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Interview Quicksand
by: Tamara Jong

How will you respond when you’re asked the following two questions?

1.What type of boss do you like to work for?

2.What are the pros and cons about your present employer?

-March 2003

You scan the career section. Then you see it; your dream job. Your resume is sent, calls made; an interview set up. Now you’re in the hot seat.

How will you respond when you’re asked the following two questions?

1.What type of boss do you like to work for?

2.What are the pros and cons about your present employer?

You’re leaving your present position because you can’t stand your boss. He/She drives you insane, makes your skin crawl and shatters your nerves. Put-downs and sarcasm are the norm, along with a snobbish, condescending attitude. Most of what they say sounds downright ridiculous and lacks common sense. Nothing is their fault. You are a team player, but cleaning up a rat’s cage, watching the kids, emptying humidifiers, unloading 40 lb boxes up and down five flights of stairs, shoveling their driveway is beyond any job description. They listen to all your phone calls and screen everyone (including clients) like it’s the Spanish Inquisition.

Seconds have lapsed and now you need to answer. The interviewer is waiting patiently with pen in hand. What will you say? Or better yet, what won’t you say?

Is this you?

Ispos-Reid reported in a recent poll, that nine in ten (88%) Canadian employees agree they are happy with their current jobs, but one in ten (10%) agree they secretly hate their boss, and 11% agree they dread going to work each day because of their boss. Interestingly, working Canadians in lower income households (22%) are three times as likely as those in upper income households (7%) to say they secretly hate their boss.(1)

Everyone will answer differently. You don’t want be regarded as a difficult employee. Even if your objections are valid, any type of negative response will work against you.

This is how you should respond:

1.What type of boss do you prefer to work for?

"I am adaptable and easygoing so I can work for any type of employer."

2.What are the pros and cons about your present employer?

Name his/her positive traits. It’ll be hard but do it. Do not mention his/her bad points. Try to move on saying something positive such as, “He/She taught me many valuable things about the industry and myself."

When the words, “I hate my Boss” were placed on Google’s search engine, the results tallied 255, 000. There is even a site where you can place a picture of your hated boss and shoot at The book “I Hate My Boss: How to Survive and Get Ahead When Your Boss is a Tyrant, Control Freak, or Just Plain Crazy” by Bob Weinstein, published by McGraw-Hill, promises some laughs and serious advice on how to deal with this sensitive situation.

What now? You’ve finished the interview confidently and landed the job. Now it’s time for the resignation letter. But that’s a whole other article.

(1) These are the findings of an Ipsos-Reid poll conducted on behalf of BBC Canada and Alliance Atlantis Communications between February 25th and February 27th, 2003. The poll is based on a randomly selected sample of 468 employed adult Canadians. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate to within ± 4.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire employed adult Canadian population been polled. The margin of error will be larger within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population. These data were statistically weighted to ensure the sample's regional and age/sex composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population according to the 2001 Census data.

Source: Ispos-Reid

Copyright © 1998-2003 All rights reserved.



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