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job reference

Poor Working Relationship with your Boss

It may be the reason you are looking for another job in the first place – you and your
current boss do not work well together.  And good for you for taking charge of the
situation to find something that is a better fit for you.  But how do you approach this
situation so it will not hinder your chances at a new company?  There are a few steps you
should take first and you need to mind what you say during the interview.

A lot of interviews will contain at least one question about your working relationship
with your current boss.  They can take many forms and you should prepare for a lot of
different types of questions that may be asked.  No matter what the question, even if it is
one asking you to describe conflict with your boss, be positive and do not bash anyone in
your answers.

Remove any emotions from the equation and explain the situation using the facts and
highlight all of the professional steps you have taken to rectify the situation.  Don’t try
and make your boss sound like the bad guy, and try to de-emphasize the entire event.  It
may seem like an opportunity to vent about the situation but if you do, your are cutting
off an avenue to escape the working relationship you want to get away from.  Present the
facts, be neutral and highlight your problem-solving skills.

If you are concerned that your current boss will sabotage your efforts to find another job
during the reference check stage you can solve this in a couple of ways.  If your boss is
reasonable and the two of you just don’t work well together, chances are you don’t have
to worry too much.  Be sure to give him or her a heads up though.  If you aren’t
comfortable with this, try and find another manager that you have worked for in the
company previously that you can pass on as a reference.


July 18, 2008 Posted by | Job interview | , , , | Leave a comment

What to Wear to a Job Interview

Possibly even more stressful than the questions you are going to have to answer, you are
going to have to find the perfect outfit to wear to a job interview.  You want to look
professional and like you are going to fit in with the company.  A good rule of thumb for
men is that you can’t overdress for the interview – shirt and tie or a suit is always a safe
choice.  For women, picking the clothes is more challenging.

For both men and women, pick an outfit that you feel comfortable in and that fits you
properly.  You don’t want pants that are too tight or a shirt that is too snug across the
chest.  It will be a distraction for both you and your interviewer.  Along the same vein,
pick colors that suit you but aren’t too bright or patterns that are overly bold.  You want
the focus to be on your answers, not what you are wearing. Continue reading

July 14, 2008 Posted by | Job interview | , , , | Leave a comment

How Not to Obsess after a Job Interview

The interview is over and you can’t help but sigh with relief.  You made it through and it
wasn’t as bad as you thought it would (or maybe it was, but hey it was a good
experience).  Now, you might think you are in the clear and all you have to do is wait.
While it is true that waiting is the next step, it is not that easy.  Some even find it more
difficult between the time the interview has been completed to the time they hear back
from the company on whether or not they received the position. Continue reading

July 10, 2008 Posted by | Job interview | , , , | Leave a comment

Know what Your References are Going to Say about You

Before attending an interview, you should have your references lined-up and ready to
provide to the interviewer when asked.  More than just writing down names and phone
numbers of previous employers and bosses, you need to do additional preparation.
Finding out how a former employer views you and your work history with them is vital
before providing that information to a potential employer.  Even if your memory of your
time spent there is positive, you don’t know how you were remembered or what will be
said unless you ask.

Your first step should be to contact everyone that you are considering using as a
reference.  You will want to confirm they are working for the same company and if their
phone number is the same.  If a boss has moved to another company, you can still utilize
them as a reference provided you can track them down. Continue reading

July 6, 2008 Posted by | Job interview | , , , | Leave a comment

Etiquette Rules during Job Interviews

During an interview you need to mind your manners and follow an unspoken code of
etiquette.  This is more than your mom’s “keep your elbows off the table.”  Business
manners are going to be key, an interview is so much more than what you have to say – it
is how you present (or sell) yourself.  If part of the job you are applying for is dealing
with clients or executives from other companies, you can be guaranteed how you act is
part of the decision making process.

Eye contact, you have to be able to maintain eye contact without being uncomfortable.
There are some acceptable ways to do this.  If you are answering a question, it is okay to
glance away when gathering your thoughts but if you are listening to someone keep your
attention focused on them (even if their eyes are wandering).  This shows good manners
and that you care about what they have to say. Continue reading

July 2, 2008 Posted by | Job interview | , , , | 1 Comment

How to Thank an Interviewer

You may think that it is best to follow-up with an interviewer to thank them for their time
and keep your name in the forefront of their mind.  While this may have that affect on
them, it may not be in the positive way you are looking for.  An interviewer takes time
out of their regular job to fill vacancies in a department.  It is an extremely busy and
stressful time for them and they do not want (nor have time to) take calls from everyone
that they have completed interviews with. Continue reading

June 28, 2008 Posted by | Job interview | , , , | Leave a comment

Responding to Taboo Questions

Not all interview questions are acceptable.  There are certain topics that should not be
brought up and information that a potential employer has no right asking for.  Some of
these questions are not legal and others while legal may leave you feeling uncomfortable.
You do not have to answer certain questions, but how you let the interviewer know this
can determine if your application will continue forward.

For more information on questions that should not be asked or that you do not have to
answer, contact your local government office that handles labor relations.  They can
provide these guidelines to you at no charge.  If questions are being asked about your
private life (and you are uncomfortable answering them), you do not have to.  You can
mildly tell the interviewer that you plan on devoting the time you spend at work to work
and your personal life stays in your personal life.  And try to leave it at that.  If the
interviewer keeps pressing, you will have to decide if the job is worth it to you. Continue reading

June 28, 2008 Posted by | Job interview | , , , | Leave a comment

Don’t be Late for an Interview

This may seem obvious, but it happens way too often.  No matter the reason, there is no
excuse for it (besides an injury or family emergency and then kudos for you for showing
up).  Getting lost, bad traffic, or losing track of time doesn’t matter to an interviewer.
They are taking time away from their primary duties to sit down with you to try and give
you a job.  It is rude and disrespectful to not show up on time. Continue reading

June 24, 2008 Posted by | Job interview | , , , | Leave a comment

Be Specific when Answering Questions

Sometimes – or more like every time – you go for an interview, your nerves make it hard
to concentrate and answer questions to the best of your ability.  The important thing to
remember is to really listen to the questions being asked.  If the interviewer tells you they
want a specific example, don’t answer with a general how you would do something – it is
a surefire way to ruin your chances for the job.

These types of questions are known as situational questions.  If an interviewer were to
say to you, “Tell us about your favorite vacation.”  You wouldn’t respond by telling them
about all the places you would like to go or make a generalization: Continue reading

June 24, 2008 Posted by | Job interview | , , , | Leave a comment

Enthusiasm in a Job Interview

Are you excited at the prospect of getting a new job and are thrilled that you were called
in for an interview?  Well, then show it when you are being interviewed!  Bring an
energy and attitude to the interview that will make the company take notice.  The process
of interviewing is usual a long and boring one for those on the other side of the table.  Do
your part to make it easier for them to choose you as the best candidate. Continue reading

June 20, 2008 Posted by | Job interview | , , , | Leave a comment