Oct 012010

About This Issue . . .

Okay, summer might be over, but that’s no reason to be sad.  Fall is one of the best seasons of the year . . . crisp weather, beautiful leaves, and football.  But not only that, there’s a lot going on in animal science and animal nutrition, not to mention a lot in this issue of The Animal Science Monitor.  We’ve got upcoming industry events, the “Video Link of the Month,” two articles about interviews and interviewing, and the next installment in our “Connecting You” series.  So sit back and enjoy the season, as well as this issue of The ASM.


The Art of the Courtesy Interview, Part 2

(By Dan Simmons) 

In our last issue, I outlined the reasons you should offer a courtesy interview to those candidates who clearly deserve one, and I reached the point in the interview where the candidate expresses why he feels a change is in order.  In this issue, I’d like to examine the possible outcomes of the courtesy interview, and those outcomes are based largely on the candidate (who we’ve named “Paul”) and what he’s seeking. 

There are three things that might be occurring at this point in the interview: 

1.    Paul could be very happy working on your team because you could help him reach his goals in an environment where he would feel comfortable.

2.    Paul has unrealistic expectations.

3.    Paul has realistic expectations, but your company cannot meet them.

With the latter two outcomes, you should become a detective and casually find out what you can about your competitor—changes they are making, how they perceive your company, their strengths, etc.  Wrap up with a commitment to share notes from this conversation with your human resources department and your boss, and state that you will be in touch if/when a possible match arises.  You have just spent this hour doing in-depth market research.  Now go back to your office and make certain that your team is doing all it can to be the best in the marketplace. 

If you treat Paul with respect and listen to his concerns, he will walk away with a respect for you and your organization.  Can you see any downside to having your competitor respect you?  Good PR is hard to get.  Paul may one day recommend someone else to you, someone who might be the right person for your team.  Networking in your industry has too many advantages to list in this article, but networking at this level of intimacy can prove very useful. 

If it turns out that Paul could reach his career objectives with your organization and he has realistic expectations, next you need to find out his timeframe.  “When are you hoping to make this change?”  Do not fear this question.  Many times the candidate will be months in front of the time they want to make the change.  If it’s soon, then you have some thinking to do, and you should commit to reviewing your budget and team and contacting the candidate if an opportunity arises.  If it’s later, then you have some planning to do. 

There is one other alternative.  If you determine that Paul would be best suited working for Company Z, you should recommend that he contact them.  You can never have too much good karma. 

First, look at your prospects for expansion.  If there are none, rank your current staff.  Don’t worry about the top; look at the very bottom.  Ask yourself this question: If I had Paul instead of my bottom performer, how would my life be better?  If your life would be significantly improved, then you need to schedule a real interview in your offices within the next two weeks.

Look for ways to better utilize your worst performer in other areas of your department or the company.  If there are none, meet with HR and/or your boss to discuss your options and look for ways to improve your team.  Great companies are always looking to improve, and your boss and HR should provide avenues for you to better your team by adding top performers from the outside and by relieving you of having to deal with under-achievers.

If you have any questions about this article, feel free to contact me at

During the Interview: Being Liked Gets You an Offer

(By Dan Simmons) 

Here we go—now you’re at the door.  You’ve smiled at the receptionist, met the HR representative, and are now speaking with the hiring manager.  The interview is here! 

As early as possible in the interview, you need to ascertain the skills, experience, and objective being sought by the company and the interviewer.  This will help you to calibrate both your questions and answers throughout the interview.  One way to accomplish this is to say, “The recruiter gave me enough information to get me excited about your opportunity, but I still have somewhat of a fuzzy picture of your needs.  Could you describe the position and what sort of problems need to be solved?” 

Once you’ve ascertained the employer’s needs, you must convince the hiring manager of your capabilities.  This is best accomplished through examples of previous accomplishments that are relevant to the position for which you’re interviewing.  The basic theme of any interviewing process is that past behavior is the best indicator of future behavior.  Whatever the interviewer discovers about your past will be assumed to repeat in the future.  Winners continue to be winners, and losers, well . . . 

Remember that the interviewer’s interest in you is purely selfish.  It’s not different than your selfish interest in the company.  They want to hire the person who can do the most for them.  All attention should be focused on what the company wants, with your agenda temporarily taking a backseat. If you focus attention on yourself, you’ll get in trouble in a hurry.  Once you’ve created a strong desire in the company to hire you, you can lay out the things you want, and if they’re within the realm of reason, you have an excellent chance of obtaining them. 

During the interview, you should concentrate on only two things: 

  • Making the interviewers like you and respect what you could do for the company
  • Gathering as much information as possible

If the hiring manager believes you’ll accomplish the company’s objectives, you will be considered for employment.  Being liked gets you an offer. 

Information gathering helps you to assess the interview when you get back home.  Trying to process information during the interview causes mistakes—so don’t do it.  You’ll have plenty of time after the interview to decide if this is a good career move.  Keep your focus on the objective of the interview: getting an offer of employment.  The best strategy is to try your best to be in a position to get an offer.   

Remember . . . you can always decline it. 

If you have any questions about this article, feel free to contact me at

Connect to Dan Simmons on LinkedIn. 

Connecting You: The American Society of Animal Science

(By Matt Deutsch) 

Welcome to the next installment of “Connecting You,” a 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.  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 month’s organization

American Society of Animal Science (

Its mission

The American Society of Animal Science (ASAS) fosters the discovery, sharing, and application of scientific knowledge concerning the responsible use of animals to enhance human life and well-being.

Its beliefs and values

The ASAS adheres to the following beliefs: 

1.    Animals are essential to human life and well-being.

2.    Care and use of animals should occur in a socially, ethically, and environmentally responsible manner.  The highest standard of professional ethics must be applied.

3.    Care and use of animals should be based on scientific knowledge.

4.    Generation and application of new knowledge must be based on scientific inquiry.

5.    Scientific knowledge should be communicated in an open and dynamic manner.

6.    Science-based knowledge should be disseminated through teaching and outreach.  Professional development of scientists, educators, and producers is essential to the expansion and communication of science concerning animals.

7.    The ASAS must continually develop and change to meet the needs of its members.

8.    The ASAS membership must be global and diverse.

Upcoming events

The American Society of Animal Science has a large annual meeting every year, in addition to regional conferences throughout the country.  Click here for a list of future ASAS meetings.

Membership information

There are five types of membership in the American Society of Animal Science.  Those types are listed below, along with the cost associated with each type: 

  • Individual Sustaining Membership—$375
  • Professional Membership—$135
  • Postdoctoral Fellow Membership—$65
  • Graduate Student Membership—$20
  • Undergraduate Student Membership—No charge

For a complete breakdown of the benefits associated with membership in the ASAS, click here

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

Upcoming Events in the Animal Science Industry 

At The Animal Science Monitor, we’re advocates of continuous education and the promotion of industry events such as conferences and conventions.  The training and networking opportunities that exist at these events are extremely valuable and can pay dividends in a number of different ways.  The ASM is pleased to highlight these upcoming industry events: 

Cornell Nutrition Conference for Feed Manufacturers—The annual Cornell Nutrition Conference is designed to provide industry-leading research and information to feed industry professionals and nutritional consultants.  The location of this year’s event is the Doubletree Hotel Syracuse in East Syracuse, N.Y., and the dates are Tuesday, October 19, through Thursday, October 21.  Click here for more information and to register for this event. 

Texas Cattle Feeders Association (TCFA) Convention—This event is designed to provide valuable tips and information that will help attendees with the challenges they face in their cattle feeding operation.  Convention topics include the future of the cow herd and feeder cattle supply, how women’s purchasing trends affect beef demand and your bottom line, an update on critical beef industry issues, the market outlook from Cattle-FAX, and many more.  Attendees will also enjoy the sporting events, the Welcome Party and Poker Tournament, and the Cattle Feeders Get-Together.  The location of this year’s event is the Renaissance Oklahoma City Convention Hotel and Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City, Okla., and the dates are Sunday, October 24, through Tuesday, October 26.  Click here for more information and to register for this event. 

If there’s an industry event that you believe we should promote through The Animal Science Monitor, please email your information to


Introducing the ASM ‘Video Link of the Month’

Are You Smarter Than a 17-Year Old Horse?

 Everybody remembers the TV show “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader.”  Well, almost everybody should remember it.  Well, the title of this segment of our “Video Link of the Month” feature could be “Are You Smarter Than a 17-Year Old Horse?” 

ASM reader Karen Murdock submitted the video link for this issue, and below is part of the email she submitted with the video: 

“[I ] thought you would enjoy my rescued horse Lukas, who’s been in the news lately.  The World Records Academy has recognized him as ‘The World’s Smartest Horse,’ and Guinness is reviewing a record attempt by him: ‘Most numbers identified by a horse in one minute.’  Lukas performs to benefit non-profits and to show how wonderful and smart animals are.” 

Great video, Karen!  We’d like to thank Karen for her submission, and we invite you to watch the story of Lukas by clicking this link

If you’d like to submit a video for consideration in this feature, please send your link to

  It can be a university or organizational production, or it can be a video highlighting any aspect of animal science or animal nutrition.  As always, The ASM staff reserves the right to reject any submission for any reason. 

Coming Up in the Next Issue . . . 

Believe it or not, the month of October is upon us . . . yes, the Halloween month.  But there’s nothing to be scared about when it comes to The Animal Science Monitor.  We always strive to provide the most timely and pertinent information regarding animal science and the world of employment.  And of course, you’ll find plenty of that information in our newsletter next month (and in the foreseeable future). 

The next issue of The ASM is scheduled for publication during the week of October 11. 

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