Interviewing? Hear What Employers are Really Thinking

Dr. Charles Xavier must be really good at getting hired for employment, since he can read minds and everything. (That would be Professor X, from the X-Men comics, if you don’t recognize the name.)

He probably wouldn’t benefit from this latest advice from staffing service OfficeTeam. But, you might want to read further (unless you can also read minds, which I kind of doubt) about the five things that every job seeker should know about the interview from the employer’s point of view.

Coming to an interview prepared, having researched the company and being armed with a list of questions about the organization can be a big help. However, potential employees should also know these few things that employers aren’t saying out loud.

First, not all employers come as prepared to an interview as the interviewee. You should have a copy of your resume on hand in case the hiring manager doesn’t remember anything about you (especially if the person seems lost for questions to ask).

Another important thing to remember is that inauthentic responses to questions are a red flag. Take a cue from “The Office’s” Michael Scott: When asked his greatest strengths in an interview, he responds, “Why don’t I tell you what my greatest weaknesses are? I work too hard, I care too much and sometimes I can be too invested in my job.” The manager doesn’t even understand his response, as he asked for Scott’s greatest strengths. Scott had to explain that his greatest weaknesses are also his strengths. Funny, but not effective.

The interviewer also wants the chance to talk about themselves and the company. Remember that list of questions you’re armed with? Make sure to ask about the company, but also about the person hiring you and their experience with professional development and advancement within the company. Not only will you learn more about the organization, but it’ll help you get the conversation going.

Sometimes, interviewers will try to make you uncomfortable. They do this to see how you’ll handle pressure and because they know by allowing you to ramble on you’re bound to reveal more about who you are as a person. It’s also becoming a common practice to ask off-the-wall questions to see how you’ll react and evaluate your thought process. Keep your responses concise and to the point of the question; don’t feel the need to fill every empty pause and silence.

It’s also important to remember that the first person you’re likely to see upon arrival is the receptionist or an assistant. Be respectful of the person – more than likely the employer is planning to ask that person about your interaction. That person will potentially be your co-worker, so they’ll be honest of what they thought of you in their response to the manager.

Now you have a bit of insight into what hiring managers are thinking (and you don’t even have to read their minds). Keep these in mind next time you’re in the hot seat.

Is Indiana the New Scranton? NBC Comedy Set in Hoosier State

"Saturday Night Live" star Amy Poehler’s new comedy series will be set in Indiana. Pretty cool. Although, I think I speak for all Hoosiers when I say, "Please don’t make fun of us." 

In the mockumentary-style comedy, Poehler plays a mid-level bureaucrat in an Indiana city parks and recreation department who’s looking to get ahead.

The still-untitled series debuts 8:30 p.m. EST April 9.

Poehler’s portrayal of Hillary Rodham Clinton opposite Tina Fey’s Sarah Palin on "SNL" was a highlight of the show last year.

The new series isn’t intended as a satire on national politics but instead offers a comedic take on how government works in an American town, said Michael Schur, who’s executive producer along with Greg Daniels (of "The Office," NBC’s other mockumentary-style comedy).

Poehler’s character, Leslie Knope, finds her love of the democratic process tested as she faces defensive government workers, selfish residents and real estate developers.

 Bureaucracy? In Indiana? Well, I never…

Love Contracts: Perhaps A Lovely Idea for Any Office

If you’ve watched "The Office," you know how workplace romance can complicate things. Who amongst us hasn’t seen that same old story in our own office: a guy is engaged to a coworker, while a temp/former corporate executive dates his cube neighbor/ex-girlfriend, and then another guy is engaged to another girl, but she also makes out with the annoying guy in the office who owns a beet farm and has a cousin named Mose who runs without using his arms. It’s almost trite.

But what are the legal ramifications and what can employers do about it? Apparently, love contracts are now an option. Inside INdiana Business has the scoop:

A partner at Bose McKinney & Evans is recommending companies consider "love contracts" to protect their businesses and employees from the troubles that can come out of an office romance. Dave Swider says often employers don’t feel comfortable governing employee relationships, so these documents set the parameters for workplace romance. Employees who have or are about to enter a relationship would sign documents acknowledging it is consensual, along with ground rules for office behavior and sexual harassment policies. Swider says the contracts also protect employers by stating they will not retaliate nor discriminate if the relationship goes south.

And if you’re an HR specialist, or just someone who’s so attractive that you can’t keep coworkers from hitting on you, you might find useful related information in the Indiana Chamber’s Indiana Guide to Preventing Workplace Harassment, authored by attorneys at Ogletree Deakins. We also have a Harassment Kit available, as well. I guarantee you’ll love this information — but not too much or you’ll have to sign a contract.