Monthly Archives: September 2015

This one thing you can change for an instantly happier working day

rgf blog managing expectations at work
Do you sometimes feel like you are being pulled apart trying to meet the demands and expectations of multiple parties around you at work and in your personal life? OK, we all know you can’t please all the people all the time, but how do you manage expectations placed upon you and those you place on others so that you create as many wins as possible?

When the highest standards are your own
Are you your own worst enemy? Are you putting too high an expectation of yourself and feeling a constant sense of failure when reality doesn’t measure up?

rgf blog managing expectations img 3When no one can meet your expectations
Do you find yourself constantly inwardly criticising your colleagues or boss at work because you think they should be doing more or should be more understanding? That makes for a pretty tough work life with a low rate of job satisfaction.

rgf blog managing expectations img 1When you can’t meet the expectation of others
There’s nothing worse than not being able to match up to others’ expectations of you. The feeling of failure can be all-consuming and the lack of trust people have in you can be demoralizing.

rgf blog managing expectations img 2As we have illustrated, expectations can have a very damaging effect in the workplace. So how can you manage them in a more positive manner?

Here’s a thought – drop the expectations!

If you live life without expectations and learn to accept yourself and others for who they are, you’ll find life a lot easier and happier. The expectations you have are simply your own view of what should be or happen and has no link to reality. It’s all fantasy and when things don’t happen as you think they should in your head, you are only setting yourself up for stress, anger and irritation. As the adage goes, learn to accept the things you cannot change, just let it be.

When the highest standards are your own – learn to accept yourself where you are at right now. Celebrate improvements instead of focusing on defeats.

When no one can meet your expectations – learn to not expect from others. You have no control over them or their journey. If your colleagues are underperforming, adopt an open communication approach to avoid possible bad feelings and strains on the relationship.

When you can’t meet the expectations of others – manage people’s expectations by always under-promising so that you can wow by over-delivering.

Land on your dream job through these questions

rgf interview tips and advice

Have you ever been in a job interview and felt things were going well, then couldn’t come up with any questions at the end to signify your genuine interest in the job? Just what do you say when the interviewer asks the dreaded: “Do you have any questions for us?”

This is a golden opportunity for you to leave a positive lasting impression. It’s practically a gift. But does a fear of being perceived as presumptuous stop you from asking too many questions? Or, eager not to seem ill-prepared, do you decide to wing it and ask a question, only to realise too late that it’s something that the interviewer has already elaborated on? Ouch!

If this is where the interview usually fizzles out for you, use the following cues for what questions to ask during a job interview to create a meaningful interaction with your interviewer, and leave that all important positive lasting impression. Bonus? Armed with a deeper insight of the company – information that you cannot obtain easily online – you’ll be empowered to make your own assessment of the position and decide whether it’s the right fit for you.

Tell me more about the responsibilities for this role.

  • – What’s a typical work week like?

While the interviewer would have talked about this earlier, chances are he would have just given you the broad strokes. Here’s an opportunity for you to get an in-depth view – the perks and pet peeves of working in the company, and perhaps, the reason why the last officer left. You will gain a better understanding of the role and a clear career outlook and also demonstrate to the interviewer that you’re genuinely interested in the job – you’re not just wasting his or her time.

Share with me your approach to management.

  • – What is important to you in growing your team?
  • – How would you motivate your team members?

Consider it a sneak peek to how your boss operates. In the process of answering your question, the interviewer would probably also segue into more about the corporate culture, and that way you can assess whether this is the place for you.

Tell me more about the career road-map here.

  • – Are there opportunities to undergo learning and development programmes?
  • – What’s the typical progression pathway for this role?

This is a no-brainer. It’ll show the interviewer that you’re not someone who switches jobs at the drop of a hat. You’re here for the long run. And that’s good news for the hiring manager.

Tell me more about the corporate culture here.

  • – Who will I be working with if I do take up this role?
  • – Are there any corporate activities beyond work? How do you and your colleagues spend time after work?

Besides giving you a better picture of what you can expect if you decide to accept the role, this question also demonstrates to your future employer that you understand the importance of being part of a team and are willing to bond after hours to develop key working relationships.
Burn these interview questions to ask into your brain and the next time the interviewer raises that dreaded question, you’re ready to make a positive and lasting impression.

3 things on a hiring manager’s check-list

rgf interview tips

Understanding what a hiring manager is looking for in a new recruit will go a long way to putting you on the shortlist. To help you delve into the minds of your hiring manager and ace that interview, we’ve crafted this handy cheat sheet.

1. Do you have the necessary skills set for the job?
The hiring manager is keen to establish from the outset whether you’re equipped with the requisite set of skills and experience to handle the role. He’s preoccupied with one burning question: How much time and effort do I need to invest, if any, on this candidate to make sure that he or she is up to scratch? So the first few job interview questions will most likely centre on your current job responsibilities and your past work experiences.

You can tip the balance in your favour by trying to align your career skills as closely as possible with the job specifications. This way, your interviewer will be left in no doubt that you’re the perfect candidate.

2. Will you be able to fit in with the people in the company?  
To ace that interview, you need more than just outstanding paper qualifications. Hiring managers often look out for intrinsic qualities in their quest for the ideal candidate. Demonstrating a positive outlook and attitude will help you get one step closer to scoring that job. Being a wet blanket? Not so much.

This is also the part where you get to toot your own horn. Do some homework beforehand and list down any past accomplishments. Sporting achievements? Put them on the list. Leadership awards? Get it on there. Involved in community work? Yes, please. By mentioning these accolades in the interview, you’re not just demonstrating your skills outside of work, but you’re also giving the hiring manager a glimpse of your personality. And this will help him or her assess whether you’ll be a good fit with the people in the company.

3. Do we have chemistry?
Whether we like to admit it or not, chemistry plays a part in a successful interview. While the interviewer may be grading your answers and totting-up scores to evaluate you objectively against the other interviewees, a good feeling about someone may be the factor that ultimately makes the decision in cases too close to call. You can’t expect to feel a personal chemistry with every interviewer, but there are still steps you can take to establish a good rapport. Be polite, professional and approachable. Throw up some topics and try to find some common ground. The goal is to facilitate a meaningful interaction. And this also paves the way for you to be able to ask at a later date for some interview tips if you don’t get this one. Interviewers are usually willing to give some feedback on how you did if you ask.

So there you have it – common job interview questions that your hiring manager is most likely to ask. Now that you have a clear outline of how the interview is going to go, you’re all set to score a successful interview.

Ace your next interview with these 5 tips

Helpful interview tips

Sweaty palms, a clenched-shut jaw and thoughts running at a million miles per hour. No, you’re not Tom Cruise about to execute some mind-boggling mission impossible. It’s far worse – you’re due for an interview any second now!

Take a deep breath and remember that the interviewer is not in the sole position of power. It’s a relationship – one that you have an equal say in. Be confident and take control. And remember, the interviewer is only human too.

Act as if you have a choice (you do!)
A job interview is not a one-way process with the interviewer grilling you. You also need to establish whether this is the right job and the right company for you. So you need to ask the right questions of the interviewer so that you too can make the right decision. Don’t be nervous during your interview. Act like you have other offers even, if you don’t, and make it clear that you have to make a decision as well as the interviewer. Of course, don’t come across as too cocky. If the interviewer doesn’t like you, that will diminish the chances of you being offered the job and having the opportunity to choose in the first place! Instead ask intelligent questions that show that you are genuinely interested in hearing more about the role, and finding out more about the company’s values, philosophy and management approaches to see if they mesh well with yours.

Think like an interviewer
That said, the question, ‘Tell us a little bit about yourself’ is not the cue for you to wax lyrical about every aspect of your life. Instead, it’s the perfect opportunity for you to present a well-prepared pitch on how you’re the right person for this particular job. Relate your background to the actual position that you’re applying for and try to match your skills to the organisation’s requirements as closely as you can. To do this effectively, a little interview preparation is in order. Once your interview is confirmed, have a look at the job advertisement again and identify the areas where you feel that your expertise would provide a good fit. Plan what you need to say to address these points convincingly. That way, you’ll be seen as a more valuable candidate and gain a higher chance of being issued that offer letter.

Say no to being a ‘yes’ man
While you naturally want to impress, coming across as a ‘yes’ man by agreeing to every single thing that the interviewer says isn’t necessarily going to do you any favours. Potential employers want candidates who can think critically and can obviously add value to the team.

Don’t lie either
It’s tempting to answer ‘yes’ to questions on experience or career skills you suddenly realise at the interview are critical to the job. If the job requires it and you ain’t got it, this move will only backfire on you in the long run, and a short job history isn’t going to look good on your resume. If you lie about experience or skills and you do end up being hired, you’re just setting yourself up for a fall when you fail to deliver. If the job is not meant to be yours just yet, let it be. Something that suits you better will come along.

Be confident, not over confident
Of course if you have got the chops, this needs to come out loud and clear at the interview. Having confidence in your abilities is an admirable trait that employers love to see. But take care not to cross the line into blatant bragging. Given their vast experience, your interviewer will probably be able to distinguish when you’re being genuine – and when you’re going over the top. And bragging is an ugly trait that could push you into the reject pile. No one wants to work with that guy!

Onwards and upwards
And if you come out of the interview thinking “That job’s not for me” or “I don’t stand a cat’s chance of landing that!” then chalk it up to one more job interview experience. And remember that what you are aiming for is not just any job, but the RIGHT job.

Keep these interview tips in mind for your next interview and you’re set to make a strong impression. After all, at this point, you’re already halfway there – you’ve crafted a stunning resume and spent time preparing for the interview. All you need to do now is to keep a clear head as you enter that interview room. Good luck!