BEWARE of these 8 managers in your job interview

BEWARE of these 8 managers in your job


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Once in a while in a job interview you come across a bad manager who you realise could do more harm than good to your career. We help you identify the 8 bad managers you must be wary of in an interview

When was the last time you appeared for a job interview and encountered a manager who influenced you to reconsider your choice of joining the organisation?

Your first meeting with your prospective manager could unveil a lot of things about what you can expect from the organisation.

Candidates who have appeared for job interviews admitted that hiring managers they have met during interviews ranged from being intimidating to outrageous and in some cases even ignorant!

Interestingly, most of these interactions have helped them decide if they wanted to take up the offer of working with the company.

While some of these managers you may hate because they made you wait for an hour and did not care to apologise to you for the delay, there are job seekers who cant figure out why they were being interviewed for the position when all the manager did through the interview was tell them how bad they are.

In such situations, the knack is to identify a bad manager from a good one and adapt accordingly.

A bad manager could also be a warning sign, says Gargi Thorat, a 32-year-old advertising professional from Mumbai. “If you are lucky to identify a bad manager at the interview stage, half your problem is solved. It helps you decide whether you should play on with the interviewer and nail the offer or simply walk out of the place,” shares Thorat.

Here, we identify the various types of bad managers by their behavioural warning signs and help you understand what to do when you meet them next.

image 21. The Unapologetic Latecomer

You have reached the interview venue on time but there’s no one to attend to you.

When you ask the receptionist, you are told that the manager is busy in a meeting and that you will have to wait.

The hiring manager walks in 30 minutes later and without apologising, gets straight into the interview routine.

Now, a manager could be late for various reasons. S/he could be delayed by a meeting that got extended, which is the most common of excuses made by managers when they turn up late. And then there are those who love to turn up late just to make themselves feel extra important.

When a person delays his appointment, no matter what position of authority s/he holds within the organisation and no matter how trivial your interview appointment to the organisation is, it is expected of them to apologise to you.

“An apology means that they value your time and respect your presence,” feels Vidhan Chandra, Director, iSource services. “If they don’t, it displays unaccountability.”

In case of the latter, be prepared to trade for your time, just in case you wish to join the organisation. And if the manager happens to be your immediate boss, you could end up ‘waiting’ for worse, warns Chandra.

image 32. The Silent Killer

The interviewer has a stern look on his face throughout the interview.

A firm handshake, a well manicured smile and the questions asked to you are mostly open ended. You keep talking, but all you get is a plastic nod and minimal words from the manager. The expression on their face is deadpan and you are not sure whether they are listening to your responses or judging you by your face.

Is he partially dumb or does he intentionally turn deaf as I speak? You wonder.

Senior copy editor Nandita Kapadia from Mumbai remembers the interview she appeared at one of the leading technology firms in the country. The interviewer first put down her CV on the table, then folded his hands and asked her the obvious: Tell me something about yourself.

“I was talking for nearly three minutes, but the interviewer who appeared to be listening to me did not utter a word in reciprocation. After I thought I had said enough about myself, I told the interviewer politely: ‘Sir, I think I have said enough. So, you tell me what else would you like to know.’

Managers could be silent for two reasons — either because they want you to speak so that they can know you better or because they believe in minimal communication.

The best way to tackle a silent interviewer is by answering briefly and to the point, says consultant Vikas Shinde of Omkar Consulting, Pune.

“You should patiently wait for the interviewer to ask you questions. If you realise that you have answered enough, you can try asking a few questions to the manager to find out how much information you can gather while you are at it,” Shinde suggests.

Meanwhile, if all your questions are met with silence or monosyllables, be ware that the company follows a closed policy where they do not encourage a healthy communication culture, cautions Vidhan Chandra who tells us that these species of managers are common in public sector units.

Talk to a few employees or ex-employees from the organisation to get better insights before you sign on the dotted line, Shinde suggests.

image 43. The Gossip Monger

You have met the manager for the first time and you two have been talking for over an hour.

From the bad state of roads to the financial reports of a common competitor firm, the interviewer has talked about everything but your job. And most of it has been gossip.

While a conversation like this could only be too tempting to be ignored upon, it is dangerous and means two things. Either the manager is trying to extract finer details about you and your present organisation through personal information like your opinions and feedback on various issues or they are seeking information that they can use against you after you are hired.

Akash Motwani, HR Manager, Right Jobs Consulting tells us how feedback (read gossip) received from candidates who are working for a competitor are great source of information and explains why this could be dangerous.

“You may be tricked into believing that you are being hired, but they must be looking to extract information about your present company. If the interviewer is your competitor, do not divulge details like marketing strategies, yet-to-be-official plans, work principles etc,” warns Motwani

image 54. The Distracted One

The interviewer’s phone is constantly ringing. He attempts to put it on silent but then he simultaneously asks you to talk while he is busy sending a text on his phone. From his actions, you can tell if he is not paying attention to what you are saying.

Distractions like these where managers are attending phone calls, sending text messages or checking emails while the interview is on, are clearly off putting.

Considering that managers are busy people who have to attend important calls, you can identify a good manager when he seeks your permission to answer a call and then apologises to you for the interruption.

“However, if the interviewer repeats this process for a more than 3 times and if you find out that it’s some random friend who is trying to interrupt your conversation, you could tell that the person does not respect your presence,” warns Vrushali Mange, senior manager-HR, Perfect Jobs and Consulting Services.


5. image 6The Fault Finder

The interview room resembles a boxing ring. The interviewer looks into your eyes when they speak. S/he counters everything you say with an unsatisfactory response that leaves you intimidated.

You wonder if they are testing your confidence or finding out excuses to tell you why you are the worst candidate they have ever met.

Palak Arora (name changed to protect identity) shares his experience where the interviewer said everything nasty to make him feel.

“After a mock presentation of a sales call, I had to meet the manager to discuss details of my job profile. The manager told me how unimpressive I was despite going through my past records of high performance referred by my seniors. Just when he was rejoicing the success of demoralising me, with his nitpicking the manager told me that I should be meeting the human resource head to discuss my salary break up. I failed to realise why they were hiring me at all, if they found me so incompetent.”

Since you can never satisfy them and you still want to keep the job (that is if you are so desperate to work under a boss like that), just get used to ‘filtered listening’ viz absorb only what’s important for your sustenance in the company and ignore the unnecessary.

image 76. The Lecher

When Priya Kothari (name changed to protect identity) appeared for an interview in a leading IT firm, she was asked to reveal her sexual preferences.

“What are your views on lesbianism? Are you straight?” the interviewer asked her coyly.

Although Kothari claims that she was first taken aback, she was equally quick enough to retort, “I don’t think my answer to this question has got anything to do with the position I have applied for.”

After the interview, Kothari immediately called up the consultancy and cautioned them to be careful about further sending female candidates to this manager. “I surely don’t want to work in a place like this,” she asserted this consultant.

Vidhan Chandra says that women are more likely to meet such managers who are likely to hit on the opportunity and make them feel uncomfortable by asking questions that directly or indirectly outrage your modesty.

They will start off by complimenting a woman for her looks, and slowly try to ask them questions that will make them feel uneasy.

“If you realise that the manager is trying to do something funny with you, please be polite and ask them to stick to the interview routine. Women can easily identify such managers from the very first eye contact they make,” assures Chandra.

image 8.jpg7. The Belitter

The interviewer surely knows too cents more than you. And obviously has more experience in his years of service to the company.

But that does not give them the authority to make any of your credentials feel less important.

The Belitter could be just as dangerous as the Fault Finder.

While the former would leave no stone unturned to tell you why you are of no good, he is more prone to exploit your talent than the latter.

“He will provoke you to answer questions which will display your aggressiveness and then use it against you,” Vidhan Chandra warns and tells us why he will hire the candidate with the weakest profile.

“Because the belittler wants to hire someone whom he can dominate at work. He will hire someone who will obey his orders, do all the work without arguing or sulking about it,” Chandra reasons.

While admitting that most managers choose the most unproductive candidate, Akash Motwani advises why it’s better to stay away from such managers when you are fully aware that they will make your work life miserable.

“They will treat you like a doormat. No appreciation and no promotion. You will work like a slave. These are the dictums you will have to put with. Only a person who has absolutely no self respect will vouch to work under such a manager,” Motwani feels while adding why such a manager could do more harm for your career than good.

image 9jpg8. The Air Dropper

In Vidhan Chandra’s words, an air dropper is “someone who has inherited the position of a manager through ancestry or by virtue of an educational degree from a prestigious college, but has no experience whatsoever about the manpower requirements of the company he manages.”

Such managers usually have limited or theoretical knowledge of how an organisation functions, and hence are not fully equipped to take decisions on hiring an employee. In fact such managers could be detrimental to your career, observes Vidhan Chandra.

Avni Chopra (name changed) currently works as the secretary for a shipping agency that was inherited by the son-in-law of the founder. Chopra says that although the manager was hell bent on hiring fresh graduates to replace the experienced professionals in their agency, he sooner realised that the company suffered huge losses due to his lack of experience working in the shipping sector.

“You can identify such bosses in an interview when they do not ask you anything specific about your profession. Their ignorance will clearly show off when you ask them questions related to their company’s performance,” Chopra shares.

“It is better to check the website of the company you are joining and do a quick background check on the people who are managing the company. Cross check the recent financial reports of the organisation to find out how the company has performed under their management and then make a decision,” suggests Chopra.

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Here’s when you MUST quit your job

Here’s when you MUST quit your job


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Would you quit your job if you did not enjoy the food served in your office canteen? Or if you found out that a co-worker was bitching behind your back? While these reasons may seem trivial, here are the top 10 reasons why you re
ally should explore new options.

Every morning, when his alarm goes off at 6 am, Rahul Sharma, sits up in bed, glances at the clock and cringes at the thought of going to work.

It’s always the same story — he tries to conjure up an excuse to stay home, but fails to come up with one that will convince his boss.

Rahul, now 32, is a commerce graduate and has been working as a sales manager in a leading service firm in Hyderabad for the last eight years. He has been serving the organisation since its inception and knows the ins and outs of the company — be it the products, clients or its employees.

Needless to say, the boss expects Rahul to supervise the activities of the organisation like a senior manager. But how does he explain the inefficiency of his co-workers, which compels him to work through most weekends? As much as he loves what he does, he feels like an under-paid, over-exploited slave with absolutely no social life.

Should Rahul continue working in the same organisation, or should he quit his job and apply for another one? What is right for him?

Is there a ‘right time’ to quit a job? If there is, how does one decide when that is?

An August 2011 survey conducted by HR consultants Mercer revealed that 54 percent of Indian employees are considering a job change in 2012. So why is every second person tempted to take a break or considering moving to a new organisation?

We spoke to a few employees and HR professionals to find out the top reasons why people look for fresh opportunities. We also found out just how crucial these reasons are and how they help you make informed career decisions.

1. Rimage 1elative stagnation

When your work life becomes too routine and boring, when you realise that your scope for performance and growth in a particular organisation is limited or has stagnated, it’s time to rethink your job.

Kailash Shahani, Director, Morpheus Human Consulting from Mumbai says that dissatisfaction (monetary or mental) with one’s current job can influence employees to shift to a different domain. The trend he recalls is common among call centre employees, who start off as telecallers and go on pursue careers in banking and HR, which offer better career prospects.

Vidhan Chandra, Director of iSource Services, a consultancy in Pune, adds that ‘relative stagnation’ can also be detrimental to your career growth.

Explaining the two common reasons why stagnation occurs at work, Chandra says,”It happens when you have been with an organisation too long, mastering all the tricks of the trade with limited scope to experiment or learn new things. Also, if you realise that you aren’t happy when you look at your colleagues, who you think have better responsibilities and a better job profile, you are facing stagnation at work.”

In either case, it is time to quit, agree experts.


2. Assignmentimages 2s and responsibilities that fail to stimulate

Two years ago, Shashank Aggarwal (name changed upon request), 29, was working as a software developer with an IT firm in Bangalore.

He says he quit his job of three years because he was given too many projects that weren’t exciting enough.

Shashank now freelances for international clients. He says bad projects or assignments are warning signs and one should be wary of becoming part of them for too long.

“Poor projects reflect badly on your profile. When you continue working on such projects for too long, it will also negatively affect your attitude towards work. Unless you have no qualms about wasting your talent, you must immediately find a way out and move on,” he cautions.

3. Miimages 3smatched skills vs responsibilities

Kailash Shahani says that an organisation may either change the job role of an employee without consulting him/her or then limit the defined role.

This results in a mismatch of KRAs.

Mismatched KRAs (Key Responsibility Areas) are also an outcome of extreme expectations and demands of employers. While being multi-talented is the need of the hour, it should not be a hurdle standing in the way of one’s core area of interest.

For instance, Arvind Kumar (name changed upon request) is a mechanical engineer and was hired by an automobile firm to look after their new branch in Mumbai.

Although the 27-year-old was hired as a supervisor to man their technical division, with time, sales and promotions were also added to his list of responsibilities.

When Arvind realised that he was being asked to handle additional duties that were outside his domain of expertise and knowledge, he chose to quit.

images 44. Jealousy and unhealthy rivalry

Jeenal Choksi (name changed on request), 32, joined an ad agency in Pune after completing her graduation.

After working for three years, she took a break from work to complete her MBA. When she rejoined, she was given a promotion and a salary hike. Needless to say, her ex-colleagues did not take it in the right spirit.

Soon, she started facing trouble from her immediate team members who were spoon-fed with provocative gossip that questioned her integrity and professional standards. Choksi says she quit the agency within six months of rejoining.

“Peer rivalry is a dangerous disease,” she states, further explaining why it is difficult to cure. “Curing it means burning your own fingers.”

The best way is to quit an organisation, move to a new one and start afresh. “Unless you are adventurous enough to sail through the hassles of clearing the air before you say goodbye,” warns Choksi.

images 55. When employers don’t make good on their promises

While promises may be used like bait to lure employees into performing well, failure to deliver on those promises will only discourage them and prompt them to and pursue better opportunities.

Four years ago, Varun Chaturvedi was working as a business development manager for a furniture brand in Nagpur.

The 30-year-old was responsible for the launch of three new outlets and orchestrated a 40 percent growth in business for the company.

While it was natural for Varun to expect a promotion, or at least receive an incentive for his performance, the Managing Director promised him the position of branch manager at a city outlet within a year’s time.

Instead, a year and a half later, the MD gave his brother-in-law the position and asked Varun to settle for a small fraction of the much-delayed incentive.

“My boss did not live up to his promise, so I quit my job,” shares Varun, who now works as the regional manager of a multinational bank in Bangalore.

images 66. When your organisation registers too many losses

Do your company’s financial figures endorse a downward trend?

Are you often asked to minimise your work budget or charges to the company?

Is your employer taking the hire and fire policy too seriously?

If the answer to all the above questions is affirmative, chances are that your organisation is sailing in troubled waters and you need to watch your footing.

Rajesh Tripathy, head of Cflex Consulting, Delhi, says it’s okay to love your job, but don’t get attached to your organisation.

“When you start loving your company, and categorically, if this attraction becomes one-sided, your career goes downward steadily.”

He says that if your workplace shows consistently poor financial returns, you must not delay your decision to move to a new job. “It is not wise to stay rooted to a boat that is going to sink,” he warns.

images 77. Your work environment

How many of us would quit an old job for a plush new office that offers better chairs, computers, facilities and a better work environment?

As unusual as that sounds, Kailash Shahani says that poor infrastructure, company’s brand value are influential factors that will lead a working professional to quit his job.

Agrees Nishank Phadke, a consultant with Manhunt Inc, Bangalore, “People do quit organisations to work for bigger brands.”

“Would you think twice if you receive an offer to work for Google?” he asks.

images 88. Personal priorities

Most of the time, professional commitments come in the way of one’s social priorities.

However, if one realises that s/he is unable to sustain a healthy family or social life due to work commitments, it is time to re-evaluate priorities.

Vidhan Chandra offers a classic example of how a software engineer from IBM, US had settled for a virtual engagement with his bride-to-be in India through Skype when his company turned down his leave application.

Marriage is an important reason why female employees quit their careers, explains Kailash Shahani — either to spend quality time with their partners or to choose an organisation that is closer to home and offers flexible work hours.

While some of us may not want to acknowledge that fine line between one’s professional and private life, Manmeet Singh, 31, decided to end her six-year tenure with an organisation to take care of her newborn daughter when her manager refused to extend her leave.

“I was working in the administration department of this firm two years ago. Although my boss gave me maternity leave of 45 days, I asked him if I could extend my leave for two months, provided he allows me to work from home. My manager shared the example of another employee who faced a similar situation and had hired a maidservant to take care of her child.”

Singh believes that there are times when one has to choose family over work.

9. Acquimages 9isition/merger/sale of your current organisation

When a company is taken over by a bigger brand, it could either mean a boom or spell doom for the employees.

Acquisition also means a change of top management — new policies, new clients, new expectations.

“It’s like getting married to a new person and having to start from scratch, which may not always be favourable to everyone,” says Nishank Phadke.

On the other hand, Vidhan Chandra feels that it is the overlapping of responsibilities with employees of the partner company which threaten people thus compelling them to quit before they are asked to resign.

10. Persoimages 10nal inconvenience

Many professional graduates have happily agreed to take up a job in a new city for the sake of their careers, and later on applied for a transfer or quit to return to their families.

Kailash Shahani says inconveniencing factors like unsafe or inconvenient job location and failure to understand or cope with the local language are major influences that force an employee to quit an organisation.

Lalit Raghuram, 34, tells us that he almost resigned from his job as a territory manager in a rural district of Gujarat because he had to travel 40 kilometres by road to have non-vegetarian food, which was “highly inconvenient” for him.

“The food served in the office canteen was tasteless and I could not find a good cook. So, I complained to my manager, who first laughed at my reasons but finally transferred me to another city,” he says.


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