Thursday, July 24, 2008

Human Resource Audit Questionnaire

Roles, Head Count, & Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS)

§ How many employees are currently on staff?

§ How many positions are open?

§ How many employees are:


- Regular

- Temporary

- Full Time

- Part Time

- Exempt

- Non-Exempt

Commission


§ What is the definition of a part-time employee (i.e., the maximum number of hours an employee may work to be considered part-time)?

§ What is the minimum number of hours an employee has to work to be considered full-time?

§ Is there a probationary period and if so, how long is the probationary period?

§ Are employees aware of their status/classification?

§ How long may an employee be temporary?

§ How many employees have supervisory responsibility?

§ Are there currently up-to-date job descriptions for all employees? If not, which ones don’t have descriptions?

§ Are independent contractors used? If so, how many are being used? And, for what functions?

§ Is the 21 point test for Independent Consultants being used for classification?

§ Have issues related to classification of employees been raised?

§ Is there an HRIS System / how are employee records kept?

[Recommend that you perform an employee file audit. Evaluate whether records are kept properly and if there are special agreements that have been made with individuals (e.g. policy exceptions: additional vacation time, expense reimbursement, auto allowances, bonuses, pay increases, performance appraisal frequency, etc.).]

Recruitment

§ How did the work force get to be the current size?

§ What are the procedures for hiring in your organization?

§ What are some of your organization’s future needs for personnel?

§ What recruitment sources are used?

§ Are current employees given appropriate consideration for promotion or lateral position changes?

§ If your organization has several divisions/locations are employees allowed to transfer? If so, is relocation is involved, will the company provide assistance?

§ Who does the preliminary screening of candidates?

§ Who selects candidates for interviews?

§ Is training provided for those who conduct interviews?

§ How is the recruitment, screening, and selection process documented?

§ What is the interview process that is used (e.g., individual, sequential, panel)?

§ Are there standardized questions that are asked of every candidate?

§ Is testing used for any positions? If yes, what position and what sort of testing?

§ Is pre-employment drug testing utilized?

§ Are other pre-screening instruments used (i.e., financial, criminal background checking, certification or licensure verification)?

§ Who is responsible for other pre-screening or pre-employment drug testing?

§ Who holds final authority to hire?

§ Who checks references?

§ How are the reference checks documented?

§ Who makes the offer of employment?

§ If the final offer is in writing, who prepares and reviews the letter?

§ Are new employees required to sign non-compete, non-disclosure agreements?

§ Where is the hiring paperwork generated?

§ Who negotiates compensation packages?

§ List the practices you believe are unique to your organization.

§ What is the turnover rate (percent of employees leaving each year) in your organization? Has this changed over time?

§ Who gives references for former employees?

§ Do you offer any employee referral incentives?

Documentation

§ Where and with whom are the personnel files currently held?

§ What documents are held in personnel files?

§ How are the following documented by your organization?


- Hiring

- Compensation and Benefits

- Transitions

- Paid Time Off

- Training

- Discipline

- Work History

- Work Assignments

- Significant accomplishments

- Emergency contact information

- Performance evaluation and performance management

- Termination


§ How long are files held and where are they stored after employees leave?

§ What is the interface between HR and Finance?

§ Has the work week been defined and posted / made available to employees?

§ Is a payroll service used, and if so, which one?

§ Does the payroll service provide all governmental employment filings?

§ Is there training of managers and employees about personnel files, and policies and procedures for accessing them?

§ How is Paid Time Off documented?

§ When requests for information are made to your organization, who fills the request?

§ Is an HRIS system being used, and if so, which one? Is this a single-user system?

§ Are there situations where you pay travel time, on-call time, shift differentials, lead premiums, incentive pay, incentive bonus and training time?

§ Do you provide compensatory time for your hourly employees in lieu of paying overtime?

§ For hourly employees, what is time excluded from the computation of overtime?

Training, Development and Career Management

§ Who is responsible for new employee orientation?

§ What are the elements of the new employee orientation program?

§ Where and to whom do new employees go when they have questions about your organization or their jobs?

§ Is there a formal training program for employees and managers? If so, please describe it.

§ What training and development initiatives have occurred in your organization?

§ How are managers and supervisors trained and prepared for their roles?

§ What is the average length of time an employee stays with your organization? Does this vary by position type?

§ How much does your organization spend annually (in total and per employee) on employee training and development? Does this vary by position type?

Compensation and Benefits

Basic Compensation Questions

§ Is there a formal compensation program?

§ How are wages set? Somewhat against market

§ Are formal salary ranges set?

§ Are pay rates assigned to jobs reflecting the organizational hierarchy as well is industry and hiring area?

§ If formal salary ranges are set, are they made public to employees?

§ How are jobs rated?

§ How frequently are jobs re-evaluated or updated?

§ Are any salary surveys used? If so, which ones?

§ Are pay ranges revised as a result of these surveys? How frequently?

§ Who in your organization (what position) administers the compensation program?

§ Are COLA’s given, and if so what is the basis for the COLA?

§ Are merit increases given, and if so, are they integrated with performance evaluation?

§ Is there a bonus system, and if so how is it structured?

§ How is the compensation program and total compensation package communicated to employees?

§ What are the “cultural issues” or beliefs related to compensation in your organization?

§ How is employee communication regarding compensation and benefits delivered in your organization?

Health and Welfare Benefits

§ Describe the health insurance program provided by your organization.

§ Are dependents covered, and if so, in part or in full?

§ Are domestic partners covered?

§ What are the eligibility requirements for health insurance and other benefits?

§ Which of the following health and wellness benefits are offered, and what are the limits and requirements for coverage?


- Dental

- Vision

- Disability

- Employee Assistance Program

- Life Insurance

- Other wellness benefits

- Flex benefit plan

- Other benefits


§ Are employees notified of their COBRA benefits?

Leave of Absence Administration

§ Do you offer leaves of absence? Describe conditions for the leave.

§ Do you treat maternity disability leave as you would any other leave?

§ Have you been consistent in granting leaves of absence (including paid vs. unpaid time off, maximum time allowed, opportunity to return to same or like position)?

§ Do you have more than 50 employees in one work location/within 75 mile radius? If so, have you had 20 weeks of payroll in the previous 12 months where you had 50 or more employees?

§ If the answer to any of the above is yes, are you in compliance with FMLA regulations?

Pension and Retirement

§ What is the pension or retirement plan?

§ What are the eligibility and vesting periods?

§ May pretax dollars be put into some form of deferment plan?

§ Will plan accept rollover contributions before eligibility?

Paid Time Off

§ What holidays are paid and who is eligible for them?

§ Is there a PTO system, or is it split between vacation and sick leave?

§ What is the vacation schedule, and how is it earned?

§ What is the eligibility requirement for vacation?

§ Is there a cap to limit the amount of vacation accrued?

§ Are employees permitted to substitute sick leave for vacation?

§ How is unused accrued vacation treated?

§ May employees contribute sick leave to other employees, and if so, what are the limits?

Performance Management and Evaluation

§ Describe the past and current performance appraisal system in your organization.

§ If a performance appraisal instrument is used, please attach a copy.

§ What type of process is used (360o–supervisor only–peer evaluation–outcome)?

§ What type of training is used in relationship to performance evaluation?

§ What is the role of the supervisor/manager in performance appraisal?

§ What is the focus of performance management in your organization?

§ How often and consistently is the process used?

§ What is your discipline policy and procedure?

§ In the absence of a state policy/procedure, do supervisors communicate the problem to the employee, coach the employee on the desired change and explain the consequences if there is not improvement?

§ Is there written communication asking for employee acknowledgement of need for change?

Termination and Transition

§ Is your organization an “at-will” employer?

§ What other causes or conditions of termination of employment exists?

§ What procedures are used for

- Termination for Cause

- Job Closure

- Resignation

§ What level of approval is needed before a termination may occur?

§ Before discharging employees do you asses the situation to determine if possible legal ramifications exist with unemployment claims, civil rights discharge, wage and hour complaints, violation of state or federal law by the discharge action, or wrongful discharge suits?

§ Is there a formal checklist or legal review prior to termination?

§ Are exit interviews performed for all employees who leave?

§ What documentation is required for all employee transitions?

§ How are references handled in your organization?

§ Who is responsible for internal communications regarding difficult terminations? (i.e., communicating the termination to other employees.)

§ Who is responsible for responding to unemployment claims?

§ Are unemployment claims handled in a timely manner?

§ Before discharging an employee is the final paycheck prepared?

Legal Issues / Personnel Policies

§ To your knowledge, are all employees appropriately classified?

§ What personnel policies are currently being used?

§ When was the last time these policies were reviewed and updated?

§ Is there disparity between policies and practices?

§ Who has organizational responsibility for legal or employment questions?

§ Is harassment training regularly provided?

§ How are employee grievances dealt with?

New Hire Reporting: If in multi-state, how is this done. If a single state how done? Who does it and by when?

Are I-9’s collected and where are they stored. When was the last audit performed?

Are all Federal and State required posting displayed in a place visible to all employees?

Has the company accepted any work from the federal government as contractor or subcontractor? If so, is the company larger than 50 employees? What is the annual value of the contract or subcontract?

§ If the company has federal contracts, are you compliant with additional posting requirements (Walsh Healey Act and Davis Bacon Act for Public construction contracts).

§ If more than 15 employees are you compliant with Title VII of the Civil Rights act and ADA (postings and policies)?

§ If you have more than 20 employees are you compliant with Age Discrimination in Employment (ADEA) and Consolidated and Omnibus Benefits Reconciliation (COBRA) provisions and postings?

§ Of you have more than 50 employees are you compliant with Executive Order 11246 (federal contracts or subcontractor) or Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or Vocational Rehabilitation Act (federal contractors or subcontractors with contracts exceeding $50,000)?

§ If more than 100 employees do you comply with EEO-1 form filing annually?

Safety and Health

Are OSHA Form 200’s maintained and posted each February (related to worker injury)?

Are employees aware of the procedure for reporting all work-related injuries?

Is the Employer’s First Report of Injury form (WC-1R85) filed with the workers compensation carrier for every on-the-job injury, no matter how minor?

§ Are facilities and operations reviewed periodically to assess that a healthy and safe work environment has been maintained?

§ Are hazardous chemicals used or are employees exposed to hazardous chemicals on a work-site? If so, is there employee training regarding potential exposure and safe practices?

Company property

§ Is company property issued to employees?

§ What documentation is utilized when providing equipment?

§ Are employees advised of their responsibilities to return equipment and to keep in good use?

Other

§ Are there regular employee surveys conducted to obtain employee feedback?

§ Are there regular team meetings conducted in each operational department?

§ Are there company-wide meetings?

§ How are announcements regarding employee issues addressed? Who is responsible for publishing them and what methods are used?

§ Is there a disaster recovery plan for the organization?

§ What employee safety measures are in place for each facility?

§ Does each manager have a list of their employee’s home numbers and contact information?

§ Is the emergency contact information for each employee up to date and refreshed each year?

§ Is emergency contact information available to management?

§ What attorneys are used for the company and in what capacity?

Human Resources Audit

THE HUMAN RESOURCES AUDIT

The Human Resources (HR) Audit is a process of examining policies, procedures, documentation, systems, and practices with respect to an organization’s HR functions. The purpose of the audit is to reveal the strengths and weaknesses in the organisation’s human resources system, and any issues needing resolution. The audit works best when the focus is on analyzing and improving the HR function in the organization.

The audit itself is a diagnostic tool, not a prescriptive instrument. It will helps to identify what you are missing or need to improve, and it may even tell you what you need to do to address these issues. It is most useful when an organization is ready to act on the findings, and to evolve its HR function to a level where its full potential to support the organization’s mission and objectives can be realized.

How should the HR audit be conducted? The audit process consists of a series of questions covering the eight primary components of the HR function:
  • Roles, head count, and HR information systems (HRIS)
  • Recruitment
  • Documentation
  • Training, development, and career management
  • Compensation and benefits
  • Performance measurement and evaluation
  • Termination and transition
  • Legal issues and personnel policies
The team works to collect information to answer the HR audit questions in each of these categories. The focus is on how these activities and tasks are actually performed in the organization. The first step is to collect all the pertinent information. The process of getting information, in and of itself, can be quite informative. For auditing the HRIS, the questioning begins from the organisation of HR department and how information flows inside the department. It must be remembered that HRIS exists in the department, evenif it is not automated using computers. Hence the overall information management system must be studied thoroughly. Hence, the audit is divided into three components:
  • Part I. Human Resource organisation/ administration
  • Part II. Information management through Documentation
  • Part III. Computerized HRIS
Each part has to be audited by asking certain questions which follow shortly.

Part I. Human Resource organisation/ administration:
  • How the organisation’s HR office is organised (including appropriate class of professional positions)?
  • What are the operating standards and internal controls?
  • How the administration of retention rights, including notices, matrix, use of separation incentives, and outplacement practices is carried out?
  • How does the HR staff remain current and up to date with the HR field?
  • What are the techniques used for communicating with employees and appointing authorities in department?
Part II. Information management through Documentation:
  • Where and with whom are the personnel files currently held?
  • What documents are held in personnel files?
  • How are the following documented by your organization?
    • Hiring: Application, Interviewing, and Reference Checks
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Leave and Overtime information
    • Transitions
    • Training
    • Discipline
    • Work History
    • Work Assignments
    • Significant accomplishments
    • Emergency contact information
    • Performance evaluation and performance management
    • Termination
  • How long are files held and where are they stored after employees leave?
  • Is there training of managers and employees about personnel files, and policies and procedures for accessing them?
  • When requests for information are made to your organization, who fills the request?
  • What are the content of employee, payroll, medical, and position files?
  • What are the various internal controls to ensure accuracy of information and control access?
  • What is the process for purging records?
  • How employee timesheets are maintained?
  • Where are the various notices posted?
  • What are the methods to ensure timely and accurate reporting of information to the top management?
Part III. Computerized HRIS

System requirements, features and capabilities:
  • Is an HRIS system being used, and if so, which one?
  • What are the different modules provided by the system?
  • Is the system based on same platform as rest of the organisation?
  • Is the system stand-alone or integrated with other systems in the organisation?
  • Is there a formal training program for employees and managers to access the HR information through the system? If so, please describe it.
  • Is the HRIS system comprehensive?
  • Are discreet pieces of information captured about employees and their jobs:
    • Personnel Data
    • Recruitment/selection data
    • Training and Development data
    • Compensation data
    • Performance appraisal/promotability data
    • Benefit Plan data
    • Health/safety/accident data
  • How is this information translated into usable forms of information?
  • How are the data security issues managed?
  • Is the number of individuals able to update and change information controlled to enhance accuracy?
  • What hardware is used to operate the system?
  • What local area networks are fully compatible with the system?
  • What is the maximum number of employee records that the system can handle efficiently?
  • Is the system written in a commercially available relational database, or is it written in programming language(s)?
  • What is the estimated processing time to generate a standard 10-field employee roster listing, including age, annual salary, and years of service, for 500 employee records?
Fields:
  • How many named, predefined fields are in the standard system?
  • How many named, predefined fields are there when all modules are included?
  • How many user-definable fields are in the standard system?
  • Can the non-technical user easily create new fields, in addition to the user-definable fields?
  • Is any training required to create totally new fields? If so, is it provided and if yes, how?
  • Can the user modify:
    • Field names?
    • Field lengths for on-screen display purposes?
    • Field lengths for reporting purposes?
    • Create multiple versions of the same field with differing field lengths for reporting purposes?
    • Field edits and validations?
    • Screen prompt/display name?
    • Column headings for reports?
    • Alpha/numeric characteristics of each field?
    • Required/optional characteristics of each field?
    • Display format/output conversions for fields?
    • Set default values for fields to simplify data entry?
    • Inactivate unnecessary fields?
    • Reactivate fields not previously used?
    • Connect fields to tables?
Tables:
  • How many tables are provided in the system?
  • Can a non-technical user easily add tables to the system?
  • Is any training is required to add a table to the system and if yes, how much?
  • Can the non-technical user modify table characteristics?
  • Can a non-technical user easily add fields to a table?
  • Can table contents be accessed using a “hot” key and reviewed in a “pop-up” window during data entry without interrupting the data-entry process?
  • Can tables be updated during data entry?
Reporting Capabilities:
  • How many standard reports are provided with the system?
  • Can a non-technical user easily modify the standard reports?
  • Can the non-technical user change the sorting and selection criteria for standard reports when the reports are run?
  • How many sorting and sequencing levels may be defined for a report?
  • How long would it take for a non-technical user to add two new fields to a standard report and delete one existing field?
  • Is there a fully prompted report writer that allows a non-technical user to easily create new reports?
  • Does the report writer allow the non-technical user to “point and pick” fields for the report and to create the selection of records for the report?
  • How many files can be accessed on a single report?
  • Does the system provide the ability to develop matrix-style reports with user-selected statistical data in each matrix cell?
  • Can the system produce mailing labels in any format?
Security:
  • Can a unique security profile be established for each user?
  • How many unique user security profiles can be established?
  • Can each individual user be restricted from:
    • Specific records or groups of records?
    • Specific fields of information?
    • Specific commands?
    • Specific files of information?
    • Specific screens and menus?
    • The ability to update tables?
  • Can the non-technical user easily define what fields will be subject to audit tracking?
  • Does the system validate data as they are entered for consistency with other data?
  • Does the system display descriptive error messages whenever a data entry or operational error occurs?
  • Can the non-technical user easily modify “help” messages?
  • Are automated back-up procedures included to prevent loss of data?
Utilities and Other Features:
  • Does the system automatically build historical records as changes are entered?
  • How many historical entries may be maintained for any single field?
  • Is there an “import and export” utility to allow movement of data between systems?
  • Does the system incorporate a built-in word processor?
  • Will the system internally merge data into form letters and documents, or must the information be “exported” to another system?
  • How many days of training are required to achieve normal operating efficiency?
  • Can the non-technical user easily modify screens and menus?
  • Can the non-technical user easily create new screens and menus?
  • How much training is required to create new screens and menus?
  • Are all system features and utilities fully documented?
  • Is the documentation indexed?
  • Is technical information (e.g., field names and definitions; database file structure) documented in the user’s manual or in an appendix?
Costs:
  • What is the price of the current system?
  • What is the price of any additional module(s)?
  • What, if any, additional costs are there to meet the needs described?
  • What is the cost for per year maintenance?
  • What are the costs for training and implementation support?
  • What are the costs for anticipated customization?
  • What are the recurring annual maintenance and other costs after the first year?
HRIS evaluation checklist:

The accompanying checklist is a preliminary evaluation tool for ascertaining the functions and technical specifications of various. This checklist provides a high-level overview of the extent to which various systems address the functional needs of HR departments.

Code Definition:

A Provided in the system
B Provided in an available optional module
C Simple, non-technical user modification
D Intermediate, moderately technical user modification
E Advanced, complex, technical user modification
F Vendor-provided modification required
X Not covered
N/A Not applicable or unnecessary to automate


Indicate the extent to which the following capabilities and features are provided in the HRIS system:

Employment and Staffing
____ Tracks policy compliance
____ Administers new-hire processing
____ Administers termination processing
____ Maintains skills inventories
____ Tracks internal/external work experience
____ Tracks status history (leaves of absence, layoffs, etc.)
____ Administers requisition fulfillment
____ Locates qualified internal candidates
____ Tracks external job applicants
____ Monitors position control and budget data
____ Administers succession plans
____ Facilitates career and position planning

Compensation

____ Administers salary change requests
____ Creates salary change history
____ Tracks unlimited salary change history
____ Stores and reports on various payroll earnings
____ Tracks salary change forecasts
____ Tracks unlimited performance evaluation history
____ Administers bonus plans
____ Administers stock-option plans
____ Evaluates/grades jobs
____ Tracks job descriptions

HR audit questions for Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS)
Benefits

____ Administers benefit plan participation
____ Tracks benefit plan eligibility
____ Calculates benefit coverage amounts
____ Calculates employee contribution amounts
____ Calculates benefit premium payment amounts
____ Tracks benefit plan participation history
____ Produces employee benefit statements
____ Tracks pension plan investments
____ Administers flexible benefits
____ Produces flexible benefit enrollment forms
____ Administers flexible spending account balances


Training and Development
____ Administers training enrollment
____ Tracks training class participation
____ Tracks training costs
____ Evaluates training requirements
____ Schedules training classes


Safety/Industrial Health
____ Tracks first reports of injuries
____ Calculates sick time use and leave balances
____ Generates illness and injury data
____ Tracks individual safety history
____ Maintains safety training record
____ Tracks medical and rehabilitative activities
____ Calculates costs associated with illness and injury
____ Monitors workplace hazards
____ Monitors hazardous exposures


Employee and Labor Relations
____ Maintains union rosters
____ Tracks seniority rankings
____ Generates job opening notices
____ Tracks grievances
____ Calculates impact of negotiable alternative scenarios


How are needed improvements identified?
Once information is gathered, the audit team reviews each major section and notes disparities between paper (what we think or say we do) and practice (what we actually do, as revealed by the answers to the audit questions). This can then be compared to best practice (what we should do to best support our organization’s mission).
In our mission, the aim should be to improve the information system within the HR department. After studying it thoroughly, suggestions can be made to facilitate faster access to information, cost reduction in terms of training and maintenance of system, increasing the system’s user friendliness, minimise training requirements, make relevant data available at required time and so on.

How is follow-up and correction done?
Improving the HR system takes some time. A work plan — with a timeline, accountability, and deliverables — should be created after the team reviews the completed audit and identifies areas where improvement is needed. Follow-up and review should be a regular management function, performed on an ongoing basis.
Finding out what is insufficient and inadequate is the first step toward improvement. If deficiencies are identified, it is important to take steps to correct those deficiencies. Organizations should take that first step only when they are ready to act on the findings, and to make necessary improvements in their HR skills, processes, and systems.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Dress For Interview

While the college campus may be the perfect forum in which to exhibit your flair for the latest in fashion style, the interview is not the place to do so. With very few unusual exceptions, sandals and sweatshirts are out. Oxfords and business suits are still in. A necktie is still a fact of life in interviewing. Even though many companies have relaxed the internal company dress code, interviews still follow the conservative standard. Don't buck the trend.

Unfortunately, most college grads are woefully underprepared with proper interview dress. They feel they can "get by" with what is already in their wardrobe. Usually not. Dress for the world outside college is quite different from the campus scene. Remember that stylish is not conservative. You should be doing the talking, not your clothes.

This is not to say that you need to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe. Go for quality over quantity. One or two well-chosen business suits will serve you all the way to the first day on the job and beyond. Then, when you are making some money (and have a chance to see what the standard "uniform" is for the company), you can begin to round out your wardrobe. For now, no one will fault you for wearing the same sharp outfit each time you interview. If you desire some variety within a limited budget, you might consider varying your shirt/blouse/tie/accessories as a simple way to change your look without breaking your wallet.

For those of you who need a quick review of the basics, follow these guidelines for successful interview dress:


Men and Women

  • Conservative two-piece business suit (solid dark blue or grey is best)

  • Conservative long-sleeved shirt/blouse (white is best, pastel is next best)

  • Clean, polished conservative shoes

  • Well-groomed hairstyle

  • Clean, trimmed fingernails

  • Minimal cologne or perfume

  • Empty pockets--no bulges or tinkling coins

  • No gum, candy or cigarettes

  • Light briefcase or portfolio case

  • No visible body piercing (nose rings, eyebrow rings, etc.)

Men

  • Necktie should be silk with a conservative pattern

  • Dark shoes (black lace-ups are best)

  • Dark socks (black is best)

  • Get a haircut; short hair always fares best in interviews

  • No beards (unless you are interviewing for a job as a lumberjack!)

  • Mustaches are a possible negative, but if you must, make sure it is neat and trimmed

  • No rings other than wedding ring or college ring

  • No earrings (if you normally wear one, take it out)

Women


  • Always wear a suit with a jacket; no dresses

  • Shoes with conservative heels

  • Conservative hosiery at or near skin color (and no runs!)

  • No purses, small or large; carry a briefcase instead

  • If you wear nail polish (not required), use clear or a conservative color

  • Minimal use of makeup (it should not be too noticeable)

  • No more than one ring on each hand

  • One set of earrings only

If you are still not sure how to dress for the interview, call them and ask! That's right--call the employer. But this is one time when you do not want to call the Hiring Manager--instead, ask to be put through to Human Resources and say:

"I have an interview with _____ in the _____ department for a position as an _____. Could you please tell me what would be appropriate dress for this interview?"

Sure, you run the risk of someone in HR thinking you are a social imbecile, but that's a lot better than having the Hiring Manager distracted by inappropriate interview dress.

While many work environments have shifted to business casual as the work standard, business suits are still the interview standard. When in doubt, it is almost always better to err on the side of conservatism.

One final note on interview dress: while it goes without saying that your interview clothes should be neat and clean, very few interviewees give the same time and attention to their shoes. Shoes? Yes, shoes. I am aware of at least one Corporate Recruiter who forms first impressions based solely (pardon the pun) on shoes. This person does not have a shoe fetish--he subjectively judges that those who pay attention to details like their shoes are also likely to be diligent in their work life. And it is not just that person's opinion. Many have said that you can judge a person by their shoes. You will find that many ex-military officers (many of whom have found their way into management positions in corporate America) are especially aware of a person's shoes. It is not enough to be clean, pressed, and ironed. Make sure your shoes are conservative, clean, and polished.