Recently, CareerBuilder.com posted an article entitled 43 Weird Things Said In A Job Interview. This hilariously sad, but true depiction of what hiring manager’s face when interviewing and screening candidates makes me understand why finding good talent is such a challenge.

This article came to me the same day I received the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Summer 2009 Salary Survey, which reported that employers expected to hire 22 percent fewer new grads this year than last year (Job Outlook 2009 Spring Update) and just 19.7 percent of the Class of 2009 reported having a job in hand by the time of graduation (2009 Student Survey).  

And I couldn’t help wondering if there was some connection between the two articles.

Do colleges and universities have an obligation to school undergraduates in the professional skills associated with the job search and employment demands after graduation? In a recent study conducted by Bitz (2009) it was reported that 68% of students felt transitional course should be an undergraduate requirement because such courses help build a foundation for future learning experiences. Yet, a 2007 NACE survey reported the number of credit-bearing career development courses offered at the undergraduate level was a mere 32.6%. Sounds like the jury is still out.

Perhaps participation in such courses may combat some of this under preparedness by offering proactive solutions to some of the transitional issues college students face upon graduation.

Career development courses are an example of curriculum interventions, focusing on consideration of goals, values, skills, and abilities. These courses can provide transferrable skills assistance, such as decision-making, interview preparation, effective communication, critical thinking, problem-solving, job search strategies, resume and cover letter development, and networking skills.

Based on the CareerBuilder.com article, it sounds to me that a little interview preparation is in order.