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9 Things You Should Know Before proposing

9 Things You Should Know Before proposing

Getting engaged is one of the most exciting experiences of your life. However, if everything goes according to plan, you will only get the opportunity to get engaged once. With this in mind, it is wise to take some time to access whether or not you are truly ready to take your relationship to the next level. Also, after you can answer that question with a yes, you will want to ensure that you propose in a way that will thrill your future spouse.

1. What Are Your Partner’s Life Goals?

If you haven’t talked about life goals, then it’s definitely time to slow down and learn more about your partner before you get down on bended knee. It’s easy to get pulled into the romance of everything, but the reality is that your spouse is someone you will live with through thick and thin.

Therefore, if your life goals don’t align in most areas, you could be setting yourself up for a very complicated marriage. For example, the number of women who remain childless by choice continues to grow. If you want kids but your wife-to-be doesn’t, you need to carefully consider if this is in area you can compromise in without becoming resentful or full of regret.

2. Does Your Significant Other Want to Get Married?

Only half of U.S. adults are currently married, and 30 percent of people aged 16 or older have never tied the knot. Although some of this is due to life circumstances and incompatibility, there are a lot of people who truly do not want to get married.

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Some of these individuals are happy to cohabitate with someone for the rest of their life as long as this doesn’t require them to go through the legal act of committing. Make sure your partner is open to marriage before you purchase an engagement ring.

3. Can You Fight Fairly?

Every couple argues. Some will claim they have never had a disagreement during their many years together, but this typically showcases either a misunderstanding of what constitutes an argument or an unwillingness to be completely open and be honest with their significant other. After all, complete honesty requires letting your partner know when something has upset you, and this can lead to a fight.

Counselors have indicated that fighting is not only normal but can be a very healthy way to deal with conflict. Of course, for this to work, you have to be committed to fighting fairly. This means that you should never keep score or use personal attacks while arguing.

It’s also important to steer clear of using absolutes such as “you always” or “you never.” The reality is that it’s extremely rare for someone to always or never do any specific thing, so making these claims while fighting can be quite harmful.

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4. Do You Know Anything About Rings?

If you’ve determined your life goals are aligned, your partner wants to get married and you’ve learned how to fight fairly, it’s time to start thinking about buying a ring. This might seem like a simple process that involves your budget and finding a ring that looks nice, but there are several diamond factors to consider to help ensure you get the most bang for your buck.

Be aware that diamond grading isn’t exact. It’s also common for diamond cutters to leave weight in undesirable places in order to achieve a higher carat weight. Research these topics before you commit to a purchase in order to avoid being overcharged.

5. What Type of Ring Does Your Significant Other Want?

Whether you are proposing to a woman or a man, it’s necessary to get a good feel for the type of ring they would actually want to wear before you buy one. After all, if your future fiancée dislikes diamonds and would prefer a ruby, you don’t want to end up getting a huge diamond ring to propose with.

There are many ways to subtly find out what they would prefer. You can also take the more direct route by speaking to their best friend. Or, if the two of you are openly discussing the possibility or getting engaged, ask them what ring styles they prefer.

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6. What Type of Proposal Would Your Partner Like?

Flash mob proposals may be popular, but this doesn’t mean that a flash mob is the right choice in your situation. Be sure to tailor the proposal to suit your partner’s needs. It’s also always a nice touch to incorporate at least one aspect of your relationship.

For instance, if you both love reading, you could put the engagement ring on his or her bookmark and invite them to read outside under a tree with you. This gives you a nice, romantic setting and also honors what both of you enjoy doing together.

7. Can You Afford to Get Married?

The average cost of a wedding in the U.S. is currently $26,645, and this number climbs every year. It is possible to have a wedding for much less, of course, but it’s also wise to consider whether or not you can put together a reasonable budget within a year or two.

Most couples get married within 18 months. If you won’t be able to afford that, you may wish to either delay getting engaged or make it clear from the beginning that it will be a long engagement.

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8. Is Your Future Spouse Traditional or Modern?

Something else you definitely need to know before asking your partner to marry you is whether or not they have a traditional way of thinking about proposals. If they do, you may need to ask their father for permission before you move forward.

It may also be necessary to allow them to be the one to do the proposing. By discovering these things about them now, you can avoid issues later on.

9. Are You Both Ready for an Engagement?

Your partner may want to get married in the future, but do you know for sure that they are ready to be engaged right now? Research indicates that close to 25 percent of women have turned down a marriage proposal, with a staggering 12 percent saying no at least three different times.

There are a diverse list of reasons that these women give for not saying yes, including being unhappy with the type of proposal they received. Be sure to take the time to figure out if they’re ready to get engaged. Also, as previously mentioned, don’t underestimate the importance of the proposal itself.

Proposing to someone is one of the biggest decisions you will ever make. Before you move forward with making plans, make sure your relationship has all of the telltale signs of being made to last. Once you do decide to propose, have fun with the process of picking out a ring and planning the proposal!

Featured photo credit: Wedding Photographer John Hope via flic.kr

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Holly Chavez

Writer, Entrepreneur, Small Business Owner

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Last Updated on March 14, 2019

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

Recruiters might hold thousands of interviews in their careers and a lot of them are reporting the same thing—that most candidates play it safe with the questions they ask, or have no questions to ask in a job interview at all.

For job applicants, this approach is crazy! This is a job that you’re going to dedicate a lot of hours to and that might have a huge impact on your future career. Don’t throw away the chance to figure out if the position is perfect for you.

Here are 7 killer questions to ask in a job interview that will both impress your counterpart and give you some really useful insights into whether this job will be a dream … or a nightmare.

1. What are some challenges I might come up against this role?

A lesser candidate might ask, “what does a typical day look like in this role?” While this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask in an interview, focusing on potential challenges takes you much further because it indicates that you already are visualizing yourself in the role.

It’s impressive because it shows that you are not afraid of challenges, and you are prepared to strategize a game plan upfront to make sure you succeed if you get the job.

It can also open up a conversation about how you’ve solved problems in the past which can be a reassuring exercise for both you and the hiring manager.

How it helps you:

If you ask the interviewer to describe a typical day, you may get a vibrant picture of all the lovely things you’ll get to do in this job and all the lovely people you’ll get to do them with.

Asking about potential roadblocks means you hear the other side of the story—dysfunctional teams, internal politics, difficult clients, bootstrap budgets and so on. This can help you decide if you’re up for the challenge or whether, for the sake of your sanity, you should respectfully decline the job offer.

2. What are the qualities of really successful people in this role?

Employers don’t want to hire someone who goes through the motions; they want to hire someone who will excel.

Asking this question shows that you care about success, too. How could they not hire you with a dragon-slayer attitude like that?

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How it helps you:

Interviewers hire people who are great people to work with, but the definition of “great people” differs from person to person.

Does this company hire and promote people with a specific attitude, approach, worth ethic or communication style? Are the most successful people in this role strong extroverts who love to talk and socialize when you are studious and reserved? Does the company reward those who work insane hours when you’re happiest in a more relaxed environment?

If so, then this may not be the right match for you.

Whatever the answer is, you can decide whether you have what it takes for the manager to be happy with your performance in this role. And if the interviewer has no idea what success looks like for this position, this is a sign to proceed with extreme caution.

3. From the research I did on your company, I noticed the culture really supports XYZ. Can you tell me more about that element of the culture and how it impacts this job role?

Of course, you could just ask “what is the culture like here? ” but then you would miss a great opportunity to show that you’ve done your research!

Interviewers give BIG bonus point to those who read up and pay attention, and you’ve just pointed out that (a) you’re diligent in your research (b) you care about the company culture and (c) you’re committed to finding a great cultural fit.

How it helps you:

This question is so useful because it lets you pick an element of the culture that you really care about and that will have the most impact on whether you are happy with the organization.

For example, if training and development is important to you, then you need to know what’s on offer so you don’t end up in a dead-end job with no learning opportunities.

Companies often talk a good talk, and their press releases may be full of shiny CSR initiatives and all the headline-grabbing diversity programs they’re putting in place. This is your opportunity to look under the hood and see if the company lives its values on the ground.

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A company that says it is committed to doing the right thing by customers should not judge success by the number of up-sells an employee makes, for instance. Look for consistency, so you aren’t in for a culture shock after you start.

4. What is the promotion path for this role, and how would my performance on that path be measured?

To be clear, you are not asking when you will get promoted. Don’t go there—it’s presumptuous, and it indicates that you think you are better than the role you have applied for.

A career-minded candidate, on the other hand, usually has a plan that she’s working towards. This question shows you have a great drive toward growth and advancement and an intention to stick with the company beyond your current state.

How it helps you:

One word: hierarchy.

All organizations have levels of work and authority—executives, upper managers, line managers, the workforce, and so on. Understanding the hierarchical structure gives you power, because you can decide if you can work within it and are capable of climbing through its ranks, or whether it will be endlessly frustrating to you.

In a traditional pyramid hierarchy, for example, the people at the bottom tend to have very little autonomy to make decisions. This gets better as you rise up through the pyramid, but even middle managers have little power to create policy; they are more concerned with enforcing the rules the top leaders make.

If having a high degree of autonomy and accountability is important to you, you may do better in a flat hierarchy where work teams can design their own way of achieving the corporate goals.

5. What’s the most important thing the successful candidate could accomplish in their first 3 months/6 months/year?

Of all the questions to ask in a job interview, this one is impressive because it shows that you identify with and want to be a successful performer, and not just an average one.

Here, you’re drilling down into what the company needs, and needs quite urgently, proving that you’re all about adding value to the organization and not just about what’s in it for you.

How it helps you:

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Most job descriptions come with 8, 10 or 12 different job responsibilities and a lot of them with be boilerplate or responsibilities that someone in HR thinks are associated with this role. This question gives you a better sense of which responsibilities are the most important—and they may not be what initially attracted you to the role.

If you like the idea of training juniors, for example, but success is judged purely on your sales figures, then is this really the job you thought you were applying for?

This question will also give you an idea of what kind of learning curve you’re expected to have and whether you’ll get any ramp-up time before getting down to business. If you’re the type of person who likes to jump right in and get things done, for instance, you may not be thrilled to hear that you’re going to spend the first three months shadowing a peer.

6. What do you like about working here?

This simple question is all about building rapport with the interviewer. People like to talk about themselves, and the interviewer will be flattered that you’re interested in her opinions.

Hopefully, you’ll find some great connection points that the two of you share. What similar things drive you head into the office each day? How will you fit into the culture?

How it helps you:

You can learn a lot from this question. Someone who genuinely enjoys his job will be able to list several things they like, and their answers will sound passionate and sincere. If not….well, you might consider that a red flag.

Since you potentially can learn a lot about the company culture from this question, it’s a good idea to figure out upfront what’s important to you. Maybe you’re looking for a hands-off boss who values independent thought and creativity? Maybe you work better in environments that move at a rapid, exciting pace?

Whatever’s important to you, listen carefully and see if you can find any common ground.

7. Based on this interview, do you have any questions or concerns about my qualifications for the role?

What a great closing question to ask in a job interview! It shows that you’re not afraid of feedback—in fact, you are inviting it. Not being able to take criticism is a red flag for employers, who need to know that you’ll act on any “coaching moments” with a good heart.

As a bonus, asking this question shows that you are really interested in the position and wish to clear up anything that may be holding the company back from hiring you.

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How it helps you:

What a devious beast this question is! On the surface, it looks straightforward, but it’s actually giving you four key pieces of information.

First, is the manager capable of giving you feedback when put on the spot like this? Some managers are scared of giving feedback, or don’t think it’s important enough to bother outside of a formal performance appraisal. Do you want to work for a boss like that? How will you improve if no one is telling you what you did wrong?

Second, can the manager give feedback in a constructive way without being too pillowy or too confrontational? It’s unfair to expect the interviewer to have figured out your preferred way of receiving feedback in the space of an interview, but if she come back with a machine-gun fire of shortcomings or one of those corporate feedback “sandwiches” (the doozy slipped between two slices of compliment), then you need to ask yourself, can you work with someone who gives feedback like that?

Third, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about before you leave the interview. This gives you the chance to make a final, tailored sales pitch so you can convince the interviewer that she should not be worried about those things.

Fourth, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about period. If turnover is keeping him up at night, then your frequent job hopping might get a lot of additional scrutiny. If he’s facing some issues with conflict or communication, then he might raise concerns regarding your performance in this area.

Listen carefully: the concerns that are being raised about you might actually be a proxy for problems in the wider organization.

Making Your Interview Work for You

Interviews are a two-way street. While it is important to differentiate yourself from every other candidate, understand that convincing the interviewer you’re the right person for the role goes hand-in-hand with figuring out if the job is the right fit for you.

Would you feel happy in a work environment where the people, priorities, culture and management style were completely at odds with the way you work? Didn’t think so!

More Resources About Job Interviews

Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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