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PCEP-30-01 Certified Entry-Level Python Programmer

Exam Specification:

- exam Name: Certified Entry-Level Python Programmer (PCEP-30-01)
- exam Code: PCEP-30-01
- exam Duration: 45 minutes
- exam Format: Multiple-choice questions

Course Outline:

1. Introduction to Python Programming
- Overview of Python and its key features
- Installing Python and setting up the development environment
- Writing and executing Python programs

2. Python Syntax and Data Types
- Understanding Python syntax and code structure
- Working with variables, data types, and operators
- Using built-in functions and libraries

3. Control Flow and Decision Making
- Implementing control flow structures: if-else statements, loops, and conditional expressions
- Writing programs to solve simple problems using decision-making constructs

4. Data Structures in Python
- Working with lists, tuples, sets, and dictionaries
- Manipulating and accessing data within data structures

5. Functions and Modules
- Creating functions and defining parameters
- Importing and using modules in Python programs

6. File Handling and Input/Output Operations
- studying from and writing to files
- Processing text and binary data

7. Exception Handling
- Handling errors and exceptions in Python programs
- Implementing try-except blocks and raising exceptions

8. Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) Basics
- Understanding the principles of object-oriented programming
- Defining and using classes and objects

Exam Objectives:

1. Demonstrate knowledge of Python programming concepts, syntax, and code structure.
2. Apply control flow structures and decision-making constructs in Python programs.
3. Work with various data types and manipulate data using built-in functions.
4. Use functions, modules, and libraries to modularize and organize code.
5. Perform file handling operations and input/output operations in Python.
6. Handle errors and exceptions in Python programs.
7. Understand the basics of object-oriented programming (OOP) in Python.

Exam Syllabus:

The exam syllabus covers the following subjects (but is not limited to):

- Python syntax and code structure
- Variables, data types, and operators
- Control flow structures and decision-making constructs
- Lists, tuples, sets, and dictionaries
- Functions and modules
- File handling and input/output operations
- Exception handling
- Object-oriented programming (OOP) basics
Certified Entry-Level Python Programmer
AICPA Entry-Level learning

Other AICPA exams

BEC CPA Business Environment and Concepts
FAR CPA Financial Accounting and Reporting
CPA-REG CPA Regulation
CPA-AUD CPA Auditing and Attestation
PCAP-31-03 Certified Associate in Python Programming - 2023
PCEP-30-01 Certified Entry-Level Python Programmer

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Python
PCEP-30-01
Certified Entry-Level Python Programmer
http://killexams.com/pass4sure/exam-detail/PCEP-30-01
Question: 34
A function definition starts with the keyword:
A. def
B. function
C. fun
Answer: A
Explanation:
Topic: def
Try it yourself:
def my_first_function():
print(Hello)
my_first_function() # Hello
https://www.w3schools.com/python/python_functions.asp
Question: 35
Consider the following code snippet:
w = bool(23)
x = bool()
y = bool( )
z = bool([False])
Which of the variables will contain False?
A. z
B. x
C. y
D. w
Answer: B
Explanation:
Topic: type casting with bool()
Try it yourself:
print(bool(23)) # True
print(bool()) # False
print(bool( )) # True
print(bool([False])) # True
The list with the value False is not empty and therefore it becomes True
The string with the space also contain one character
and therefore it also becomes True
The values that become False in Python are the following:
print(bool()) # False
print(bool(0)) # False
print(bool(0.0)) # False
print(bool(0j)) # False
print(bool(None)) # False
print(bool([])) # False
print(bool(())) # False
print(bool({})) # False
print(bool(set())) # False
print(bool(range(0))) # False
Question: 36
Assuming that the tuple is a correctly created tuple,
the fact that tuples are immutable means that the following instruction:
my_tuple[1] = my_tuple[1] + my_tuple[0]
A. can be executed if and only if the tuple contains at least two elements
B. is illegal
C. may be illegal if the tuple contains strings
D. is fully correct
Answer: B
Explanation:
Topics: dictionary
Try it yourself:
my_tuple = (1, 2, 3)
my_tuple[1] = my_tuple[1] + my_tuple[0]
# TypeError: tuple object does not support item assignment
A tuple is immutable and therefore you cannot
assign a new value to one of its indexes.
Question: 37
You develop a Python application for your company.
You have the following code.
def main(a, b, c, d):
value = a + b * c d
return value
Which of the following expressions is equivalent to the expression in the function?
A. (a + b) * (c d)
B. a + ((b * c) d)
C. None of the above.
D. (a + (b * c)) d
Answer: D
Explanation:
Topics: addition operator multiplication operator
subtraction operator operator precedence
Try it yourself:
def main(a, b, c, d):
value = a + b * c d # 3
# value = (a + (b * c)) d # 3
# value = (a + b) * (c d) # -3
# value = a + ((b * c) d) # 3
return value
print(main(1, 2, 3, 4)) # 3
This question is about operator precedence
The multiplication operator has the highest precedence and is therefore executed first.
That leaves the addition operator and the subtraction operator
They both are from the same group and therefore have the same precedence.
That group has a left-to-right associativity.
The addition operator is on the left and is therefore executed next.
And the last one to be executed is the subtraction operator
Question: 38
Which of the following variable names are illegal? (Select two answers)
A. TRUE
B. True
C. true
D. and
Answer: B, D
Explanation:
Topics: variable names keywords True and
Try it yourself:
TRUE = 23
true = 42
# True = 7 # SyntaxError: cannot assign to True
# and = 7 # SyntaxError: invalid syntax
You cannot use keywords as variable names.
Question: 39
Which of the following for loops would output the below number pattern?
11111
22222
33333
44444
55555
A. for i in range(0, 5):
print(str(i) * 5)
B. for i in range(1, 6):
print(str(i) * 5)
C. for i in range(1, 6):
print(i, i, i, i, i)
D. for i in range(1, 5):
print(str(i) * 5)
Answer: B
Explanation:
Topics: for range() str() multiply operator string concatenation
Try it yourself:
for i in range(1, 6):
print(str(i) * 5)
"""
11111
22222
33333
44444
55555
"""
print(-)
for i in range(0, 5):
print(str(i) * 5)
"""
00000
11111
22222
33333
44444
"""
print(-)
for i in range(1, 6):
print(i, i, i, i, i)
"""
1 1 1 1 1
2 2 2 2 2
3 3 3 3 3
4 4 4 4 4
5 5 5 5 5
"""
print(-)
for i in range(1, 5):
print(str(i) * 5)
"""
11111
22222
33333
44444
"""
You need range (1, 6)
because the start value 1 is inclusive and the end value 6 is exclusive. To get the same numbers next to each other
(without a space between them) you need to make a string and then use the multiply operator string concatenation
The standard separator of the print() function is one space. print(i, i, i, i, i) gives you one space between each number.
It would work with print(i, i, i, i, i, sep=) but that answer is not offered here.
Question: 40
The digraph written as #! is used to:
A. tell a Unix or Unix-like OS how to execute the contents of a Python file.
B. create a docstring.
C. make a particular module entity a private one.
D. tell an MS Windows OS how to execute the contents of a Python file.
Answer: A
Explanation:
Topics: #! shebang
This is a general UNIX topic.
Best read about it here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shebang_(Unix)
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AICPA Entry-Level learning - BingNews https://killexams.com/pass4sure/exam-detail/PCEP-30-01 Search results AICPA Entry-Level learning - BingNews https://killexams.com/pass4sure/exam-detail/PCEP-30-01 https://killexams.com/exam_list/AICPA New CPE standards offer more virtual learning

The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy and the American Institute of CPAs have changed their continuing professional education standards to include, among other things, broader virtual learning options for CPAs.

Under the revised rules, a virtual option has been added under the "Group Live" instructional delivery method. The 2024 standards also include clarifications to help award CPE credit in appropriate increments when multiple presenters are involved in a session, and to clarify the required attendance monitoring mechanisms for group internet-based programs.

"These newly approved revisions to the standards represent the collective efforts of the CPE Standards Working Group, NASBA's CPE Committee, the Joint AICPA/NASBA CPE Standards Committee, as well as various individuals and organizations that participated in the exposure draft process," said Jessica Luttrull, NASBA's associate director of the National Registry, in a statement. "With advancements in technologies and innovative adult learning trends, it is critical for CPE to continue to evolve. We believe that the changes included in the 2024 standards will help keep CPE relevant and meaningful to CPAs."

Michael Grant, the AICPA's senior director of learning innovation and assessment, said in a statement: "The standards revisions give us more flexibility in meeting CPAs' educational needs and highlight the importance of virtual learning in building competencies and gaining expertise."

The revised Statement of Standards for Continuing Professional Education Programs and NASBA's Fields of Study document will be effective Jan. 1, 2024.

The revisions were approved by NASBA in October and by the AICPA this month. The new standards and related documents are available on NASBA's website.

Watching a webinar online - online CPE - online learning

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Wed, 20 Dec 2023 07:29:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.accountingtoday.com/news/new-cpe-standard-from-nasba-aicpa-offer-more-virtual-learning-options
Does the CPA Evolution Initiative Go Far Enough? No result found, try new keyword!In 2017, the AICPA, in conjunction with NASBA, undertook a gap analysis of the Uniform CPA Examination to identify opportunities challenging the ... Thu, 04 Jan 2024 20:59:00 -0600 https://www.cpajournal.com/2024/01/05/does-the-cpa-evolution-initiative-go-far-enough-2/ Earn top-flight IT certifications with this CompTIA training bundle for under $65 No result found, try new keyword!Macworld Certification is key among IT professionals. But while more than 90% of IT experts have at least one certification, fewer than 25% hold a coveted CompTIA A+ certification, an entry-level ... Thu, 04 Jan 2024 18:44:28 -0600 en-us text/html https://www.msn.com/ How much of a threat is the talent shortage to the accounting profession?

There is an accounting shortage in the US.

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) estimates that about 75% of CPAs would have reached retirement eligibility by 2020. Coupled with a steady decrease in new students majoring in accounting, firms are facing a significant talent shortage.

“Firms have got a lot of other work that is important for their client needs and they are stepping back and looking at their business models and saying, what space do we want to be in?” asks Sue Coffey, CEO of Public Accounting for AICPA & CIMA.

While the same shortage has not yet hit the shores of the UK, the profession has not grown in popularity in a number of years and the number of younger people entering the profession is starting to dwindler. This shortage is a result of various factors, including voluntary resignations, the retirement of Baby Boomer accountants, and a lack of interest among young people due to misconceptions about the profession. As a result, there will be a competition for talent, especially for larger international firms, in 2024.

In response to the talent shortage in the US, the AICPA has formed the National Pipeline Advisory Group, a collective of accounting stakeholders tasked with shaping strategies to address the profession’s talent shortage. The group’s work will be informed by technology, surveys, and in-person forums to solicit insights from diverse groups nationwide.

This initiative demonstrates a proactive approach to addressing the talent crisis and could serve as a model for other firms.

Time for a rebrand?

One key strategy for attracting new talent to the accounting profession is rebranding. Traditionally, accounting has been seen as a mundane and monotonous profession. However, today’s accountants are far from that stereotype.

They are forward-thinking individuals who leverage technology, possess strong analytical skills, and play a crucial role in driving business success. Firms need to emphasize these selling points and showcase the exciting and diverse opportunities that the profession offers.

Accounting is no longer just about crunching numbers. It requires individuals who are tech-savvy and can think critically to solve complex business problems. Janet Malzone, the national managing partner of audit services at Grant Thornton, agrees and suggests that the profession should be rebranded as a technology profession, reflecting the significant role technology plays in modern accounting practices.

The AICPA & CIMA, for instance, are preparing accounting professionals with learning programs and resources to expand their competencies. They are also on track to launch a new CPA exam in January 2024, embedding critical data and technology concepts into the exam. This focus on innovation ensures the profession remains relevant, resilient, and trusted.

Emphasising the selling points

To attract new talent, firms must highlight the unique and compelling aspects of a career in accounting.

Jim Proppe, managing partner at Plante Moran, believes that many high school students are unaware of the exciting and dynamic nature of the profession. He emphasizes the opportunity to work with smart, high-energy individuals and gain diverse industry experience.

Promoting transferable skills

Accountants possess a wide range of transferable skills that make them valuable assets to any organization. Today, the role of accountants extends beyond technical accounting tasks. They have the ability to analyze data, identify trends, and provide strategic insights that drive business decisions. These skills are highly transferable and can open doors to various roles within a company.

Avcountants with a broader skill set can venture into different functions within an organisation. They can contribute to sales and services operations, participate in process improvement initiatives, and drive digital transformation. Firms should emphasize these transferable skills to attract individuals who are seeking dynamic and versatile career opportunities.

Setting realistic salary expectations

Compensation is a crucial factor when it comes to attracting and retaining talent. However, there can be a disconnect between the salary expectations of latest graduates and the reality of entry-level accounting positions. According to Robert Half’s survey, some candidates have unrealistic salary expectations, often influenced by friends in other professions who may earn higher salaries.

To bridge this gap, firms need to educate students about the career progression in accounting. While starting salaries may not be exceptionally high, the profession offers a stair-stepped career path with opportunities for growth and increased income over time. Setting realistic salary expectations early on can help manage candidates’ perceptions and attract individuals who are genuinely interested in the profession.

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Wed, 03 Jan 2024 17:03:00 -0600 en-GB text/html https://www.accountancyage.com/2024/01/04/how-much-of-a-threat-is-the-talent-shortage-to-the-accounting-profession/
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Student Opinion

How Do You Feel About High School?

Scroll through some work by the winning students and educators who participated in our “What High School Is Like in 2023” multimedia challenge. Then tell us how well the collection captures your experiences.

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Wed, 03 Jan 2024 18:07:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.nytimes.com/section/learning
Using technology to boost audit quality

Samantha Bowling, CPA, CGMA, knows a thing or two about how accounting firms can use technology to boost audit quality.

As managing partner at Upper Marlboro, Md.-based Garbelman Winslow CPAs, Bowling spearheaded the firm’s implementation of artificial intelligence (AI) to identify high-risk transactions.

As chair of the AICPA Auditing Standards Board (ASB) Technology Task Force, Bowling leads a group of volunteers dedicated to developing examples of how to use technology to transform audit processes, resulting in higher quality audits.

“It’s about transforming what you do to be more effective and eventually more efficient,” said Bowling, whose firm has been recognized as a leader in AI usage despite having fewer than 20 employees. “You should not adopt technology to do the same process you did last year faster. The efficiency happens when you transform how you audit and elevate your team to a higher level of thinking.”

This article, the first in a four-part series (see the box “Looking Ahead” at the end of this article), identifies the incentives for using technology in an audit. The article also provides findings from an ASB survey on the impediments to technology use in audits, one of many steps the ASB has taken to understand and support technology transformation of the audit.

TRANSFORMING THE AUDIT

In the latest past, the typical delivery of the audit was document-checklist driven. Cloud and other technologies, notably AI and data analytics, have allowed for the audit to be delivered more efficiently and effectively.

Today, auditors are moving into the next stage of audit transformation, as shown in the graphic “AICPA/CPA.com Audit Transformation Maturity Model” (below). There will be further advances — and deeper insight into engagements — as auditors embrace fully integrated, knowledge-driven approaches that are technology-enabled through AI and other technologies.


The AICPA has been promoting the use of technology to transform the audit process for years. As part of that effort, the AICPA has teamed with CPA.com, several large accounting firms, and technology partner Caseware International to develop the Dynamic Audit Solution (DAS), an initiative that brings together data-driven methodology, guided workflow tools, and data analytics into a single, cloud-based platform. Several top 100 firms are using DAS now, and the service is expected to become generally available soon.

At the same time, a latest practice aid from the ASB’s Technology Task Force, “Use of Technology in an Audit of Financial Statements,” helps auditors with tailoring their risk assessment. The practice aid describes and illustrates through examples how technology can Strengthen audit effectiveness and efficiency, with an initial focus on the risk identification and assessment process under Statement on Auditing Standards (SAS) No. 145, Understanding the Entity and Its Environment and Assessing the Risks of Material Misstatement.

IMPROVING PLANNING AND PROCESSES

SAS No. 145 requires firms to gain an understanding of the entity’s use of technology relevant to the preparation of the financial statements, and it has a direct impact on how they plan the audit by tailoring audit programs and designing audit procedures that are responsive to the assessed risk, Bowling said. For example, when a client adopts a new technology, firms can’t just repeat past audit processes because they may no longer be appropriate. Instead, firms need to know technologies well enough to see how they affect client workflow and then adjust audit procedures accordingly. In this way, SAS No. 145 opens opportunities for auditors to use technology to analyze data and transform how they audit.

Bowling, for instance, finds AI to be a valuable tool in the planning and initial risk assessment stage of the audit. Whereas some auditors may plan and conduct initial risk assessments using traditional techniques (checklists and minimal technology use), AI analyzes risk in client data and provides Bowling with insights she uses to refine her audit plan for each client. The ability to more specifically identify risk allows auditors to develop procedures to target those risks rather than perform generic audit procedures that may be more time-consuming and costly and aren’t calibrated for high-risk areas.

AI technology can also Strengthen information-gathering capability, especially in complex audits, according to Patricia Willhite, CPA, senior audit manager at CapinCrouse, a 200-employee firm that specializes in serving not-for-profits.

“A process improvement can make us faster and reduce the time we spend,” Willhite said. With her government clients in particular, technology-driven efficiencies can make it easier to monitor and address new rules as they are added in this highly regulated field.

HOW STAFFING IS AFFECTED

AI technology can help newer staff members develop a keener eye while augmenting their existing knowledge, Bowling said. For example, not only can the technology take over much of the work of choosing trial selections, it can also allow staff to learn from the software by seeing what control points are triggered when the technology highlights a high-risk transaction. “Using the software provides the ‘why’ behind the audit process,” she said.

And when firms support a staff member in their role as the technology-innovation champion with appropriate compensation and the ability to celebrate successes and failure, they will reap the benefits, according to Bowling. “A culture of innovation and fixing what is broken generates a contagious enthusiasm among staff for change,” she said.

At the 220-employee firm Smith and Howard in Atlanta, one audit senior manager with an interest in technology has become the internal IT expert, with the firm supporting her efforts by reducing her billable hours requirement. “Many firms have someone who can take on this role,” said Sean Spitzer, CPA, the firm’s president, “but you have to give them the time and space to do it.”

SURVEY: BARRIERS TO TECHNOLOGY USE

The ASB survey conducted late last year sought to identify barriers that prevent auditors from making use of IT, including emerging technologies. Nearly 60% of respondents came from firms with 50 or fewer professionals; of these, almost half came from firms with fewer than 10.

In designing the survey, a key question for the ASB was whether auditors believed that U.S. generally accepted auditing standards (GAAS) hindered their use of technology in an audit. As the chart “What Limits Technology Use?” (below) shows, few respondents identified GAAS as a stumbling block. While impediments varied by technology type, respondents named the following as the most common hurdles:

  • A lack of training and infrastructure within the firm. This was the top reason given for not using textual analysis (29%), data analytics and data visualization (27% each), and AI (23%).
  • Doubts about the usefulness of a particular technology in the engagement. This was the reason auditors most often cited for not using drones (48%), robotic process automation or RPA (30%), and blockchain (27%).
  • The cost of the technology. AI (17%), drones and RPA (16% each), in particular, were seen as too expensive.


WHAT TECHNOLOGIES FIRMS ARE USING

The survey revealed several tiers of technology use. Most respondents were using cloud technology, mainly for planning, audit documentation, journal-entry testing, confirmations, and tests of details as well as collaboration and information-sharing.

Data analytics and data visualization were the next most often used technologies, with data analytics put to work in journal-entry testing and data visualization used mostly for planning, risk assessment, audit documentation, and substantive analytical procedures. AI and textual analysis were employed generally for journal-entry testing and audit documentation, respectively, but they were (like some other technologies) infrequently used.

A total of 17% of respondents reported using no emerging technology included in the survey.

Overall, the survey results suggest there are opportunities for firms to use emerging technologies on audit engagements and strategies that firms can implement to overcome barriers in technology use.

As the profession embraces emerging technology and technology transformation, CPAs are adapting new ways to conduct their audits.


Looking ahead

Forthcoming articles in this four-part series will cover the following topics:

  • February: Artificial intelligence
  • March: Data analytics and data visualization
  • April: Change management

About the authors

Anita Dennis is a New Jersey-based freelance writer. J. Gregory Jenkins, CPA, Ph.D., is the Ingwersen Professor in the School of Accountancy in the Harbert College of Business at Auburn University. To comment on this article or to suggest an idea for another article, contact Jeff Drew at Jeff.Drew@aicpa-cima.com.


AICPA & CIMA RESOURCES

Articles

How 3 Firms Tackle the Audit Talent Crunch,” JofA, Sept. 1, 2023

An Updated Practice Aid and How It Can Assist in Audits of Digital Assets,” JofA, Aug. 31, 2023

AICPA Debuts New Practice Aid for Tech-Enabled Auditing,” JofA, July 27, 2023

5 Ways Firms Can Use Technology to Transform Audits,” JofA, Dec. 20, 2022

Tool

Enhance your risk assessment procedures with the use of automated tools and techniques in the auditor’s risk assessment.

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Leverage cutting-edge tools and technology to modernize your A&A practice.

For more information or to make a purchase, go to aicpa-cima.com/cpe-learning or call 888-777-7077.

Sun, 31 Dec 2023 20:00:00 -0600 text/html https://www.journalofaccountancy.com/issues/2024/jan/using-technology-to-boost-audit-quality.html
Entry-Level

Welcome to the UAB Occupational Therapy Program

Our acclaimed faculty offer innovative curriculum for students interested in becoming occupational therapists. Our excellence is recognized in the latest U.S. News & World Report rankings of America’s Best Graduate Schools, Occupational Therapy Programs, which rate our program #23 overall.

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The 10 Highest Paying Entry-Level Jobs in America No result found, try new keyword!It's graduation season and hordes of educated youth will soon be in competition for the limited number of entry-level jobs available on the job market. TheStreet analyzed figures from the Bureau ... Tue, 27 May 2014 06:07:00 -0500 text/html https://www.thestreet.com/markets/top-10-highest-paid-entry-level-jobs-12720528 How To Retain Entry-Level Workers Who Are About To Bolt

Employee turnover can be costly, even when the turnover is happening in entry-level roles. Here’s what you can do to reduce the high dollar and emotional costs when entry-level workers bolt.

1. Pay a livable wage. Young people are excited to land their first job and are often willing to accept whatever wages you offer. It doesn’t take long for them to realize that they can’t afford to remain in a job that doesn’t pay a livable wage. Consider shifting the money you’ll spend on training their replacements into their pay.

2. Stop asking your entry-level workers to take on multiple roles. Companies are slashing their headcount without reducing the workload. As a result, entry-level workers frequently find themselves doing two, or sometimes even the job of three people. The State of Workplace Burnout 2023 report found that people in the 18-24 age range are experiencing burnout at the highest rate (47%). When employees burnout, they don’t think twice about putting their mental health first, which means looking for a job in an organization where life is much less stressful.

3. Communicate opportunities for career advancement. Young workers may have had multiple short-term dead-end jobs before being hired by you. Map out what a career might look like in your organization and be sure to share this with your entry-level workers. When doing so, be realistic regarding how long most people remain in a particular role so the employee doesn’t bolt because they don’t feel they’re advancing quickly enough.

4. Assign mentors to new hires. Assigned mentors are essential for entry-level workers since many need to learn how to navigate the complexities associated with the workplace. A mentor can provide guidance and the connection to keeping an employee engaged until a promotion becomes available.

5. Create a culture where it’s okay to fail. Most entry-level roles require little experience. Yet, employers expect entry-level workers to perform flawlessly. When the employee does make a mistake, which most do, they get taken to task. Encourage your managers to use these mistakes as learning opportunities, and you’ll stand a better chance of having well-trained workers in your business.

6. Understand non-work lives. The life of an entry-level worker is different than more established workers. Some may attend school at night, while others may raise families. Others may be holding down second jobs to make ends meet. Understanding where people come from can prevent mistaking multifaceted lives for lousy work habits. Look for ways to work with your employees to help them find the balance they seek.

Eventually, everyone leaves their job. When an employee departs, handle their exit with grace. Thank them for their contribution and wish them well. And who knows, they may come back to you one day!

Wed, 12 Jul 2023 07:33:00 -0500 Roberta Matuson en text/html https://www.forbes.com/sites/robertamatuson/2023/07/12/how-to-retain-entry-level-workers-who-are-about-to-bolt/
Hiring Entry-Level Positions? Punctuality Is The Key To Success

Yong Kim is the CEO and cofounder of Wonolo, an on-demand job marketplace that connects workers to jobs posted by businesses across the US.

"What is the sum of the numbers one to 100? How many tennis balls can fit into a yellow school bus? How would you fight a rattlesnake?"

These are some of the more offbeat questions interviewers ask candidates, especially those applying for entry-level jobs. Although it’s clear the goal of inquiring on these brain-teaser questions is to assess the candidates’ ability to think on their feet and problem solve, I find that they are not as useful as some employers believe.

Research shows that these puzzle questions do not help predict the future performance of job candidates. Instead, I believe that they take valuable time away from getting to know the interviewee and whether they are a fit for the position and your company.

So, what are the best questions to ask entry-level interviewees? Some examples might include: "Tell us a challenging situation you faced and how you handled it. Can you elaborate on your educational background and any relevant coursework? What interested you about this particular job and company?”

These are excellent questions to understand the various skill sets or experiences of different candidates. However, it’s still unclear how candidates will perform at the job in real life, no matter how compelling the answers to these questions may be.

So, what should leaders ask instead? What should you as an employer look for during the interview, especially for entry-level positions when prior experience is not a requirement? I believe the answer is punctuality.

Punctuality As The Best Predictor Of Entry-Level Success

Leveraging machine learning techniques, my team examined millions of points of data on entry-level jobs across thousands of companies. This helped us determine punctuality as the most important factor or trait that determines whether a candidate will perform strongly at their entry-level position.

At first, it may sound too fundamental or basic. However, being punctual can reveal several key qualities and characteristics about a person. Here are key traits directly related to punctuality:

Reliability And Trustworthiness

Punctual people tend to be reliable and trustworthy. I've found that they are more likely to keep their commitments and meet deadlines, making them a team member that leaders can rely on. Digging deeper, this reliability trait signals respect for other people’s time and indicates a high level of discipline and self-control. Accordingly, punctual workers are highly regarded in professional settings as their behavior demonstrates professionalism and commitment to responsibilities

Time Management And Organizational Skills

Time management is the end-all-be-all in our fast-paced work environments, but surprisingly, 82% of workers polled said they don't have a time management system. Punctual workers tend to be more conscious of time and have the skill sets to prioritize tasks, plan ahead and focus on their goals. As a result, their punctuality can lead to increased productivity, better efficiency and a stronger overall performance.

The Ability To Perform Under Pressure

Research shows that pressure can be related to underperformance. However, punctual workers are best suited to thrive in high-pressure environments because their detail-oriented nature keeps them focused on the task at hand. For example, if a client requests an urgent project under a tight deadline, many employees will rush into the work without an action plan and just aim to finish it as soon as possible. A punctual worker is likely used to self-imposed deadlines and has the experienced skill set to understand the best approach to divide and conquer these higher-pressure items.

I see being a punctual worker as directly correlated with the skills needed to succeed in just about every entry-level job. On the organizational scale, it also contributes to building a positive professional environment and sets a strong role model for others.

How To Identify If A Candidate Is Punctual

So, if punctuality is a strong indicator of the future performance of a candidate, how should we assess this quality during the interview? Instead of asking general questions about education or prior experiences, look for the following examples:

• How do you handle situations when you know you might be running late for work or an important appointment?

• Can you provide an example of a situation where being punctual had a positive impact on a team?

• How do you plan your routine to ensure you arrive at work or an appointment?

• What steps do you take to ensure you don't forget important deadlines or appointments?

• What do you consider to be an acceptable margin of error for being on time for work or appointments?

Asking about specific instances that demonstrate how candidates think about punctuality can reveal a lot about their overall approach to work, accountability and professionalism. Responses to these questions can also signal the candidate's organizational skills and dedication to staying committed to their projects even under pressure.

Overall, as a business leader or hiring manager, understanding the value of punctuality in an entry-level candidate can help set the foundation for you to grow a strong, reliable and professional workforce.


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Fri, 08 Sep 2023 01:15:00 -0500 Yong Kim en text/html https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinesscouncil/2023/09/08/hiring-entry-level-positions-punctuality-is-the-key-to-success/




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