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3 Things People Hate Most About Job Interviews (And How To Overcome Them)

3 Things People Hate Most About Job Interviews (And How To Overcome Them)

Job Interview Tips

    Job interviews can be stressful and nerve racking — especially when you really need a job.

    But even though we all need a job, there are always parts of the process that are just plain annoying. To help make things easier — and to give you a leg up on the competition — here are the 3 things people hate most about job interviews and how you can overcome them.

    Problem 1: Researching the company.

    The solution? Look at the corporate filings for company research.

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    Most interviews are won and lost long before they start. But how do you prepare the right way? Where do you find the type of information that makes you stand out as a candidate?

    Well, if you’re applying for a position at a public company, then you can check their SEC filings and other corporate documents. Buried in the summaries and outlines of these reports are often golden nuggets of information that can spark the perfect question for you to ask or the right approach that you should take.

    Make sure you check the Annual Report, Proxy Statement, and 10-K. These documents don’t qualify as leisure reading, but they can work wonders if you’re looking for a way to do excellent research on the company.

    Problem 2: Negotiating for a higher salary.

    The solution? Ask the salary range long before the conversation comes up.

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    Usually, we put off talking about salary for as long as possible and then panic when it comes time to have the conversation.

    Most candidates are ill-prepared for a salary negotiation, and so they end up leaving money on the table. Plus, it can make us feel awkward if we argue for more money.

    Instead of waiting until the conversation comes up, take the initiative and ask about salary the first time you meet a recruiter. This could be at a networking event or the day of your job interview before things get started.

    A simple phrase like, “What is the salary range allocated for this position?” will give you all the information you need to haggle your way to the top of the range and get the pay you deserve.

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    Problem 3: Answering the question, “What are your weaknesses?”

    The solution? Choose a technical skill that is unrelated to the job you are applying for…

    This is a classic interview question that most of us hate to answer. Usually, people will say a strength that isn’t really a weakness, “Oh, I work too hard sometimes…” or they will choose a general statement that reflects poorly on them, “Hmm, I suppose I have trouble saying no…”

    Instead of relying on statements like these, you can clearly answer the question by mentioning a more technical skill that you simply haven’t learned yet and then talk about why that pushes you towards the job you’re applying to get.

    For example, “Well, accounting really isn’t my thing. I understand the basic idea behind book keeping, but I don’t really get the nitty-gritty details. Of course, that’s also why I’m applying for this job in human resources. I think it leverages my strengths and steers clear of the technical skills that I haven’t learned yet… like accounting.”

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    An answer like this does reveal a genuine weakness, but if you pick a skill unrelated to the job you are applying for then it is unlikely to hurt you as a candidate.

    Want even more?

    Of course, there are a lot more than just 3 difficult pieces of a job interview. If you’re looking for even more advice, then check out this full list of 99 job interview tips.

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    James Clear

    James Clear is the author of Atomic Habits. He shares self-improvement tips based on proven scientific research.

    How to Stick With Good Habits Even When Your Willpower is Gone How to Change Your Beliefs and Stick to Your Goals for Good Plan for Chaos: How to Stick to Your Health Goals When Life Gets Crazy How to Stay Focused on Your Goals When You Are Worn Out One Simple Trick That Helps You Reach Your Goals Successfully

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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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