Being the manager of a small company has some distinct challenges. As the GM of a company that shall not be named I am regularly faced with the challenge of having to wear many different hats. No, I don’t mean literal hats, I mean that I fill many different roles. On any given day I am a manager, a purchaser, and a saleswoman. I am a one girl human resource department, a safety coordinator, a recruiter, a hirer, and a firer.
Most days the workload and stress of being pulled in eleventy billion directions is enough to make me seriously contemplate choosing welfare over employment, except not really, but I fight through it because I am learning a lot, like a lot a lot. I’m learning about myself, about business, about the world, and when it comes right down to it, I am thankful for the opportunity to grow.
A few months ago Sarah over at Venus Trapped in Mars did a post about nailing an interview and it inspired me to share with all of you some of the things I’ve learned since my promotion, to impart a little wisdom if you will, to help you get the job you want.
If the job ad says “no phone calls or drop-ins,” do not call or drop in.
When I run a job ad, and an applicant phones or comes to my office, their resume automatically goes into the “no” pile, regardless of how great they are. I appreciate drive and persistence but if you can’t read or follow simple instructions, I’m not interested.
Spell check is your best friend.
No matter what position I am hiring for if you have poor grammar and spelling skills then I am not interested. If you can’t put in the extra effort to make sure your email, cover letter, and resume are error free then I’m not interested. Don’t be careless people or you’ll get written off before you’re even looked at.
When you go to an interview, look your best.
I do believe in dressing for the job you want, but there is a limit. If you want a job as a welder or something like that, don’t dress like you’re a welder. Dress like you’re hoping to work in an office. In other words, dress professionally. I’m cool with you wearing jeans (not ripped), if you wear a nice shirt to go with it. Don’t wear yoga pants, or hoodies, or sneakers. I don’t want to see your Choko winter jacket or your Uggs. I do judge you harshly on the way you look. If you take your appearance seriously, I will take you seriously.
Brush your hair, brush your teeth, and wash your face.
You would think that it would go without saying, but sadly that isn’t always the case.
Be prepared to answer questions that don’t directly apply to the position you are interviewing for.
I regularly ask the people I’m interviewing questions like:
– Tell me about a time you failed at something. What did you learn and how did you overcome it?
– Give me an example of a time you did something wrong. How did you handle it?
– Have you ever been on a team where someone was not pulling their own weight? How did you handle it?
– Give me an example of a time that you felt you went above and beyond the call of duty at work.
Never tell an interviewer that you have no weaknesses or that you’ve never failed at something.
It isn’t true. You do have weaknesses and you have failed. If you say otherwise, you’re either blatantly lying, or you are completely un-self-aware. Both are qualities I am not interested in in an employee.
If you have to wait to be called in to your interview do not “play” or talk on your cellphone.
Cells are often frowned upon in the workplace. Don’t be someone who appears to be addicted to their smartphone. It makes your potential employer question whether or not it will be an issue in the future.
I’m no expert on the subject, I won’t even pretend to be, but I can tell you that people who “break the rules” I’ve shared with you, well they annoy the crap out of me, and I’m pretty sure that I’m not the only recruiter/interviewer/hirer who feels that way. And I can’t promise that if you follow my tips that you will get the job, but you will certainly position yourself better to get it.
Do you have any tips to share with our job seeking friends out there?