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66 The PCB Magazine • May 2017 can do, and you only used it for one lab ses- sion your sophomore year, maybe you should think about leaving that off the resume. In the end, be confident about yourself and your experiences;after all, you're the expert on you. Thoughts for Those Offering a Job When you're trying to fill a vacancy within your organization, let the applicant talk, and as much as possible. Make the setting comfort- able and allow the applicant to tell you about himself and his experiences. Ask the appli- cant about his interests and hobbies; you never know what atypical thing they might have done that could be beneficial to you or your team. Be sure to think about team chemistry and to think about what piece of the puzzle your ap- plicant might fill, and to think outside the box when asking questions. Be prepared to conduct the interview, but don't feel the need to read from a script. After all, when it comes to inter- viewing, you don't know what you don't know about someone. Once the uncomfortable interviewing pro- cess is complete, the real fun begins. All the companies that we work for are where they are in the world because of their people. So, don't forget that there's now real work to be done once you've decided to take a job or you've de- cided to offer an applicant a job! I have found one somewhat simple question that will help both sides of the employment equation better prepare themselves for the times ahead: "Where are you trying to go?" Of course, it's a figura- tive question so that the employee can express where he sees himself in the future, and the employer can understand the new hire's aspi- rations and be better prepared for what might come down the road. Simply put, as the employee, how can you be led if you don't know where you want to go? And as the employer (and leader), how can you provide guidance and leadership if you don't know where the employee wants to go? It seems like a simple thing, but an employee/employer relationship in which both parties understand the goals of the other will be a strong one and a sustainable one, regardless of level within your organization. The more everyone is on the same page, the better it is for all involved. PCB Keith M. Sellers is operations manager with NTS in Baltimore, Maryland. To read past columns or to contact Sellers, click here. RANDOM THOUGHTS ON EMPLOYMENT, FROM BOTH SIDES OF THE TABLE… The Conference Board Mea- sure of CEO Confidence, which had rebounded sharply in the fourth quarter of 2016, in- creased again in the first quar- ter of 2017. The measure now reads 68, up from 65 in the fi- nal quarter of 2016 (a reading of more than 50 points reflects more positive than negative responses). "CEO confidence improved further in early 2017, propelling the measure to its highest read- ing in nearly 13 years," said Lynn Franco, director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. "CEOs were considerably more optimistic about short-term growth prospects in the U.S., and to a lesser degree, about prospects in other mature and emerg- ing markets. Hiring plans have picked up compared to last year, with nearly two-thirds of CEOs anticipating an increase in em- ployment levels in their industry. However, 40% say finding quali- fied workers is a major obstacle to hiring." CEOs' assessment of current economic condi- tions improved further, with 71% saying condi- tions were better compared to six months ago, up from 59% in the final quarter of 2016. Busi- ness leaders were also considerably more positive in their assessment of current conditions in their own industries. CEO Confidence at Highest Levels since 2004

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