Maria Fernandez is a bright, popular, and well-informed mechanical engineer who graduated with an engineering degree from State University in June 2009.

Maria Fernandez is a bright, popular, and well-informed mechanical engineer who graduated with an engineering degree from State University in June 2009. During the spring preceding her graduation, she went out on many job interviews, most of which she thought were conducted courteously and were reasonably useful in giving both her and the prospective employer a good impression of where each of them stood on matters of importance to both of them. It was, therefore, with great anticipation that she looked forward to an interview with the one firm in which she most wanted to work: Apex Environment. She had always had a strong interest in cleaning up the environment and firmly believed that the best use of her training and skills lay in working for a firm like Apex, where she thought she could have a successful career while making the world a better place.

 

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The interview, however, was a disaster. Maria walked into a room where five men – the president of the company, two vice presidents, the marketing director, and another engineer – began throwing questions at her that she felt where aimed primarily at tripping her up rather than finding out what she could offer through her engineering skills. The questions ranged from being unnecessarily discourteous (“Why would you take a job as a waitress in college if you’re such an intelligent person?”) to being irrelevant and sexist (“Are you planning on settling down and starting a family anytime soon?”). Then after the interview, she met with two of the gentlemen individually (including the president), and the discussions focused almost exclusively on her technical expertise. She thought that these later discussions went fairly well. However, given the apparent aimlessness and even mean-spiritedness of the panel interview, she was astonished when several days later the firm made her a job offer.

 

 

 

The offer forced her to consider several matters. From her point of view, the job itself was perfect. She liked what she would be doing, the industry, and the firm’s location. And in fact, the president had been quite courteous in subsequent discussion, as had been the other members of the management team. She was left wondering whether the panel interview had been intentionally tense to see how she’d stand up under pressure, and, if so, why they would do such a thing.

 

 

 

Questions:

 

 

 

1. How would you explain the nature of the panel interview Maria had to endure? Specifically, do you think it reflected a well-thought-out interviewing strategy on the part of the firm or carelessness on the part of the firm’s management? If it were carelessness, what would you do to improve the interview process at Apex Environmental?

 

 

 

2. Would you take the job if you were Maria? If your’re not sure, what additional information would help you make your decision?

 

 

 

3. The job of applications engineer for which Maria was applying requires (a) excellent technical skills with respect to mechanical engineering, (b) a commitment to working in the area of pollution control, (c) the ability to deal well and confidently with customers who have engineering problems, (d) a willingness to travel worldwide, and (e) a very intelligent and well-balanced personality. List 10 questions you would ask when interviewing applicants for the job.

 

 

 

 

 

General Instructions for Case Studies

 

 

 

A case study is a short description of a real business situation. Analyzing case studies gives you the opportunity to apply those concepts to real business problems. Cases are generally written for several types of analysis. Usually, there is not a “right or wrong” answer. Rather, cases provide a vehicle for you to demonstrate your understanding and ability to apply course concepts. You must use appropriate sources (properly cited) to support your position. Check your analysis by assessing how well it demonstrates your HR knowledge. If your answer relies on your impressions of HR prior to taking this course, it is likely that the analysis is not your best effort.

 

 

 

Simply answering the questions which are part of the case is not enough; consider the questions to be clues to the important concepts and facts. You are strongly encouraged to use the following outline so that your analysis is organized appropriately:

 

1.Identify both the key issues and the underlying issues. In identifying the issues, you should be able to connect them to the HR principles which apply to this situation..

 

2.Discuss the facts which affect these issues. The case may have too much information. In your discussion, you should filter the information and discuss those facts which are pertinent to the issues identified above..

 

3.Discuss your tentative solution to the problem and how you would implement your solution. What actions would you propose to correct the situation, based on the knowledge you have gained in this course? Be sure to support your recommendation by citing references in the text and in the supplementary readings You should also draw on other references such as business periodicals and HR journals. Remember that an ANALYSIS is more than simply a SUMMARY of the Case Study..

 

4.Discuss follow-up and contingency plans. How will the organization know that your proposed solution is working? What should they do if it does not work?.

 

 

 

It may be helpful for you to “role-play” this assignment. Consider yourself to be the HR Manager, charged with developing a presentation for the CEO. Your presentation should cover the points listed above. By “role-playing” the situation, using the questions at the end of the case as hints, and by using this guide, you should be able to develop an action-oriented analysis with a recommended course of action.

 

 

 

Your analysis of each case study should be a minimum of 4 pages and written in APA format.

 

 

 

 

 

Evaluation Criteria:

 

•Have you identified the critical issues/problems in the case and analyzed the key facts related to the issues/problems?.

 

•Have you discussed a tentative solution that addresses the issues/problems and how you would implement your solution?.

 

•Is information from the textbook and other sources integrated into your analysis appropriately? For all sources, you must provide complete citations..

 

•Is the paper professionally presented? Remember your audience. It is important to present your information as clearly and succinctly as possible. (Do not sacrifice thoroughness for mere brevity.).

 

•Please proofread carefully for grammar and spelling errors..