Sep 082010
The Animal Science Monitor
In This Issue

About This Issue

Before the Interview:
Questions to Ask

The ‘WOW! Factor’

‘Opportunity Spotlight’:
Berry College

 Connecting You

 Coming Up in the Next Issue 

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About This Issue…Success in the workplace – and in life – is all about opportunities, and this issue of The Animal Science Monitor is centered almost exclusively on opportunities. For example, we further discuss opportunities involved in the interview process for candidates, as well as the opportunity that companies have to “Wow!” the right candidate and ensure that they don’t get away. In addition, we have not one, but TWO employment opportunities for those of you who are looking for a new challenge. So I’d like to take this opportunity (of course) to thank you for being a loyal reader of The ASM, and I hope that you enjoy this current issue.

 – Dan


Before the Interview: Questions to Ask

(By Dan Simmons) 
Now we’re on to the meat of the interview . . . the question-asking phase. However, it’s important to remember that you’re just not answering questions. You should be asking them, as well. 
The interviewer’s perception of how sharp you are is heavily influenced by the questions you ask, and your questions – including the words you select to express them – will definitely affect the interviewer’s assessment of you.  Preparing a list of questions will make you much more organized and efficient. The interviewers will notice. A list also ensures that you won’t overlook needed information. Therefore, preparing a list of questions is strongly advised. 

Your list of questions should be carried in your portfolio or folder.  Make a list of all the data you need to gather. From that list, you need to develop 10 to 15 strong questions. These questions should include: “Why do you feel this position would be attractive to someone with my background and skills?,” “What things make it attractive to be an employee of your company,?,” and “What qualities do you appreciate most in a member of your staff?” (often followed by “What do you appreciate the least?”). 

Having 10 to 15 questions is very important because most of the data you want will be given to you in various ways throughout the interview. At one or several points during the interview, the interviewers will ask if you have any other questions. At this point, a very shrewd thing to do is to pull out your list, scan it, and ask a couple of questions. This will make it crystal-clear that you took the interview seriously and were prepared.

With that in mind, below are some additional questions you might want to ask:

  • What are the most important responsibilities of the job?
  • To whom will I report and what is his or her background?
  • Will I mainly inherit projects or initiate them?
  • Is this a team environment or individual contributor role?
  • What is the most important thing I can do to help your firm in the first 90 days of my employment?
  • Why did my predecessor leave—or is this a new position?
  • What criteria are used to evaluate my performance?
  • Is there a formal evaluation process?
  • Will I have subordinates?  If so, what are their strengths and weaknesses?
  • What aspects of my background make me right or wrong for this position?
  • What will my work setting be like—private office, common area, etc.?
  • How much will I be expected to travel?
  • With whom would I interact most—peers, customers, vendors, etc.?
  • What support or training will be available to me to help me learn what I need to know to be successful?

Remember, very seldom is it possible to get all the information you want during the interview. However, once you receive an offer, you can easily get any reasonable information that you request.

If you have any questions about this article, feel free to contact me at
Connect with Dan on LinkedIn.


The ‘WOW! Factor’

(By Dan Simmons) 
Recruiting a top-notch candidate is a lot like dating. You want to find out all about him/her and you also want to present yourself in the best light possible. You get excited when you first meet such a candidate, just like after a great first date. The interview process is a lot like romance, too.  If all is going well, you want it to go smoothly and at just the right moment you want to ask for a commitment, hoping for an enthusiastic “Yes!” 
I once heard a stand-up comic talk about how men often propose.  They get dinner reservations at a fancy restaurant, get a bottle of wine (or two), and hope that in the dim light of a romantic setting and after the glow of the wine has kicked in that he will have the courage to make the big offer.  By presenting her with a shining rock, he also hopes that she will be so caught up in the moment (and possibly the wine) that she will immediately and wholeheartedly commit to a lifetime together. 

There are many similarities between this scenario and the job offer.  In today’s market, once you get to the point in the interview process where decisions are made, you need to act swiftly and boldly

Going back to the restaurant analogy, does the man who proposed want to hear, “Well, that’s a very solid offer, but I’d like a couple of weeks to think about it, as I’m dating other guys,” or does he want her to say, “Wow! Of course, I’ll spend the rest of my life with you!”? 

The same is true in business.  You want to hear “Wow!” So how do you get the “Wow! Factor”?  Unlike the proposal, I don’t encourage two bottles of wine, but I do recommend making an offer that is so attractive that the person can’t say no.  When companies are determined to only hire great talent, great talent has choices, so you need to make an offer they can’t refuse. 

By the way, you might want to remember the shining rock, and by that I mean a signing bonus.  Just like the diamond engagement ring is meant to dazzle and seek a commitment, a good sign-on bonus can have the same impact. 

Here are some important things to remember about extending an attractive offer:

  • For a great candidate, go to the maximum salary possible.  Quibbling over ten thousand dollars for a great candidate is peanuts.  Do you want your competition to be able to hire this candidate?  Do you want the candidate to think about your offer or immediately say “YES!”?
  • A signing bonus has an immediate, positive effect on the newly hired, yet only costs once.
  • Move quickly once a decision has been made.  Just like in romance, there is a time to propose and a time when it’s just too late because the other person has moved on emotionally.
  • Be decisive.  If you want to hire, make the offer.  People respect the ability of others to make a decision and are cautious about those who can’t.  We’ve all heard about commitment-phobia.
  • Document your offer in writing so there are no misunderstandings later.
One last thing—when you “Wow!” a candidate, they are likely to accept.  If the candidate says, “That’s an attractive offer,” you didn’t “Wow!” them.
If you have any questions about this article, feel free to contact me at


Connecting You: American Embryo Transfer Association

(By Matt Deutsch) 

Welcome to the next installment of “Connecting You,” a new series of articles within The Animal Science Monitor newsletter. “Connecting You” will showcase a number of associations within the world of animal science and animal nutrition. 

One such organization will be highlighted each month, usually in the second issue of that month (or sometimes in both issues, like this month).  Our goal is to promote the organization, its website, its mission within the industry, and its upcoming events. We believe that giving exposure to these organizations will prove to be beneficial not only for them, but also for you—our readers. 

This issue’s organization: 

American Embryo Transfer Association (

Its mission: 

There are five parts to the AETA’s mission statement: 

  1. To unite those organizations and individuals in the United States engaged in the embryo transfer industry into an affiliated federation operating under self-imposed standards of performance and conduct
  2. To present a unified voice of the industry to promote the mutual interests and ideals of its members
  3. To protect the users of the embryo transfer industry to the extent technically and ethically possible
  4. To educate the public properly to the status and capability of the United States embryo transfer industry
  5. To encourage others to engage in the pursuit of this industry


Upcoming events: 

The AETA holds an annual meeting every year.  Below are the dates and locations for its next three events:

2010 AETA/CETA-ACTE Annual Meeting
Thursday, October 21, through Saturday, October 23
Concord, North Carolina

2011 Joint Annual Convention
Thursday, August 25, through Saturday, August 27
Marriott Riverwalk
San Antonio, Texas

2013 Joint Annual Convention
Thursday, October 10, through Saturday, October 12
Grand Sierra Resort & Casino
Reno, Nevada 

Membership information: 

Full-time students at colleges and universities can become members of the American Embryo Transfer Association at the cost of $25 per year. 

For more information about AETA membership, visit the organization’s website.  You can also reach the AETA via email at

Read future issues of The Animal Science Monitor for more information regarding organizations within the animal science and animal nutrition industries. 

Membership link: 

‘Opportunity Spotlight’: Berry College
From time to time, The Animal Science Monitor spotlights specific career opportunities within the areas of animal science and animal nutrition, and we’d like to do so again in this issue.  Berry College currently has a premium opportunity for the right person, and below is a full description of that opportunity.  If you’re interested in giving your opening exposure in The ASM, please send an email to

Job Description:
Berry College is currently recruiting for the position of Director of Agricultural Operations.  Reporting directly to the Vice President for Finance, the primary responsibilities of this new position will be to directly oversee and develop a strategic business plan for the college’s farm enterprises, including the following: 

  • Dairy operations—The college currently has an award-winning Jersey Dairy herd.
  • Beef operations—The college currently has an award-winning Black Angus Beef herd.
  • Equine operations—The college currently boards horses for students and supports the college varsity equestrian program.
  • Horticultural operations—The college currently operates several greenhouses and grows and harvests vegetables and plants.
The Director of Agricultural Operations must share Berry’s commitment to strong and engaging academic programs, especially the nationally known animal science program, the nation’s premier student work experience program, student moral and spiritual growth, and significant service to others. 
Responsibilities to meet these commitments include the following: 



  • Providing support for and maintaining a productive working relationship with faculty in the animal science program curriculum
  • Supervising and mentoring students in the student work experience program and fostering student-operated enterprises integrated with the activities of the animal science program
  • Developing new student enterprises, including opportunities in the areas of agri-education and sustainable agriculture
This position will have five staff reports, as well as a student work team to support his/her endeavors. 
Education and Experience:
The successful candidate must possess a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree.  A Master’s degree is greatly preferred.  The candidate must also have significant experience in the agricultural operations area; a keen understanding of how to develop and execute a viable business plan that may include dealing directly with wholesale/retail entities; strong and productive communication skills, both oral and written; and excellent relational skills with an ability to lead and nurture work teams.  The successful candidate must also demonstrate an entrepreneurial spirit and a strong desire to work with students, as well as other faculty and staff of the college. 
Application procedure:
Please submit a cover letter, resume, and the contact information for three professional references to Director of Agricultural Operations, Human Resources, P.O. Box 495037, Mount Berry, GA 30149-5037. 

Additional information:
Persons filling out an application for employment with Berry College may be required to submit to a full national background check. 


Coming Up in the Next Issue . . . 
Something old, something new . . . that might aptly describe the next issue of The Animal Science Monitor.  While we’ll be tackling another association in our “Connecting You” series, as well as presenting the next installment of “The ASM Community,” we might also have some brand-new content and material.  What is that content? Well, you’ll have to keep an eye on your email inbox to find out.  (Oh, and we don’t have anything borrowed or blue, for those of you who may be wondering.) 
The next issue of The ASM is scheduled for publication during the week of August 16


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