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Six Things that I Want you to Know Before a Job Interview

Six Things that I Want you to Know Before a Job Interview

Finding a job is hard, but what compounds the difficulty is going to several different interviews before landing a job. Practice makes perfect, but interviewers from different companies have different styles and ask different questions during interviews, so really how can you prepare for it? I am a recruiter by profession and have seen all kinds of candidates from the nervous and unsure ones to the overly-confident and brash ones. For those who need a confidence boost, here are some things that I want you to know to help you better prepare for an interview.

1.) We don’t store your embarrassing moments in our long-term memories.

We don’t interview just one person a day, and we do not discuss the whole interview for the whole eight hours that we are at work. We do other things, too, like post jobs, complete reports, and prepare for meetings. Do not be too self-conscious during an interview. If you end up sneezing ten times during an interview, chances are that we might not even remember after the day ends. Do not get obsessed that we may be watching out for every tiny detail in your body language.

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2.) We want you to read our website.

Please do not go into battle unprepared. You should know the enemy, and in the case of an interview, please know the company the you are interviewing for. Read what their vision and mission are and read current events that they have been involved in. Why would you want to be part of something that you do not know about? If you do not know why, it will definitely show during the interview.

3.) Do read different interview questions and prepare answers for them.

Preparation is the biggest thing. If in case you do not get the job, at least you can say to yourself that you did your best. The best way to prepare is to scan through a list of different interview questions and mentally (or aloud) rehearse. Much better would be to write down your answers. That way, when one of those questions comes up during the interview, you won’t be left scrambling for an answer.

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4.) Know what the job’s duties and responsibilities are.

Before going to an interview, find out as much as you can about what you will be doing if you get the job. Read the job description that was posted and if anything seems vague to you, you should ask about it during the interview. That way everything is transparent. Transparency in the job interview can save you from issues that could arise if you do get the job.

5.) Know what we do as a company and what you can do for our company.

Please do not show up for an interview and not have an idea how you can be an asset to the company, or not know why we should hire you. Applying for a job is pitching yourself to get hired, just as in sales. While you should do your best sales pitch during an interview, you should also stick to the facts and do not oversell yourself. Too much confidence and stretching the truth about what you really can do will turn off recruiters.

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6.) We get nervous, too.

We do know that there are other options out there such as better-paying jobs, better-known companies, and companies with better work environments. In the back of our minds, we know that there is a chance that you might not accept our offer if we decide to hire you. As much as you are trying to please recruiters, we are trying to please you, too.

Featured photo credit: Pexels.com via static.pexels.com

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Sarah Bonander

Writer, Human Resources Professional

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Last Updated on March 29, 2021

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

The Dream Type Of Manager

My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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“Okay…”

That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

The Bully

My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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The Invisible Boss

This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

The Micro Manager

The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

The Over Promoted Boss

The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

The Credit Stealer

The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

1. Keep evidence

Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

2. Hold regular meetings

Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

Good luck!

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