by Alexandra Pauline - January 4, 2012
How to Recognize a Bad Boss
It's a brand new year so it's no surprise there are a lot people out there looking for that brand new job - and many more who have been looking for it since last year…
With the less than bustling job market, it can be tempting to take any job you can get, but there are a few things you can do to make sure desperation isn't flinging you into a really heinous work situation! Job hunting comes with some big decision making, and here at Fab & Fru we've got some red flags to watch out for and make sure you can be a smart shopper in a suit!
Internet Searching Is Not Always Working In Your Favor
Today, of course, many people look to the Internet to find that perfect position. But just like any other aspect of the Internet, anyone can post anything, thus leaving a lot of room for spam and scams!
One of the first red flags your dream job listing can have is a light job description or simply a number or email to contact. Charlotte Weeks, Co-Founder of marketmycareer.com said, "There should be a job description. If not, they may not actually be prepared to fill the position, and the candidate may not get all the important details on the job beforehand."
Assessing the Work Vibe
An important consideration is how the person who's interviewing you speaks to you. Even if you're interviewer is from HRAngry boss screaming. Isolated on white and won't be your direct report, they are a reflection on the company, and they set the tone. Don't ever ignore the vibe you get. If you are interviewing with a potential colleague or boss, and they are at all condescending, it's not because they're testing you - the odds are that attitude won't go away once you're on the job…
Pay Attention to Pronouns!
The experts also suggest to take note of the types of pronouns your interviewer uses - and how. Performance Consultant John Brubaker says "If your interviewer uses the term "you" in communicating negative information (such as, "you will deal with a lot of ambiguity"), don't expect the boss to be a mentor… If he or she uses "I" to describe the department's success, it may suggest they are not a team player… If "we" is used in regards to a particular challenge the team or company faced, it may indicate that he or she deflects responsibility and places blame." On a positive note, if used in the right way, "we" can also suggest they are looking for someone who knows how to collaborate and a feel a part of the team.
Look around and see if the people who are working there seem content. Job recruiter Rachel Dawson said, "While transitioning into the job market, I went on a two-hour interview at a tiny company and spent at least 30 minutes listening to the boss criticize his three employees. After explaining how the workers were lazy and never got anything done, he proceeded to talk about how his college degree got him nowhere. Because of this, he said, he had to settle for joining the family business and living in a "crappy city." I accepted the position due to my lack of hands-on experience and due to financial necessity. I quit three days later. The work environment was akin to being on the "The Office," except…not funny."
Is Everyone On The Same Page?
Human Resources recruiter Elizabeth Kazda says, "If the different people who interview you have completely different ideas of what this position does, then they haven't worked it out among themselves yet and taking this position will require you to set expectations." When Beth Pearson, the Director of Marketing at Tucker Arsenberg P.C. was unemployed she would always ask what the interviewer wanted the position to bring to the company. The interviewers would often give a completely unrealistic reply like, "We want you to bring in $2,000,000 in new revenue…in six months," and laugh. Those comments were a better indicator of what they wanted than the formal description of the position. "If they are suggesting something that is out of the realm of possibility…take it seriously. It's what they really want and they won't be satisfied with any efforts that don't meet that unachievable goal."
If They Don't Invest In Their Office, Should You Invest In Them?
Capital investment is another important factor to consider when job hunting - take a look at the office and they type of equipment they use. Is it up to date technology or do things look like they could use shaping up? "Companies with lower end or underdeveloped organization techniques often hold on to low performers," said HR Manager Elizabeth Kazda.
Though many people might be genuinely interested in your hobbies outside work, beware of too much prying into personal territory. Also keep in mind that it is totally illegal to ask if you are married, have kids or are planning to do so. Questions like that not only indicate that your interviewer has a lack of knowledge of legal propriety, and can give the interviewer the impression that you have too many commitments outside of work, which is essentially none of their business. Not only that but it may be an indicator of inappropriate involvement between work and home. Joni Daniels, a Management Director at Daniels and Associates said, "The person who should decides about work/home integration is the employee - and only after time spent on the job."
Desperate times don't always call for desperate measures- ask questions, and do your research! Reading PR stories on the company is another great way to find out valuable info. We've all been on interviews during times of more opportunity, and though the stakes might be higher, certain standards of acceptability have not changed. At the same time, we have to be realistic about this economy - and the fact that you may not have the luxury of turning a less than perfect job down! SO - if you do end up having to hold your nose and take a job that you're pretty sure means dealing with the boss from Hell, the best advice we can give to is to keep your sense of humor and remember sometimes the best lessons so come from the worst jobs!
Read more at Fabandfru.com