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The Orion Sword - September 2010

Wednesday, September 1, 2010
In This Issue:
Clean Up Your Interview Questions,
Upcoming Hiring Conferences,
Employment Labor Laws: Changes for 2010,
Meet Our Candidates,
Reduce On-the-Job Job Stress at your Workplace 
Clean Up Your Interview Questions!

Clean Up Your Interview Questions!Companies expect candidates to continue to advance their skills, stay on top of current industry trends and surpass expectations. So it should be no surprise that candidates expect the same from hiring companies. The interview process is constantly changing, and your process should be evolving with it. Below are some twists you can add to your tried-and-true interview questions in order to update them.

1. Interview Cliché: Tell me about yourself.
Why it’s weak:  You may hear some information that’s valuable, but most likely you will get a synopsis of a resume you can read yourself, a blank stare, or some uncomfortable information.
New twist: Think about what you actually want to know from the candidate and ask.  For example: The project mentioned in her cover letter that generated $500,000 in revenue? “What was one critical component in the creation of ABC project that you had responsibility in bringing to fruition?”

2. Interview Cliché: What is your biggest strength/weakness?
Why it’s weak: Answers to these questions are way too easy to fabricate. Often candidates answer as they’d like to see themselves, not how they are in reality. Likewise, asking a candidate for their biggest weakness will result in an answer that’s made to sound like strength, for example, “I’m sometimes too ambitious for my own good”
New twist: Ask for an example and follow up with questions. Biggest strength: How did it help you with this project? Biggest weakness: What did you learn from this?

3. Interview Cliché: How would your last boss describe you in five words?
Why it’s weak: When someone asks you to describe yourself, or how some else sees you, the results are likely to be inflated and overly positive.
New twist: Ask candidates questions that will allow them to display growth. “If I asked you to describe yourself going into your last job, what would you say? How would that description be different now?”

4. Interview Cliché: Describe a situation in which you have overcome a challenge or seen a project to its conclusion.
Why it’s weak: This type of question is too vague.
New twist:  Ask questions that originate from accomplishments you find interesting on their resume. Try rephrasing this question with “What are you most proud of from the X campaign, and why?” You could follow up with a question like, “What would you do differently next time to make the campaign more successful?” or “How did this success spark ideas for your next project?”

5. Interview Cliché: Where do you see yourself in five years?
Why it’s weak: Candidates today barely know what their dinner plans are, much less where they want to be in five years.  Many people move jobs often, and by pigeonholing them with this question, you could be missing out on a more revealing question.
New twist: Understand where a candidate’s head is at right now, while still learning what they hope to achieve. “What is the first thing you want to accomplish with this position?”

Click here for original article

Mark your Calendar for our National Distinguished Candidate Conference to be held in Dallas, Texas on March 1-2!


Don’t miss the opportunity to interview those candidates that have distinguished themselves in performance, potential, and experience.  

Distinguished candidates include:
Top 10% of Junior Military Officers Service Academy Graduates
Candidates with an MBA

Candidates that have consistently ranked well above their peers in their professional evaluations

Candidates that are open to geographic location and focused on beginning their civilian career in Leadership Development Programs, Engineering, Operations Management, and Sales

Learn more about our Distinguished Candidate Conference


Upcoming Hiring Conferences

Baltimore, MD

Fishkill, NY

Norfolk, VA

March 1

March 22

April 12



Atlanta, GA


March 22


Chicago, IL

Chicago, IL

March 1

April 12 


South Central  

Dallas, TX (Distinguished Candidate Conference)

Houston, TX

March 1-2

April 12



Seattle, WA

San Diego, CA

Seattle, WA

San Diego, CA 

February 12

March 1

March 26

April 19

Employment Labor Laws: Changes for 2010

Employment Labor Laws: Changes for 2010It’s important for employers to familiarize themselves with new employment laws to keep your workplace compliant. Below are some laws to be aware of as we head into 2010:

Americans with Disabilities Act Amendment Act (ADAAA)

Although disabled employees have had protection from discrimination, various Supreme Court decisions have taken away some of that protection over the years. The ADAAA’s purpose is to reintroduce a broad scope of protection for disabled individuals.

Fair Credit Reporting Act – the Red Flags Rule

The Federal Trade Commission’s “Red Flag Rule” was first passed in 2008, but will now go into effect on June 1, 2010. While all businesses that use personal information or confidential employee or customer information should be aware of the possibility of identity theft, this law requires some types of organizations to implement a formal identity theft program.

Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA)

GINA prohibits employers from discriminating against employees or applicants based on genetic information when making decisions about hiring. It also restricts how and when employers can acquire or disclose genetic information.  The EEOC publishes guidelines for employers that explain the various aspects of the law.

Changes to the I-9 form

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services revised the I-9 form to improve the security of employment verification processes. All employers must use the new form to verify new hires and re-verify the eligibility of employees whose work authorization has expired. The most important change to the I-9 form is that all documents presented as proof of eligibility to work in the US must be unexpired. The form also adds several additional documents that can be presented as proof of eligibility.

Click here to read original article

Meet Our Candidates
The battle for talent in the workplace can be fierce.  It doesn't have to be if you know where to look. Below is a preview of actual Orion International candidates and the valuable skills and experience they possess. 


Developed and implemented $1.3 million year 2000 compliant automation plan bringing up-to-date computer technology to all units within the Brigade down to the platoon level

Responsible for all information technologies for an Engineer Brigade

Qualified Engineering Officer of the Watch (EOOW), Nuclear Plant Engineer, Drill Coordinator, SI, POI, ECCS, and Test Engineer

BS, Mechanical Engineering, Clarkson University

7 years of military experience in all facets of Naval Gas Turbines, shipboard and amphibious, electrical and mechanical systems, preventative maintenance, and all levels program/personnel management

Provided current and forecasted usage data to supply and overhaul facilities to ensure adequate on-hand inventory of Landing Craft Air Cushion replacement parts and materials

Performed operation, maintenance, and preservation of main propulsion, auxiliary steam or diesel machinery, steam or diesel generators, various pumps, motors, and associated equipment

Managed 75 personnel in the completion of 162 Formal Work Packages and 71 ship’s force jobs

Directed aircraft maintenance operations activities in garrison and deployed locations

Analyzed aircraft maintenance indicators to identify trends and initiate corrective action

Managed quality assurance, maintenance training, budget and resource management, analysis, and facilities

BS, Business Management, Nova Southeastern University

Performed both Radio Frequency and Controls & Displays aircraft bench testing, which included preventative, scheduled/unscheduled maintenance, disassembly/assembly, the modification, evaluation, alignment, calibration, and repair of the benches

Extensive experience utilizing electrical and electronic schematics, blue prints, technical manuals, block, electrical/mechanical, parts and wiring diagrams

Vast test equipment exposure and experience utilizing items such as O'scopes, volt/ohm meters, frequency counters, pulse and signal generators, spectrum analyzers, laser/RF meters, OTDR's, etc


Directed all communications operations, systems, and processes for an 800-Soldier Light Infantry group deployed to Iraq

Plannned, coordinated, and supervised all automations and tactical radio communications matters for Forward Operating Base (FOB) McHenry and three forward deployed patrol bases

Maintained oversight of six Companies’ communications assets, and sensitive item communications devices

MS, Science Telecommunications, University of Maryland


Reduce On-the-Job Job Stress at your Workplace

Reduce On-the-Job Job Stress at your WorkplaceThe pace in which we live in today’s world is increasingly causing what is known as “super stress.” This particular stress is especially prominent in the workplace. But super stress is a condition you can control. There are a number of things to lessen the reaction your body has to the warp speed of the present-day work environment.

Hit the ground walking instead of the normal run. Plan to arrive earlier than normal and start your day calmly, instead of frantic with activity.

Take time each day to back away from your desk and walk around the office. Your mind needs this little rest to maintain its highest level of productivity. Encourage your employees to do the same.

When deadlines are looming and your plate is full, a sense of humor is one of the first things to go. But it’s the best way to keep the body calm. Make time to see the lighter side of life, and share your humor with employees.

Lose perfectionism and the negative attitude. Perfectionists are often the least efficient. And beating yourself up for not completing tasks won’t help you turn out your projects any faster. Communicate the same message to your staff by giving them positive feedback.

Keep your body well-fueled. Eating processed foods and chugging caffeine taxes the body. Branch out from the usual bagels and donuts and reach for fruit, veggies or yogurt.

Practicing this short list of helpful de-stressing techniques will help your nervous system “remember” how to access that healthy state of mind. Reference these techniques anytime you feel super stress creeping in.

Click here for original article

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