I never met a man I didn’t like. Will Rogers
Inquiring employers want to know. How do you handle difficult people in the workplace? You can’t get away with a nice story about an annoying boss and now you work together in uninterrupted harmony. Forget about claiming that you have never met a difficult person unless your name is Will Rogers. The interviewer knows exactly what difficult person you will encounter your first week.
Last post, I laid down some background on why some people find you difficult and that other guy really grates on you. Given your temperament, entirely predictable. Now we can build on that foundation to accomplish two objectives. First. we want to effectively relate to difficult people. Second, we want to communicate those skills to a prospective employer in a way that reassures them. That is one of my consistent themes in this blog and my other material. I don’t just want convince the employer that I can handle difficult people by offering one isolated, contrived story.
I want to be effective because I have learned how to respond to difficult people in a way that prevents any conflict from sabotaging my success and the organizations interests. Then as I continue to do so mindfully, I accumulate a repertoire of relevant stories that I can tell very naturally. Read More…
Are you prepared for the “difficult person” job interview question? Expect the interviewer to ask for an instance when you dealt with a difficult person to get a handle on your interpersonal skills. Don’t just count on winging it unless you have prepared stories of past successes.
Do you have a great interview story of how you used your skills to handle a difficult person? Can you describe your approach? It is best to start your preparation for this question by developing a simple approach that you can apply consistently. That way your interview answer will be clear and easy to follow and will be more credible to the interviewer. After all, if you just improvised, how can the prospective employer believe that your lovely story conveys the way you might handle a similar situation in the future?
You Need a Clear Strategy for Difficult People
Common strategies usually begins with first informing the other person that what they are doing is a problem for you. If that’s not successful, you may need to involve other colleagues. In exceptional cases, more formal actions may become necessary. In the case of an abusive co-worker, that’s prudent advice, but not an ideal story for a job interview! You don’t want to imply that every awkward or frustrating interaction with a fellow employee ends up with a meeting with HR! Whatever story you tell will leave them with the impression that you handle all situations in that same manner. Choose that story carefully!
First, lets explore why someone seems “difficult” to you. Read More…
Job promotions are often welcome, well-deserved and timely as they should be. But that isn’t always true. Early in my career, I was offered an outstanding opportunity that I strongly felt was just not right for me at the time. A promotion when you aren’t ready for all that it entails can be unnecessarily stressful and limit your career options.
Fresh out of my MBA, I was hired into a position with a large association. It was a perfect fit for my temperament and qualifications. I was immediately assigned a few choice projects that provided perfect opportunities to show what I could do. The work that I did on those assignments was well and widely received.
When my boss was promoted to the top position in the organization, he pressed me to apply to replace him. It was flattering but I felt very strongly that it was premature. Any national association is rife with politics, which had never been a factor in my pre-MBA work experience as a store manager in the retail lumber industry. I was presently insulated from those concerns which suited me fine.
As you probably guessed by now, I accepted the promotion which brought a nice office, a higher salary, status and travel. Over time I learned a great deal about leadership in a large association but the role was never a great fit. And the new job, with a higher salary and title made it much more difficult to move into other employment.
What advice would I give today to that 30 year old version of myself? Read More…
Responsibility for credibly communicating your competence in advanced Microsoft Word Skills is entirely in your hands. Fortunately, even if you can’t point to a fistful of recently-completed certificates you can quickly create effective documentation of those essential skills.
If you follow the steps I will lay out for you, you will never need to worry that you will be over looked for promotion or have your job application tossed out just because you learned just enough skills to get by in fulfilling your current responsibilities. And you can do that without spending a single dime!
Can you really “Credential Yourself”?
You could just create a nice colorful certificate but that would have about as much credibility as a “World’s Greatest Dad” t-shirt! But you can prepare something at least as effective and more relevant and current within groupings of skills that are generally considered to be basic, intermediate, or advanced skills in Microsoft Word.
You can start with the Advanced Microsoft Word Checklist that I have provided in the free resources section. Then once you have satisfied yourself that you can perform all of the listed tasks, you need to decide how you will substantiate that claim as needed when you are challenged in a job interview. Read More…
Proving Microsoft Word or Excel Skills to an employer even before they call can make a big difference.
Most job postings specify Advanced Microsoft Office Skills, but not every interviewer confirms those skills for every applicant by asking a specific question. But there are situations where they will need to know that you really have those skills or are just gambling that they won’t ask or will accept an evasive or vague answer.
To deliver an unambiguous response, develop a clear understanding in your own mind as to what is included in an advanced level of skills and make sure you can actually perform them!
Here are 5 situations when vague, unsupported responses to job interview questions just won’t do.
Your Microsoft Office skills are better than your work history suggests
If a candidate has extensive relevant experience in a position that would require those skills, the interviewer may instead probe other relevant areas of competence. Accordingly, it is more likely that your proficiency will be in doubt if basic skills would likely suffice in your current position. Read More…
You don’t need another blogger to tell you that we don’t keep most of our resolutions. Every TV station around has served up the obligatory visit to the local Gym. They interview people who just joined in early January, fully expecting to stick with some new commitment right through to December 31st.
But it might be helpful as the initial excitement fades to take a look at a few explanations of why resistance often sabotages commitments that we never expected to abandon so quickly.
Here are three ways to frame those feelings of resistance from authors who have each taught me a great deal: Read More…
In the middle of a job interview, you sense that things are going smoothly. Everyone is smiling, lots of encouraging nods, and most of your initial nervousness has faded. Then a question that you hoped they wouldn’t ask rears up in front of you.
Some job interview questions are designed to throw you, questions that you can’t specifically prepare to answer. For those questions, you can learn and practice how to respond when they show up. Find a list of such questions and practice responding.
“How strong are your Microsoft Excel skills?” is not one of those questions, but it’s not very specific. And when you answer it vaguely it is obvious to you that it is obvious to the interviewer. And there is no excuse not to have a very specific answer to that question. Read More…