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What you're doing wrong in an interview... and in your life.

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posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 10:10 AM
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With the recent jobs report, along with reports that there are plenty of unfilled jobs that I keep hearing, I thought it might be time to sit back into that chair I used to occupy: the prospective employer. Here's what I want from the person sitting across from me asking for a job:
  • I want you to be able to do the job. That is not the same thing as making good grades in school. It means you know how that particular industry operates, what your place in it is, how your work affects others down the line, and you can hit the ground running, producing from day one. I am, after all, paying you from day one.

  • I want you support my business. That might mean taking on extra responsibilities at times. It does mean not calling in sick because you want to go fishing, and not bad-mouthing the business after hours. That guy you are talking trash about me to in the bar might be the next potential customer. It means helping out filling the void when someone does call in sick. It means doing your job as efficiently and perfectly as possible to increase the bottom line.

  • I want you to be honest with me. I do not want a "yes man"... all that does is let me go off on a wild goose chase that will cost me money. I want someone to tell me when I ask what they think of a plan and why. I want someone who will let me know when they have a problem that might affect their job... that way I can plan for possible contingencies arising from those problems.

  • I want you to come in on time, every day, and do a full day's work. I'm paying you a full day's pay.

  • I want you to know your place. You are an employee... you come to work, put in your hours, get your pay, and go home. That's fine, but understand that I spent sleepless nights trying to put together business plans, argued with investors, invested my money, my time, my talents, went without because I needed equipment or materials that came before my home life, all without a guarantee of even getting paid, just to make my living and in the process create that job for you. Advice is fine and wanted, but the final decision is mine.

    You will also not make as much money as I do. Read the last paragraph again.

  • I want you to smile. I know it might be hard to do at times, but it mnakes others around you happier to see someone else smiling. A room full of smiling faces makes me smile as well. Smiling faces makes visitors smile too, and that makes customers more willing to spend their money.

  • I want you to be an adult. I am hiring an employee, not adopting a child. I'm not Mommy or Daddy. I am simply paying you a wage and probably benefits in exchange for you working at a job for a specific number of hours a week. Understand that. If you can't live on your paycheck, that's your problem. If you want more money, make yourself worth more and then show me; don't demand I pay you early this week or give you a raise because your kid wants $300 running shoes.

  • I want you to use common sense. If you see a safety problem, report it (or clean it up yourself if able then report it). If you see a better way to do something, do it if it is within your ability or let someone know about it if not. If you think something is too dangerous, speak up. Every time you save me a dollar, that makes you worth another dollar to me, and that will eventually turn into a raise or a better job.

    And if someone ignores your advice, let it go. You did your part; they did theirs. The chips will fall eventually, and squarely on the shoulders of those responsible.

  • Look a little G-Q! Pull up your pants (I don't care what color your underwear is), speak clearly, hold your head up, and change your clothes more than once a week. Once in a while, stand under some water. It's a sad fact that this even has to be included... but trust me, it does.

  • I want you to not sue me. I am dealing on a daily basis with liability issues in a sue-happy society, and the last thing I want is to worry that my employee might decide to take my hard-earned money over some silly thing that adults are able to talk over and come to an agreement on (or something so ludicrous that outside of a courtroom it would be laughable).

    Calling a government bureaucrat in every time you have a complaint, by the way, is just as bad as filing suit. Worse in one respect: at least you file suit to get money you didn't earn, but you call in a bureaucrat just to hurt someone. Revenge is not a good thing in a relationship.

  • I want you to not hate me. If things work out in this interview, I am about to give you a job that will allow you to have good food, electricity, water, and probably some nice little luxuries like TV and Internet. I will probably be giving you a health insurance plan to keep you healthy. All I ask of you is the common sense things listed above, and to do your job. It's business - you get what you need and I get what I need. So why would you hate someone for giving you that opportunity? Why not just quit and find somewhere else to work or something else to do?

    Business owners are people too, and have the same feelings as everyone else. No one likes to be hated and talked badly about, especially when they are helping out the people bad-mouthing them.

Maybe, just maybe, this little announcement will help get a few more people off the unemployment lines. Since no one with a letter next to their name is going to do a blasted thing, I guess it's up to the people to relearn how to help themselves.

The economy does not exist because of the government, but in spite of it. Now that the economy is struggling, it's time to take a fresh look at what employers want from their employees. The advantage illegal immigrants possess is that employers do not have to worry about civil suits, whistle-blowing at every opportunity, or apathy at having a job. We can do that as well, if we realize our places in the grand scheme of things and take conscious action to change things.

And maybe, just maybe, if people re-realize just what the employer-employee relationship is and how it has to work, maybe this support for some of the most idiotic policies I have seen in over a half-century coming out of Washington DC will evaporate... as much as I doubt it at this point. Who knows? Maybe a few will even decide to try the "big chair" and make good.

That would be a good thing.

TheRedneck




posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 10:30 AM
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reply to post by TheRedneck
 


Great Advice Redneck!


I don't know if it is any good for the interview setting, but it is great for when they get hired.

An old man told me once, "They agreed to pay me x amount, and I agreed to do whatever job they ask, that was the deal, they've never failed to pay me, so I never fail to show up and do what they ask." Simplistic, useful, humble, sensible. How can anyone expect anything different?

I'd like to offer some more interview advice though....

Be confident but humble. If I ask you to tell me about a successful project or something similar, then tell me your role, tell me what you did that made it a success. This is the time to toot your own horn, but on the flipside, if I ask you to tell me about a personal flaw or weakness, then be honest. I hate when people say they can't really think of any. That is an immediate way to NOT get a job. We all have flaws, tell me about one, and then spin it to tell me how you take precautions, or have processes to overcome that flaw. Maybe you obsessively use a calendar to make sure you don't miss appointments, or maybe you always show up to work a full hour early, because you consistently run 10 minutes late (like me).

If you've ever been told "you are over-qualified for this position," what it really means is you are an arrogant ass, and we don't want to work with you. There is no such thing as over-qualified.


Be specific. When an interviewer asks you to give a specific example of something, then be sure to give them a specific example. Don't just describe what you would generally do in that situation. That will get you zero points on that interview question, because you never actually answered the question, and you can't follow instructions very well. Either you weren't paying attention to the question, or you just don't have an example. No points.

Don't elaborate. There is nothing wrong with silence. The interviewer is in charge of the room, it isn't your responsibility to fill the silence with rambling. Answer the questions honestly, concisely, specifically, and then shut up! In the hundreds of interviews I have conducted, the rambling has never helped a single person, but it has often uncovered something to make me question whether or not I liked the person. Don't talk yourself out of a job, just answer the question and then shut up. Let the interviewer fill any uncomfortable silence, it's their room.

Do your research ahead of time, have informed questions available. Interviewers always ask if you have any questions for them. This is another time to shine. Mention what you know about the company, ask clarifying questions, seem interested and excited about their company. If you and a couple of other people are equally qualified, they are going to pick the one that is the most energetic, positive, and exciting to work with. All interviewers want to hire someone that will reflect positively on them. There is nothing worse than being the guy that hires a lemon. So, put yourself a step ahead by knowing enough to be excited about the company and ask some questions to prove it.

There are plenty more examples I could give. I actually teach a quarterly class on interviewing skill for my company, and I do dozens of interviews every month. If you ever get a chance to volunteer and sit on the interviewer side of the table, you should take it! It is very eye-opening to watch the mistakes people make. At my job, anytime someone is interviewed and then passed up for a promotion, I always attempt to get them on an interview panel so they can see the kinds of mistakes people make, and hopefully they can do a better job next time they are interviewed. When those types of opportunities present themselves, DO NOT PASS THEM UP! When I offer something like that to a person, and they turn it down, I have no more empathy for them missing promotion after promotion, its their own lazy fault.


+14 more 
posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 10:35 AM
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This is really a post on the psychology of the American culture dichotomy.

We are programmed, as people, from birth to live many split lives.

There is the church/corporation/business and the citizen.

There is the work you and the personal you.

People need to become whole again.



posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 10:50 AM
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For a post that is entitled "What you are doing wrong in an interview..", you don't seem to mention interviews, well, once in the very last point, and even then, you don't discuss interview technique, only not to hate you when the interview doesn't go as planned.

While I agree with the points you make, the thread title seems erronous. It should possibly be titled "What I want from my employees, current and potential".



posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 10:54 AM
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Originally posted by TheRedneck
  • I want you to be honest with me. I do not want a "yes man"... all that does is let me go off on a wild goose chase that will cost me money. I want someone to tell me when I ask what they think of a plan and why. I want someone who will let me know when they have a problem that might affect their job... that way I can plan for possible contingencies arising from those problems.


  • This is one that I think you might be a bit wrong about. For yourself, yes you can say that. I was a bartender for years. I don't work now, I just stay home with the baby, but from my experience dealing with bar owners in general...Well, I always just tried my best not to have extended conversation and got myself home. There are in my experience three types of Bar Owners, first was the one just trying to make money, second was the party animal and third was the guy who got sucked into an investment he knew nothing about. For some odd reason I was always working for the second example. The manager was a drunk and had one hell of an ego-It just wasn't smart to be honest with someone like that. I remember telling one manager when asked about his music choices that his environment was "fostering violence". He told me I was being racist (because apparently disliking thug rap makes you racist). Well, I was right, it took a few years but someone got shot in the ass in the parking lot of his club last week. Most of the bar owners here in town fall under number 2 and the only reason they have lasted so long is corporate bar owners have yet to really move into town. A national chain actually moved in a few weeks ago so I suspect a few will go under in the next year.

    My mother used to work in human resources for AAFES. She did some lower-level hiring, mostly for entry level food service, otherwise she just did payroll and other things. She did have to interview candidates and help them use the computer to fill out applications. She used to tell us all about the crazy things they would wear at the dinner table-PJ's, slippers, flip flops, a bikini top, sweats, a playboy tube top and daisy dukes. She told me once about a woman who came in dressed like a stripper with the plastic platform heels to boot. So yeah people,dress appropriately.



    posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 11:02 AM
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    reply to post by antonia
     


    I think it depends on your position. If you are a honey-pot bartender, they aren't looking for your opinion. They can get a million other girls to put on some tight blue jeans and pour drinks, but if you are an engineer, and you see a potential problem, your opinion is important. Even then, sometimes egos do get in the way, and some supervisors are going to over-react and get their feelings hurt. If they happen to be the owner, you are just screwed, but if they have a boss, go over their head! Keeping the company in business is as important to you as it is to your boss, so if your boss is a bad one that reacts emotionally instead of logically, it is time to go over their head.



    posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 11:03 AM
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    reply to post by getreadyalready

    Great additions!

    On the arrogance issue... there is a fine line that most professionals walk, between arrogance and confidence. The more confidence you exude, the better the impression you make and the better chance you will get hired/promoted. But cross that line into arrogance just a little and it's all over. Every company does things "their way" and they are not going to change the way they do things just because you want a job. So you will not know everything from day one. What you can show is that you are supremely capable and open to learning and working with their way of doing things.

    That's what you show when you asked if you have any questions. Specific questions that tell the interviewer that you want to be part of the team, not a "golden boy", will bring the arrogance level you may present earlier being confident way down.

    TheRedneck



    posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 11:06 AM
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    Originally posted by getreadyalready
    reply to post by antonia
     


    I think it depends on your position. If you are a honey-pot bartender, they aren't looking for your opinion. They can get a million other girls to put on some tight blue jeans and pour drinks, but if you are an engineer, and you see a potential problem, your opinion is important. Even then, sometimes egos do get in the way, and some supervisors are going to over-react and get their feelings hurt. If they happen to be the owner, you are just screwed, but if they have a boss, go over their head! Keeping the company in business is as important to you as it is to your boss, so if your boss is a bad one that reacts emotionally instead of logically, it is time to go over their head.


    Lol, I was far from a honey pot, still am. I have no idea how I was even in that business for so long being an ugly woman. But, I was asked my opinion and at one point did manage as well.
    edit on 7-7-2012 by antonia because: added a thought



    posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 11:10 AM
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    reply to post by BMorris

    The interview is where you project those things... for example, the lawsuit concern: if you are big into women's rights, the interview is NOT the place to present that info! I know I actually didn't hire one woman who was otherwise qualified simply because I had the distinct impression I could get myself sued for telling her she looked nice before a meeting. Don't ask me what words she used to give me that impression; it's just what I took away from the interview.

    Probably, she had no intention of giving that impression, but that attitude was so much a part of her that it came through. Most interviewers are very good at reading between the lines.

    Before anyone gets a crazy idea, that was so long ago, there is no way that can come back on me now. The reason I used at the time was "overqualified".


    The interview is when the job starts. It also never really ends as long as you want promotions.

    TheRedneck


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    posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 11:12 AM
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    It sounds like it could be summed up with "Know your place and stay in it."

    I don't think this helps much really for a lot of people trying to get jobs.
    My husband had an interview the other day - he waited 3 hours and they interviewed 26 people - in groups- all at once. Then they took 13 from each group and put THEM together.

    It was for $7.30 an hour/ 12 hour a week jobs.



    posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 11:17 AM
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    reply to post by antonia

    I will not work for anyone I have to lie to. In the first place, I will probably not last long anyway because I am not a good liar, and in the second place, they won't last long and probably have a reputation that precedes them. Either way, it hurts my career plans when I go to the next interview.

    An interview works both ways. It is my duty in the interview to present myself in a favorable light so the company wants to hire me. It is the company's duty to present themselves in a favorable light so I want to work there. In a struggling economy, I have to accept some things I would not in a good economy, but I still have that choice if I want it.

    A job can be a pleasure to work at or misery to think about. I've had both. I have discovered, misery is a bad thing.

    TheRedneck



    posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 11:21 AM
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    reply to post by TheRedneck
     


    I didn't say to lie to them. I always just tried to avoid the question and considering they were drunk most of the time, it worked out well.



    posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 11:25 AM
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    reply to post by TheRedneck
     




    Before anyone gets a crazy idea, that was so long ago, there is no way that can come back on me now. The reason I used at the time was "overqualified".




    Yes, that old term that never ceases to be fun.

    I agree, if a person in an interview leaves you with a bad taste, maybe they mention problems they've had in the past, or maybe during the rambling or idle chit-chat they offer up something that catches your attention and causes you a little doubt.

    For all you interviewees:
    Sometimes they will ask you to describe a time you had a difficult supervisor or co-worker. DON'T FALL FOR IT! This isn't the time to rant. This is the time to show your tactfullness and professionalism. You can answer honestly, and still put it in a positive light. Watch sports stars get tough questions, and watch how they use tactful catch phrases. Here is how you answer that question....

    Well, I think we all have good days and bad days, and its important to realize everyone is human. I once had a co-worker (or supervisor) that had a habit of X, but we were able to find a working relationship. We took X precautions, and although we never became friends outside of work, we were able to be very successful and play off the strengths and weaknesses of each other. I think it is important to be a little flexible and play the role that is necessary for a situation. I would never let my personal feelings impact my work.

    Every example you give in an interview needs to have a positive conclusion and/or moral to it. How did you evolve from the situation, what did you learn, why are you a better employee after having the experience.

    Never rant.



    posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 11:31 AM
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    Originally posted by hadriana
    It sounds like it could be summed up with "Know your place and stay in it."

    I don't think this helps much really for a lot of people trying to get jobs.
    My husband had an interview the other day - he waited 3 hours and they interviewed 26 people - in groups- all at once. Then they took 13 from each group and put THEM together.

    It was for $7.30 an hour/ 12 hour a week jobs.


    That doesn't sound like a real job, that sounds like one of those multi-level marketing kinds of things, or magazine sales, or something. That is minimum wage for 12 hours per week? Screw that company and go to Taco Bell or McDonalds, get more money and more hours, and get promoted more quickly.

    The group interview is an odd phenomenon though, so it is important to know how to play a role in a group. It is a balancing act between contributing significantly to get noticed, but not taking over the room and being arrogant or over-bearing. One good technique is to take charge by asking a lot of questions and directing the group without putting your own opinions down to strongly. That is a passive-aggressive technique that can work. Another is to just actively listen, ask clarifying questions, formulate some ideas, and sparingly interject your well-thought out ideas. You don't have to speak often, if you can make sure it is memorable when you do. Those are tough interviews, and sometimes they just come down to luck.


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    posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 11:35 AM
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    Problem is not always the potential employees, it's the potential employer.

    I've been denied more jobs based on the cold fact that I am more than able to perform the said job, that I am intelligent, And able to handle problems without having to ask a million questions about what to do next.

    Employers don't want competent people, they want people they can use and not have them stand up for their rights. They want someone who is so afraid of speaking up so they don't loose their job that they are forced to work hours overtime without OT pay and other such likeminded corner cutting.

    It happens, I've seen it and been denied employment just to see someone less qualified taking that spot. ( I'm an Honorably discharged AF vet ) But they'd rather have someone who needs to monitored and assisted.

    This is the new face of employment in America, they just want to get as much work done for the least amount of price paid out.

    if I sound a bit shatty, it's due to the fact I am, specially with this topic, so many think people don't want to work and thats why unemployment is high. It's further from the truth, it's the employers, not hiring perfectly fine people to do a job they are more than qualified to do, they aren't ghettofied, they aren't glamourtized, just dressed to impress and mindset to get a job.

    But sadly people are sending out hundreds of resumes, applications, emails, and call backs but aren't getting anywhere, But the key thing here is, you can be under qualified and get the position faster than if you were overqualified.

    I work from home now, after 2 and a half years sending out resumes and pestering places with call backs, I got tired of waiting and found a niche to rest in until true working class is needed again in this cess pool that onces was America.
    edit on 7-7-2012 by Moneyisgodlifeisrented because: (no reason given)



    posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 11:39 AM
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    reply to post by Moneyisgodlifeisrented
     



    I've been denied more jobs based on the cold fact that I am more than able to perform the said job, that I am intelligent, And able to handle problems without having to ask a million questions about what to do next.


    No you haven't. You are "over-qualified."


    There is no employer, not even a menial factory job, or box loader at UPS, that doesn't want intelligent people that require little supervision.

    Now, there also is not an supervisor anywhere that doesn't want someone easy to supervise. If you give the impression that you will constantly challenge the authority, or try to reinvent the wheel, or will be difficult to take supervision, then they won't hire you. Be humble. Nothing wrong with intelligence, unless it becomes arrogance.



    posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 11:41 AM
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    reply to post by zroth
     


    the split life.... a french chef in Dallas said that if one lives more than 15 minutes from work, they live in a split world that messes with your mind. I agree


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    posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 11:48 AM
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    As long as the compensation covers the demands, I have no problem with it. However, if one pays an employee minimum wage and expects them to be as committed as you demand, then there will never be the accord you desire. An employee should have desiginated duties and should recieve additional compensation when additional duties are required of them.

    The bottom line is if you want the employees to treat the business as they are an owner, you need to make them an owner in some part.



    posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 11:53 AM
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    reply to post by antonia

    Sometimes that is the best way to handle it.

    But if I am trying to work with someone who wants a "yes-man" (which is what I thought you were alluding to; apologies if I misread your intent), that will eventually mean I will have to agree with something I know is wrong. That is a lie, and I'm just not very good at it. Now, saying my objection and ending it with, "but it is your decision" I have no problem doing. That has always worked well for me.

    I have two quick stories on this subject: in one job during my early years I had a supervisor who had no idea what he was supervising (engineering field and he knew nothing about engineering) who for some reason (probably my arrogance back then) decided to make my life as hard as he could. I let him cause me some trouble, mainly due to my ignorance of how things really work; today I can look back and see plenty of opportunities I had but never used. The last thing he said to me when we were both laid off was, "You will never make it outside of here. You'll be working in fast food the rest of your life."

    A few years later, I saw him again. He didn't recognize me, I don't think, because he was concentrating on bagging my groceries. I didn't say anything, because I didn't want to rub in the fact that I was the owner of the top structural steel/architectural design firm around at the time.

    That job was actually the biggest obstacle to my getting another job. More than once I have heard, "We don't hire ex-________ employees." But I overcame it.

    Not so long ago, I had a boss in a silly little grunt job who wound up costing me my job, but doing it in a way that left me ineligible for most governmental programs. I wasn't fired, wasn't laid off, but simply would not be assigned work. This time I wasn't so naive and just applied for another job. I worked one month for the Census, got laid off, applied for government retraining, got a scholarship to a two-year college, completed it, and now am trying to start another business based on that degree. During part of that time I work as a math tutor at the college to keep some money coming in.

    She was in one of my math classes I tutor. I always helped her just as I would any other student. I do believe she failed her finals though.

    The business that allowed her to get away with that was sued for labor law violations in a class-action suit. Rumor has it her bosses were in some serious head-rolling. No, I wasn't directly involved; I just got the notice mailed to me by the lawyers, signed to join, and later received, I think, 13 dollars and some change.


    I did also receive something much more satisfying: the knowledge that things worked out as they should. And I still have an "acceptable" report on my work history.

    The worst thing you can do is stoop to the level of those you work for. If they are that kind of person, they won't last long anyway. The race goes not to the fastest or the strongest, but to the one who keeps on trying.

    TheRedneck



    posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 11:54 AM
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    reply to post by sligtlyskeptical
     


    What's the old saying? You get what you pay for. Many people don't understand that, but I doubt the OP is one of them.





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