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10 Things Only “Type A” People Would Understand

10 Things Only “Type A” People Would Understand

Type A people are motivated to achieve and make a great help for our society. Like any group of people, they have their winning qualities and their blindspots. Let’s dive in to explore the qualities that define these people. If you have Type A pride, then read on!

1. You Love To Win At Work And Everything Else

More than any other quality, Type A people love to win.

You work hard to get a big bonus. You have no problem putting in extra hours to help your boss meet a deadline. If your company offers awards for top performance, you are working hard to make sure that you win. Outside of the office, you are drawn to playing sports where you can keep score and record victories. If an activity comes with a medal, a score or an award, you will find Type A people achieving success.

2. You Are Frustrated By Delays and Process

Sitting in traffic and waiting on hold drives you crazy as a Type A person.

Type A people have a long list of activities to work through and delays keep them from making progress. Fortunately, some Type A professionals have discovered ways to make use of delays – such as working on email or an important document while on hold. Being told to fill out forms and go through complicated procedures tends to make you frustrated or even angry.

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Just remember that exploding and screaming at someone will probably make it more difficult to win!

3. You Are Highly Organized

Type A people are known for their outstanding organizational skills.

High achieving people tend to rely on productivity practices to stay organized. Type A people bring drive and intensity to every part of their work and life. For example, I knew a Type A person who prepared a detailed, color coded Excel spreadsheet to plan a golf trip to Scotland for his friends. He knew that travel can be complicated, so he left nothing to chance. Few things in life frustrate a Type A person more than working with a disorganized person who constantly forgets their tasks.

4. You Probably Have Some Nervous Habits

Type A people are full of energy and passion. Sometimes, that energy can only be expressed in nervous habits and tics.

Unlike some of the other fine qualities that define Type A people, this quality can become a distracting weakness. For example, you may have a habit of tapping your foot on the floor during a stressful meeting. At home, you may check that the lights are off in every room several times before you go to bed. If the nervous habits help you focus and don’t cause harm, you may as well run with them. On a less positive note, you may have stress habits such as grinding your teeth when you sleep (it’s bad for your health – you need to get a mouth guard for that problem).

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5. You Find It Difficult To Relax

Type A people are so focused on achievement and winning that they find it difficult to relax, even after a long day of productive work.

For example, let’s say that you are a Type A with a demanding corporate job. You probably put in a 40-50 hour work week and then keep going on the weekend – building a start up company, studying for a MBA or volunteering. On their own, there is nothing wrong with any of these activities. At a certain point (or when you are over 30), you may find the demanding pace is cutting into your mental health.

What’s the solution? Apply your Type A abilities to relaxation and leisure: Plan a summer trip to the beach. Organize a dinner party for your friends. Pick an idea from your bucket list and do it this weekend. Go on a bucket list trip somewhere (read 50 Extraordinary Places To Put On Your Bucket List to get some ideas).

6. You Are Punctual

Type A people trust the clock and aim to be on time.

Attention to time and punctuality is one of the great ways that Type A people show respect for other people. For example, some Type A people I know in business aim to arrive 5-10 minutes early to meetings. That practice creates a good first impression and it allows them to greet other people as they walk into the room. In social life, Type A people never lose their reservations due to being late – it is one of their best qualities that people admire about them. Whether you identify as Type A or not, paying close attention to time is a great way to show respect to others.

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7. Your Task Manager Is Your Best Friend

Type A people love to-do lists and use powerful task management tools. They know the value in writing down tasks and crossing each item off their list as they work through the day.

Working from a to-do list is one of the best ways to stay organized. In fact, Type A people like task lists because they get a sense of satisfaction from each task they complete. There are also many ways to achieve success with a task manager. For example, Michael Hyatt, a best selling author and former publishing executive, uses Nozbe for task management. In contrast, entrepreneur Tim Ferriss prefers to use index cards. The exact tool used is less important than being consistent in using it. Instead, it is important to learn a productivity framework that you can apply (e.g. Leading Yourself With Getting Things Done)

8. You Constantly Work On Your Goals

Type A people focus on goals and usually achieve what they work on.

In the working world, Type A sales professionals are known to complete challenging sales goals. They invest in sales training, work long hours and seek every advantage in reaching their goals. In order to reach their goals faster, Type A people read about goal achievement and read productivity books. In many cases, high achieving people also set significant goals that go beyond their careers. Did you know that the average triathlete’s household income is $126,000 according to Fortune magazine? It is more than possible to work on challenging fitness goals and earn a high income at the same time.

9. You Commit To Play Full Out

Type A people are filled with passion – it is one of their finest qualities.

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They know that half measured efforts rarely lead to success or satisfaction. At the office, they are happy to edit a PowerPoint file one more time to make sure it is free of errors. Type A people also tend to play hard and enjoy exploring challenging activities such as sky diving, climbing mountains or traveling around the world. Bringing energy and enthusiasm to life makes a big difference to your results.

10. You Think Everything Is Urgent

Type A people are so driven to complete all of their tasks that they view every task as urgent.

Unfortunately, this belief means that some Type A people focus on urgent matters (e.g. responding to every email as it arrives) rather than important matters (i.e. taking care of their health). There are a few ways to work around this weakness. First, you can label certain tasks as “high priority” in your task manager. Second, you can ask another person to help you with priorities (e.g. ask your spouse to remind you to exercise or engage in other healthy habits).

Featured photo credit: Mountain Climbing/Unsplash via pixabay.com

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Bruce Harpham

Bruce Harpham is a Project Management Professional and Founder and CEO of Project Management Hacks.

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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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