by Andre Milteer (M.A.)
Actual Telephone Interview: Q & A
About My Qualifications:
Q1: Tell me about Yourself:
After enjoying successful 20 year career as a Military Non-Commissioned Officer, coupled with a 12 year entrepreneurial career within the Retail grocery/banking/insurance sector, I find myself longing to return to a science-based, cognitive & analytical application of my academic as well as my professional experiences.
Moreover, the aspect of performance psychology enhancement within a tactical military environment sounds quite appealing. My greatest contribution to the SAIC Team Performance Enhancement Specialty will be my real-world experience as a both a professional soldier and entrepreneur. I speak the language of both soldiers as well as academia.
Q2: Why should we hire you?
SAIC is a People-owned company for professional people. SAIC doesn’t want persons that are simply looking for a job plus a paycheck. SAIC wants innovators, performance-based entrepreneurial professionals that can contribute to overall team objectives. If it makes sense..if it benefits the research objective and protocol, if it promotes and excels the company, then that individual belongs @SAIC. For Job Requisition 142338, I AM that Professional!
Q3: How has your education and your employment prepared you for this position?
I have spoke previously about my military experience. Yet, my academic training in psychology left me questioning its relevance. Particularly within the areas of substance abuse counseling and mental health services.
The ‘Aha’ moment came once I realized that my graduate work was working for me in a subconscious fashion…below the surface. Science, Academic theory, and Statistical conclusion must be validated with applied methodology. Simply, the data has to be extracted from the laboratory and applied throughout the field.
My work with SAIC will benefit our Military Clients because I seek a 360 degree perspective. Again, the question in my mind, is always, Does this Make Sense to and for the Troops?
Q4: Talk about an accomplishment from the past year that you are most proud of and Why?
I am very interested in communication models. My Clients were measured for response and feedback frequency with regard to product solicitation. Mediums included electronic mail messages (emails), website Banner add click response, USPS mailed letters, and finally random telephone approaches (cold calls).
Utilizing a simplistic likert scale measurement, clients overwhelmingly preferred email marketing messages submitted twice-monthly. Further, I abandoned alternative mediums to focus exclusively on email marketing. The results strongly correlated with a 25% increase in customer product purchases over a rolling 12 month period.
Q5: Talk about one of your failures and what you learned from it.
Using a small group train the trainer model, I led a group of 5 persons within a collaborative learning forum. The forum members were intelligent, yet were not academics. I assigned reading assignments and outside learning activities.
The participants did not completed the assigned tasks; I assumed that motivation factors were key. To my amazement, a group member revealed (in confidence), that I intimidated the group. Group members felt as though I were talking OVER them rather than with them. The experience forced me to reexamine my leadership skillsets. Collaborative leadership is as much an Art as well as a Science.
Q6: Which one of your positions did you like the best? The Least? Why?
I did not enjoy retail grocery business management. The business model dictates optimum productivity of staff, with limited human resources, in order to meet stringent profit margins.
I found myself that most complete with the Mental Health Services field. Specifically, the sense of accomplishment of employing established methodology, treatment plans, yet customizing the protocol for the individual client-patient was an emotional highpoint. Yes, the successes were not always apparent, yet the thought that I was making a difference was quite exhilarating.
Q7: Describe your communication skills.
I have a passion for delivering career enhancement workshops for high school and community college students. Many of my workshops were videotaped and posted on YouTube.
To engage and command my audience’s attention, I limit my use of PowerPoint. My preference is project Topic headers, provide bulleted talking points handouts, and expand the ideas via verbal delivery.
Moreover, my writing style is termed with the acronym, BLUF (Bottom-Line Up Front). When presenting, I follow the Military Speaking model. 1) Tell Them; 2) Show Them; 3) Tell Them what you Showed Them.
Q8: Give an example of something you did that saved your employer time or money.
To accelerate growth, my employer grappled with the decision to house customer data via an in-house software program versus a software-as-a-service (SAS) model. Issues such as data protection and privacy, future upgrade requirements, and ownership of proprietary intellectual property were of great concern.
Without a specific mandate, I began to research Best Practice Models. Using the internet search engines, professional trade magazines, telephone interviews, and review of industry white papers, I submitted the following conclusions to management.
1)The industry was trending toward SAS server-based applications. 2) Data ownership is retained per contractual language. 3) An In-house data program will fail to provide adequate functionality with 6 months. Moreover, systems must maintain compatibility with operating systems, applications, and sychonicity with Customer relationship management (CRM) applications.
Q9: Think about a Large Task you organized. Describe the steps you followed.
Although, there are several project management models available (i.e mind-mapping, franklin-covey, STAR, etc.) I prefer my military task training. 1) Identify the Problem; 2) Gather Resources; 3) Select Courses of Action, 4) Implement, 5) Solicit Feedback, 6) Make Adjustments as necessary.
I have recently joined University of Phoenix as an Adjunct Psychology Instructor. My challenge was to make a 10 minute presentation to fellow instructors of an area of interest. The presentation was to include PowerPoint, Lecture, and Handouts. I spoke of Viktor Frankl’s Logo therapy and Meaning-Psychology.
The time factor was the concern; how does one condense a 45 minute lecture into a 10 minute program. I concluded by selecting a single subtopic of the Frankl protocol. That being the identification of the catalyst that stimulate Frankl to conceive of Logotherapy.
Q10: Do you consider yourself a leader? Why?
Reverting back to my military experience, I recall the adage: Lead, Follow, or Get Out the Way! Having said that, I recall my board participation with both Habitat for Humanity as my church (2002-2005).
My decisions to either lead of committee or project versus working as a Team member were always based upon self-assessment of “Is there anyone present who’s skillsets are best suited to lead this task. I found myself leading many projects, yet the Greatest Leaders (historically) are Servant-Leaders. Why, because nothing happens without teams. Great leaders are effective by drawing upon the strengths of the teams and tapping into those individual strenhths and attributes.
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