basis their performance isn’t as essential to the larger organization.

On the other hand, individuals who demonstrate typical performance would be better suited for jobs that need to be done consistently, day in and day out, but with no real peak of performance necessary. Some examples of jobs like this could be a customer service representative, a cook, a teacher, a retail manager, or an Uber driver. These careers involve doing a very similar task everyday that should be performed to relatively the same level, all the time.

Most companies will need both kinds of employees to be successful, as businesses need a peak of ability, motivation, peak performers, and consistent team members to grow and succeed.


Critiquing a Recruitment Ad

I want my personal brand to show that I am a hard working, creative, outgoing individual who is easy to work with and is always up for new challenges and opportunities. I have spent the last three years taking an average of sixteen credits per term while working two jobs and still finding the time to go to the gym almost everyday and spend time with my friends and family. I pride myself on being able to take on many different commitments at once and still putting my all into everything I do. I am very good at prioritizing my time and staying organized and focused. I also love being creative; coming up with new ideas, designs, and projects is something I really enjoy. Lastly, I have a very outgoing personality and I love interacting with others. I think I would prove a valuable addition to both an individual or a team work environment, because I am very good at holding myself accountable for my own work, but I also thrive in a collaborative environment where I am able to meet new people and succeed together. I sometimes have trouble speaking my mind and taking a leadership role in group atmospheres, but I have recently been given a leadership position at my current job and I am really working on having the self confidence necessary to be a successful leader.

If I were to creative a situation wanted ad for myself, I would use my creativity as best I could. The first idea I had was to make business cards for myself as an individual, and hand them to people I meet at my current jobs who I believe work for companies that could use someone with my personality and skill set. I would make the business cards very eye catching and clearly highlight my strengths and previous job experience and education. My second idea was to create an ad for social media. I love photography and editing, so I feel that I could create an impressive ad for myself that I could share on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. I would try and highlight as many of my skills as possible in these ads, as well as showing off my personality. My third and final idea would be to create an email advertisement for my situation ad that I could send to anyone from relatives to previous professors to old colleagues. In this email I would again highlight my skills and strengths, as well as the type of work that I am looking for. I would want the email to appear crisp, refined, vibrant, and easy to read. I would use the design elements of both the email campaign and the social media advertisements to additionally highlight my personality and specifically my creativity.


Job Descriptions

Below, I have included a copy of the job description for my current job in Corvallis: a part-time barista at Dutch Bros Coffee.

I have been working for Dutch Bros for almost three years now, but when I first applied I really did not know much about the job. One of my very good friends at the time had just been hired by the company, and thinking I would fit in very well at the company, she convinced me to apply. When I did apply, I did not even have an opportunity to read the above job description; this paper is provided to individuals only once they have been given an job offer from the company.

Having worked for the company for quite a while now, I would say that overall the job description above is a pretty good representation of what a barista position at Dutch Bros entails. For example, in the small paragraph at the top titled, “Description,” the importance of the customer we serve is emphasized over the physical coffee that we are serving. The first few tasks listed under the “Tasks & Responsibilities” section are also related to the customer. This is something that truly is the most important aspect of our job, and I think this job description highlights how much focus Dutch Bros as an organization puts on their companies, and the task of their employees to uphold that.

One aspect of my job that I believe is underrepresented in this job description is the amount of cleaning we are expected to do on shift. There is a single statement at the very bottom of the “Tasks & Responsibilities” list that mentions having to keep your stand tidy, but in reality we spend almost half of our time in the stand cleaning, organizing, and stocking product, so I think that this part of the job is drastically understated in the job description we currently have.


Experiences with Discrimination

Being a white woman from a middle class family in the Pacific Northwest, I feel as though I have not experienced much discrimination in my lifetime. However, I do come from a very religious family, and my faith and belief system is very important to me. Thinking now about what I would do if I found out that my favorite company’s hiring process was discriminating against my religion, this would be very difficult for me. Hearing that my favorite company was discriminating against any belief system, race, culture, etc. would have an impact on my view of the company.

Personally, I do not think I would be able to work for a company that I knew was discriminating against my belief system. This would be a difficult decision for me to make, because it has always been a dream of mine to work for said company, but knowing that they were discriminating against a group of people for reasons completely unrelated to work ethic, job knowledge, or ability to get the job done is something I would not be able to look past.

I own many products created by this company, and it would make me wary to purchase any of their products anymore. It would be hard for me to accept because I have been such a huge supporter of this company for so long, but I think this is something that is very important for companies to realize. As much as I have been a loyal supporter and big fan of this company for many years, charges of discrimination in hiring is something serious, and I do not think I would be able to support any company that is taking part in something like that.


The Case for Recruitment & Selection

There is no way any knowledgable manager or CEO can argue that finding and hiring the right employees for the right jobs is not a crucial activity for any business. However, there are many different activities that contribute to a business’s success, and many companies choose to allocate the majority of their resources to other aspects of their companies, including marketing, product design, distribution, etc. What is the reasoning behind assigning a limited amount of time and money to the recruitment and selection process?

One reason I believe is management’s overconfidence in their own ideas and abilities. With a great overarching business plan or product idea, some might think that who is carrying out the project is irrelevant, as long as what the project is has the makings of a successful business venture. Another reason for the lack of focus on this may be that humans are often told to “go with their gut.” In order words, some managers and hiring leaders may think that they do not need to know much about a candidate or interact with them for very long in order to be able to tell if they would be a good fit at their company.

I believe there are both strengths and weaknesses involved in prioritizing recruitment and selection over other business ideas. Some strengths include less costs incurred from losing ill-fitting employees down the line, lower turnover rates, and better relationships between the different employees and managers within the company. Some weaknesses related to this approach could include lack of attention given to the physical operation of the business and an overly strenuous hiring process. Depending on the type of business and the current strengths and weaknesses of their operations, I believe the recruitment and selection process may have different levels of importance for different businesses.


Job Application Experiences

In October of this last year, as a fifth-year senior at Oregon State University, I finally took it upon myself to attend one of the school’s campus-wide career fairs. From the hour and a half I spent at this event, I was invited to begin the interview process with five different companies, was eventually offered a job by two of these companies, and recently accepted one of these offers as a full-time position after graduation at the end of this term.

Recounting the job application and interview process with my future employer, it was unlike any experience I had ever had before. After meeting a few of the company’s recruiters at the career fair and giving them my resume to review, I was invited for a rather informal interview with these same recruiters the following day. It was a very casual interview, and it seemed as though I clicked with the two women who were interviewing me very well.

The following week, I was informed that I would have another interview with the company’s area managers in both Oregon and Washington. This interview was slightly more formal, but again I seemed to click very well with both of the men in the interview. They asked me a mix of very casual questions involving my interests and lifestyle, as well as questions about my experience and why I was interested in this particular job.

After this interview, I was advanced to the next stage of the process where I performed a day-long job shadow. Finally, I got word that I had been invited to the final round of interviews, which took place at a three-day conference in Northern California. At this conference, I had the opportunity to meet and get to know many of the managers and leaders of the company from around the country, in a rather casual setting.

Going into this conference, I was unsure that I could see myself working for this particular company. However, getting to meet and converse with so many important members of the organization completely changed my view of the company. It not only showed me that it was full of people who were very similar to myself, but also how much time, money, and effort the company was willing to put into recruiting me to work for there business. It was this mix of the great culture that I witnessed, the passion these employees had for their jobs, and the effort that this company was willing to put into me as a basic entry-level employee that gave me the impression and conclusion that this is an organization I could see myself being a part of.


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