Office Politics Advice

February 1st, 2013

It is difficult, if not impossible, to avoid office politics. As much as we know it doesn’t help to get involved there is something in our very nature that makes us want to be a part of this kind of social structure. However, there are ways to beat traditional office politics and be a better employee for it.

  1. Be kind and respectful. This sounds like playground advice but it is timeless and universal. Learn everyone’s name no matter what they do in the office. Learn about their lives so can have conversations with them that go beyond small talk. Most importantly, be genuine when you speak with them.
  2. Chose to like everyone. It is easy to get caught in the trap of “us” versus “them” in any group setting. There will certainly be people in your office that you get along with better than others. Don’t form cliques. Consciously chose to like a co-worker that you would never be friends with outside the office.
  3. Positive gossip. Everyone talks in the office about everyone else; this is just part of the human experience. Rather than sharing the negative information try to spread positive news. Brag about your co-worker’s accomplishments and when someone baits you with negative information turn it around on them. Compliment your coworkers and management directly if you love what they’ve done.
  4. Do the unpleasant tasks. There are some employees in the office who get stuck with the unpleasant jobs because no one else will do them. Guess what? The people who do don’t want to do it either. Consider volunteering for these types of things like cleaning out the refrigerator or cleaning the bathroom.
  5. Don’t be secretive. Be sure that everything you say to everyone in the office can be shared. Rather than talking behind someone’s back approach them and discuss the issue in the open. Being transparent will give you a reputation of being an honest and respectful person in your office and you’ll be trusted with more information.

What are some other ways you can be above the politics in your office? If you are looking for staffing agencies in Pasadena TX, contact the experts at Meador Staffing to see how they can help you. 

Answering “What is your Greatest Weakness?”

January 18th, 2013

Is it a trick question or do they want you to answer honestly? How exactly do you know how to answer when an interviewer asks about your greatest weakness? Do you need to tell them how bad you are at something or can you spin a positive attribute into a negative one? Here are some tips for navigating the muddy waters of the weakness questions.

  1. Prepare, prepare, prepare. Interviewers can tell if you’re making something up on the spot. It can result in a less than positive interaction. Think about this question long and hard before you ever make it to the interview; you will likely be asked some form of it. Think of a way to answer this question that is thoughtful and provides some real insight into you as a person and a candidate for their position.
  2. Avoid the key requirements. Whatever you do, don’t answer this question with something that specifically contradicts the core requirements of the job itself. Prepare for the interview by understanding the company and the job description. If you know the position involves entering information into a customer website and incorrect data can result in significant revenue loss; don’t tell the interviewer that you have trouble paying attention to details.
  3. Challenge, action, result. Professional career coaches recommend using this approach to answer this question. Determine what the most challenging part of your example is, the action you took to correct it, and the positive outcome of the overall situation. Most interviewers don’t like the “turning a positive into a negative” answer to this question because it inevitably sounds fake, but this answer format still provides valuable information about your weakness but ends with a positive result. It gets you to the same place.
  4. Don’t recite cliché answers. Recruiters hear things all the time like “I’m a perfectionist.” This answer doesn’t provide any concrete information it is just regurgitating things that we know are negative. If you really feel as though your perfectionism is your biggest weaknesses consider rewording your answer. You could tell them that you have trouble giving up control of projects because you want to make sure every detail is perfect. Remember to provide an action and a positive result. Tell them that you seek out other members of the team with strong skills and learn to rely on their expertise.

Are you looking for ways to creatively answer the most common interview questions? Meador Staffing can provide helpful advice for your job search.