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  • Interview Politics You Did Not Know About

    The politics of the interview may not be something new, but it’s certainly an aspect most job candidates are unaware of. Every organization exhibits some level of politics. Office politics has to do with the way some people manipulate relationships for self-benefit or other causes. But is it possible that such situations exist even before a person joins an organization—namely, during the interview process?

    The interview process

    Office politics is already part of the mix the moment a job opening in an organization occurs. I’m reminded of an occasion when I was in the process of interviewing people to fill an opening in my organization. A very prominent and powerful senior vice president asked me to interview his neighbor’s daughter. Was that pressure? Was he trying to influence my decision?

    It has become common nowadays that instead of just one interviewer, an entire team performs candidate interviews. Is it possible that some of the team members might have their own agendas based on their personal internal relationships and mutual influences? Could it be that some politics is going on between the hiring manager and the rest of the interviewing team? And by the way, who’s deciding on the people selected for the interviewing team if not the hiring manager or the boss?

    The job interview

    The job interview is loaded with political overtones. It’s similar to the process of a nation’s interviewing of candidates for the presidency because there’s a hidden agenda in both. You may have noticed lately that topics at the top of the minds of citizens are ones that get discussed at the dinner table, at cocktail parties, and around coffeepots in the office—and that topics that really matter are avoided and evaded by political candidates. The candidates for presidency have their own agendas, and instead of telling audiences what they can do for them once elected, they don’t even talk about self, but they point fingers and blame others.

    Examples of job interview questions with a hidden agenda

    It’s obvious that companies want to hire people whom they feel are trustworthy and honest. But how can an interviewer ask such a question outright? Very simply: by asking a common and, admittedly, dreaded question: Can you tell me about your weaknesses? The question is clearly focusing on weaknesses, yet the answer is interpreted to find reasons to trust or distrust the individual.

    Another commonly misunderstood interview question is, How much money are you looking for? The vast majority of candidates don’t understand the question. They interpret it as a negotiation point, and as a result, their answer is unsatisfactory. A typical answer is, I expect to be paid fairly. Of course, that’s obvious and the interviewer wants to be perceived as fair in that regard, but what the interviewer is really asking is whether the candidate is affordable or is expecting to be paid more than the hiring manager’s budgeted amount.

    Another question often misunderstood by candidates in job interviews is, What is your management style? Invariably, the typical answer is a series of self-praises. For example, I have an open-door policy, and people can come to my office anytime. I’m a good communicator and always support my team . . . and the list goes on and on. So why is that question about management style always misunderstood? The answer is that the candidate cannot assume that this is the type of management style the hiring manager is looking for. A better answer would contain examples of past performance in a diverse set of situations that required a variety of management styles.

    My advice to people going for interviews is to listen very carefully to the question and evaluate several options before answering. Remember that practice makes perfect.

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    I am a Career Coach and my specialty is Interview Preparation. I'm known as "The Landing Expert." My clients are 90% job seekers in transition and 10% those who contemplate a career change. CLIENTS BENEFIT FROM MY SERVICES AS FOLLOWS: • Most clients land, on average, within 5 months. • In-office clients are videotaped in an interview simulation followed by a lively discussion. • Interview preparation techniques are customized for a wide range of professional backgrounds, age groups and learning styles. • Clients are trained to analyze an interviewer's question then provide a focused response. • Clients are exposed to a variety of interview questions from across many industries. • Audio/Video and screen collaboration sessions can be recorded for future viewing. • Clients have on-demand access to "in-transition" support. SPECIAL ADVANTAGES FOR CLIENTS INCLUDE: • Interview preparation includes both verbal and non-verbal communication (i.e., body language and voice). • Based on 10 years of experience with 600 clients worldwide, new clients are taught how to confront and survive the most challenging interview scenarios. • Clients have immediate access to my network of 25,000+ Level 1 LinkedIn connections. • Clients and non-clients alike may download my free 90-page directory of job search/networking groups throughout NY, NJ, PA, and CT. • To provide the greatest possible reach, I have communication skills in five (5) different languages and offer unlimited e-mail & phone support. Get customized interview preparation and access to my 25,000+ Level 1 LinkedIn connections! Go to http://www.landingexpert.com/ then SERVICES and FEES for detailed information. Contact info: alex@landingexpert.com or ✆ 609.333.8866 EST

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