Marketplace Scratch Pad

From the horse’s mouth

Scott Jagow Sep 29, 2009

Despite the talk of green shoots in recent months, the job market is likely to continue its hibernation for some time. This is coming from CEOs themselves.

A Business Roundtable survey released today finds that CEOs are somewhat optimistic about sales in the next six months but very cautious about spending and hiring. In fact, 40% of CEOs said they expect to cut more jobs. Only 13% plan to add them. More from Reuters:

Some 35 percent expect to lower U.S. capital spending, more than the 21 percent who plan to raise it.

In a sign that they see the U.S. economy beginning to pull out of its worst downturn since the Great Depression, the majority — 51 percent — of CEOs expect their companies’ sales to rise over the next six months.

“CEO’s are beginning to see an uptick in expectations for sales, which is good; however, this demand has not yet translated into increased capital spending or hiring,” said Ivan Seidenberg, chairman and CEO of Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N), who also serves as chairman of the Roundtable.

Seidenberg said that an upturn in hiring would likely lag a resumption of growth in sales by about 12 to 18 months.

The sad, slow drum beats on. But that’s no way to end this blog post. No, I’ll leave you with some self esteem-boosting job interview horror stories from the Washingtonian:

“A guy who forgot dark socks to wear with his suit colored in his ankles with a black felt-tip marker.”

–Scott Langerman, Comcast SportsNet

“I was interviewing someone who took a cell-phone call and asked me to leave my office while they talked.”

–William Lyle, Systems Planning and Analysis

“Someone was asked what person they would most like to meet, living or dead, and their response was the living one.”

–Susan Potisek, Weinberg Group

“My friend was racing to an interview. She flipped off another driver who blocked her car in the garage. The other driver ignored her, so she started honking and shouting obscenities. She finally got her car parked. She ran upstairs to the interview. The other driver was the owner of the company who was interviewing her.”

–Kelley McCormick, Qorvis Communications

“When a candidate was asked about his greatest accomplishment, he replied that it was writing a short novel. When the interviewer said, ‘No, I mean something you did while at work,’ the candidate replied, ‘But I did write it while at work!’ “

–Rick Sherman, Mitretek Systems

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