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Articles filed under Columnists

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  • Accident leads to new road in life for executive Dec 15, 2014 6:11 AM
    Kukec's People column features Erin Doyle of Downers Grove and senior manager at Deerfield-based Walgreens who had a horrific car accident in 2009 and has since been working hard to regain what she had lost.

  • Stevenson grad Ohnsted is on his game for Augsburg Dec 15, 2014 5:22 PM
    Mack Ohnsted has played a key role for the Augsburg men’s hockey team in its hot start to the 2014-15 season. The Stevenson High School graduate led the Auggies’ offense with a 3-point weekend (2 goals, 1 assist) when Augsburg (Minneapolis, Minn.) split with No. 13-ranked Saint John’s. In the win, the junior forward had the overtime game-winning goal over the Johnnies. For his performance, Ohnsted won the MIAC men’s hockey athlete of the week award.

  • Rozner: Cubs, Ricketts have reason to smile Dec 15, 2014 7:21 PM
    Tom Ricketts rarely feels the need to be out front, but on Monday he was content to be nothing more than a passenger. Grinning from ear to ear, Ricketts has come a long way since early July.

  • Bears Bites: Another laugher on national TV Dec 15, 2014 10:43 PM
    No discipline. No urgency. No organization. No. Good. Mike Spellman's Bears Bites recap another tough night at Soldier Field.

  • Imrem: Are Bears more embarrassing on, off field? Dec 16, 2014 7:49 AM
    The real pro football competition in town is whether the Bears are more laughable on the field or off the field. The Bears' offense certainly was a joke Monday night. Quarterback Jay Cutler was sacked seven times and was intercepted three times.

  • Holiday dilemma hints at deeper issue Dec 14, 2014 1:01 AM
    How to decide what is 'fair" when splitting up holiday visits?

  • Ex’s ex is his problem to deal with, not yours Dec 14, 2014 1:01 AM
    Q. I am concerned about my ex-boyfriend. He has a female co-worker who has been his friend with benefits on and off over the past 10 years or so. Several months before he and I met three years ago, he completely stopped being physically intimate with her and made clear his desire for a platonic friendship only. She’s still harassing him and I don’t know if there is anything I or anyone else can do.

  • Families can work together to improve communication Dec 14, 2014 1:01 AM
    In the conclusion to a series about family communication, our Ken Potts offers suggestions of steps individuals and entire families can take to improve the way they talk -- and listen -- to each other.

  • All sorts of trouble with our local elections Dec 14, 2014 5:01 AM
    Name a problem, our local elections have it: Low turnout. Too many offices. Too few candidates. Bad timing. And now, says DuPage/Fox Valley News Director Jim Davis, hordes of school board candidates have to file in far fewer places.

  • Time to get over the litmus test Dec 14, 2014 5:01 AM
    Columnist Kathleen Parker: It is probably too soon to declare a feminist reformation, but a few signs here and there give one hope.

  • Sometimes, there are no easy fixes for old windows Dec 14, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. I need advice as to what I can do with my windows without having to replace them. They are 28-year-old Lincoln windows, and of the crank-out type.

  • Work Advice: PTO means Potty Time Off? Dec 14, 2014 7:34 AM
    Karla L. Miller writes an advice column on navigating the modern workplace. Each week she will answer one or two questions from readers.

  • $1.25M settlement in I-88 crash that killed Aurora woman Dec 14, 2014 4:20 PM
    A $1.25 million settlement has been reached in a wrongful-death lawsuit filed in connection with an April 2013 crash on Interstate 88 that killed an Aurora woman.

  • Constable: Grayslake pastor proud of link to Civil Air Patrol Dec 14, 2014 7:00 AM
    In a long-overdue honor, the Civil Air Patrol, created Dec. 1, 1941,was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal last week in Washington. Jill Paulson, a Presbyterian minister in Grayslake, received a replica medal in honor of her grandfather, who started the civilian force, which was instrumental in protecting the coast in WW II.

  • How to tell your story for a job interview Dec 14, 2014 7:34 AM
    Hiring managers want to hear your story. They know that past behavior predicts future performance, so they ask for specific examples of times when you navigated office politics or delivered measurable results. The technique is called the behavioral job interview, and you know it’s coming when you hear the prompt, “Tell me about a time when you ...” The next phrase can be almost anything: Assumed a leadership role, saved your company money, disagreed with a boss, juggled multiple tasks or overcame an obstacle. Interviewers do not ask these questions because they enjoy watching you squirm. They are trying to assess whether you have experienced situations, organizations, cultures or projects similar to the ones you would encounter with the new position. Effective storytellers understand this, and they come prepared with a library of anecdotes that reinforce a strong personal brand. Citi executive Joseph Colca, who recently shared advice with University of Maryland MBA students, says stories should combine to portray a track record of progressive results coupled with increasing responsibility. “The important factors are how well the student can clearly and concisely articulate the story of how their background fits into the program here at Citi, how they can add value, and how they will be successful,” Colca says. Building a library of compelling stories takes time. Waiting until after an interview is scheduled is like trying to lose 10 pounds in two days. Regardless of the prompt, the best responses during a behavioral job interview follow a three-pronged framework called Situation, Action, Results or SAR. A SAR story begins with a career-based situation from your past. Younger job candidates or others without significant experience can use examples from internships, school and extracurricular activities. Remember that employers are most concerned with what you learned, not all the details of what happened. So don’t spend too much time describing the situation. Usually about 15 percent is sufficient to provide context and convey what led up to the event. Spend the bulk of your time — about 60 percent — describing the actions you took to overcome the problem. Use the final 25 percent of your time to focus on the consequences and quantifiable results of your action. When possible, include an explanation of the long-term strategic impact your actions had on the company in addition to the immediate results. Here are some additional tips: • Be brief. Unless the hiring manager asks for longer responses, most stories should take two or three minutes to tell. • Be strategic. Remember that behavioral questions address specific dimensions or qualities that companies are looking for in a new hire. Create eight to 10 stories that focus on skills aligned to an organization’s mission, values and core competencies such as leadership, communication, teamwork, critical thinking, motivation, creativity, adaptability and integrity. • Be prepared. Since most of us are not natural storytellers, it helps to plan what you are going to say. It also minimizes the risk of drawing a blank or telling the wrong story in an interview. Practice, practice, practice. But don’t over-rehearse or memorize your answers. You will seem insincere. • Be mindful. Remember to listen carefully to what the interviewers are asking. Is it a question around leadership? Teamwork? Initiative? Are they assessing your fit with their firm? Some questions might not be stated so obvious as, “Why are you a great fit for our company?” It might be phrased as, “When have you been most satisfied in your career?” This question is designed to get you talking about your experiences from your prior work history and see what you choose to highlight as aspects for your happiness. • Be memorable. Show excitement when telling your stories. People remember unique stories, especially ones that convey emotion. One technique is to create titles for your stories. “Let me tell you my ‘Refrigerator Story.’ “ • Be flexible. SAR prompts do not always start with the phrase, “Tell me about a time when you ...” Hiring managers also invite stories when they ask questions such as: “What is the riskiest decision you ever made?” “What do you do when your schedule is suddenly interrupted?” “What kinds of people do you have difficulty working with?” “Why should I hire you” and “What motivates you?” • Be positive. Some questions address the negative: “Tell me a time when you missed an obvious solution to a problem.” “Tell me a time when you failed.” Remember, it is important to always end on a positive note. For example: “Although we were over budget, we were able to reallocate resources for the next quarter.” • Be the star. Emphasize the key role that you played in assessing each situation and delivering results. Do not pick stories where you merely “helped” do something. Use “I,” not “we” to convey the impact that you had. • Be the icing on the cake. Most organizations are looking for employees who have a thirst for learning and a passion for continuous growth. When describing the results you achieved, be sure to close by sharing the lessons you learned (i.e., “Reflecting back, I learned that great teamwork starts with building trust with your co-workers.”). Preparing an effective SAR library is time consuming, but remember: Stellar resumes land interviews; stellar stories land jobs. • Kudisch is managing director of the Office of Career Services at University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business and a faculty expert in leadership, negotiations and human capital management. He co-founded Personnel Assessment Systems, a human resource consulting firm specializing in executive assessment and leadership development.

  • Rozner: White Sox’ winning winter keeps getting better Dec 14, 2014 1:18 PM
    The White Sox’ signing of Melky Cabrera continues what has been a remarkable few weeks for GM Rick Hahn.

  • Rozner: NIU expansion plan leads to Big 12 talk Dec 14, 2014 7:35 AM
    NIU has unveiled plans to double the expansion of Huskie Stadium at a time when there are rumors that they might be a target of the Big 12.

  • U of I senior from St. Charles a finalist in Barilla contest Dec 13, 2014 6:47 PM
    Emily Thornton of St. Charles talks to Dave Heun about her trip to Italy as a finalist in the global Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition Foundation’s Young Earth Solutions (YES!) contest.

  • On the road: Spend a night at ‘Nutcracker’ Dec 13, 2014 7:00 AM
    JW Marriott Chicago partners with the Joffrey Ballet for a holiday experience with “A Night at the Nutcracker” package perfect for those who want to take in the holiday sights in the city. Or if you'd rather do the dancing, the Old Town School of Folk Music presents a Global Dance Party on Friday nights.

  • DePaul's 'Uncle Doug' Bruno rues losing Loyd to Irish Dec 13, 2014 7:30 AM
    It's been a tough week for DePaul women's basketball coach Doug Bruno, who saw his team miss multiple opportunities on Wednesday to take down No. 5 Notre Dame. To top it off, it was recruit from Niles West that he just missed out on, Jewell Loyd, who won the game for Notre Dame, 94-93.

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