How to Know The Company Isn’t Healthy From The Interview

1. The interviewer doesn’t let you talk but schedules you for a second interview.

I really love marketing but since I don’t have any marketing experience besides internet marketing for my blog I was looking for an entry level position. I interviewed at so many “marketing firms” that really turned out to be more like sales and since I definitely did not want to work nights and weekends this was really not my cup of tea. I was had one interview with a marketing company and the interviewer talked the whole time, was basically trying to sell me on the company and hook me in to believing that I will be making a lot of money. It sounded great and all but not once did he ask about me. It was all about him and “how much money he makes”. I don’t care that you make more than six figures, if it costs me my soul there is no way I am signing up for that. If the person interviewing you has to convince you that it’s a great job and chats your ear off while you sit there and then signs you up for a second interview that should be a huge red flag. Don’t you want your employer to want to hire you because they like you? This type of interviewer doesn’t care about you, they are trying to get you because they need the employee numbers up, which leads me into my next type of interviewer.

2. The interviewer talks to every prospective employee and employs them all.

I went into one interview and by the time I had left there were 10 other interviewees that had come in for the same position. Not only did we all get to interview, but we were all offered jobs and that was just in one hour. They had interviews scheduled all day. This means the company has a very high turn over rate which screams UNHEALTHY WORK ENVIRONMENT. I am sure that there are some people who come out of that job on top but do you really want to work in an unstable company? Not me!

3. The interviewer who doesn’t directly answer your questions.

This interviewer is the worst! After a slew of awful interviews I had been through, I just wanted to work with someone who I felt was honest. This interviewer was asking me if I had anymore questions and every question I asked, he would completely redirect. I just wanted yes or no but he couldn’t deliver that to me. This generally means that there is something they are hiding from you because they know you would not take the job so they are going to wait until you sign on the dotted line before hitting you with the big awful secret. You have to be careful of shady people, because generally shady people work for shady companies.

4. Acts like you’re interviewing for a ceo position when it’s an entry level position.

This was probably the interview that had me laughing as I walked out. I am pretty confident in my abilities. I am a hard worker and if I don’t know how to do something I will teach myself. I went into this one interview with an interviewer for an entry level position and she was asking me things that made me feel like my job was the guy that was in charge of pushing the button for the release of nuclear war fare. This type of company can put a lot of pressure on you and make you feel as though you are never good enough or you don’t work enough making you have to completely give up your personal life and be married to your job. I have a husband thank you very much, I’m not going to leave him for my career.

When you are interviewing be careful of these types of companies. Remember, in most cases you spend more time at your job than you do at home so make sure the company you work for lines up with your values, culture, and schedule.

Turning Your “Work Brain” Off

As someone who enjoys working and being busy, this was hard for me to grasp. When I am in something I am full force, pedal to the metal, submerged. This can be good in moments when I need to be attentive or exude a lot of energy, but also a down fall.


When you are growing up you have shift work jobs where you work 3 times a week, four hours at a time. When you get into corporate America, you work at least 40 hours a week, which breaks down to 8 hours a day of work and one hour a day for lunch. Although you technically work 40 hours you are away from home for at least 45 hours, not including your drive. On a “normal” week I leave my place at 6 am and get home around 5:15 pm. I generally pump myself up for work on my way there and decompress on my way home which means I am spending a little over 11 hours in work mode. IT IS HARD TO TURN OFF. I tend to find myself having a hard time clocking out mentally at 4 pm along with my body.

For the first couple months of my job in corporate, I dwelt on my work constantly. I couldn’t take my mind off of it. I was excited and ambitious but it led me down a rough road. I started getting irritable, I was waking up in the middle of the night with items I needed to add to my checklist, and I was panicking over everything I did.

I did hit my breaking point. I was exhausted, my co-worker had quit, we were hiring someone new, I never rested, I was working 10.5 hour days (not including the hour commute) and I couldn’t take my mind off work. My mental health had taken a serious hit. One day, I was sitting at work and felt my toes and hands starting to hurt. I looked down and there were red spots all over my feet! I went to the doctor, they took my blood pressure (which was through the roof), and found out that because of all the stress I was putting on myself, my immune system was low and I got hand, foot, and mouth disease.


This forced me to rest. I was out of work for four days and spent all day, every day, lying down. Awful, but glorious because I got so much rest! A mental vacation was what I needed. From that breaking point I have trained my brain to turn off of work mode. Mental breaks are not easy and it took practice believe it or not, but sometimes you have to choose not to think about something. here is how I did it:

  1. I started by actively doing something after work that I enjoyed, like blogging! TV and social media doesn’t do it for me, I don’t need something mindless, I need something that I can focus on that brings me joy and sweeps me away.
  2. I stopped talking about work on my free time. I still do this if something is bothering me but I try to make a conscious effort not to talk about it to fill space.
  3. I started planning events to look forward to so when I was stressed I could remember what I had planned that was going to be fun and NOT WORK!
  4. I stopped giving all of myself to everyone. When I did this I let in room to take care of myself, my husband, and my job. It became a lot easier to balance.

It gets better, but it does take time and effort.

Photography by Naomi Ledford:

https://www.facebook.com/naomiledfordphotography/

https://www.instagram.com/naomiledfordphotography/

Incorporated

I have now been working in Corporate America for 9 months and I will say, there is so much I have learned in such a short time! Before this job I had always worked with friends, family, and places where it was a lot more casual. I am not going to lie, it was an adjustment going from casual to professional. I don’t know many people my age that work in a corporate settings and although one of my brothers does, he has always had that polished, professional personality that was just meant to be some type of big guy in the corner office. When I interviewed for my position I remember sending a picture of my colorful interview outfit to my brother asking if it was okay. His response… “I would stay with wearing black and white”, I just thought that was so boring!

“No thank you, I’ll stay with my tasteful, colorful outfit” (I declared in my head).

When I got to my future office building I immediately regretted my outfit choice. It ended up turning out great and I got the job. However, now I stick to black, white, blue, maybe a dark shade of green, and every once in a while a pop of color. If you are new to corporate here are some of the things I learned and maybe it will help you too.

  1. It’s nothing personal, it’s just business. I never realized how “sugar coated” my life was until people were correcting my work and not constantly telling me what I did right, but never missing a beat when I did something wrong. At first it was hard. Where was the positive reinforcement, and why am I not getting recognized more? Did I really mess up that bad? Truth is, no I was not that awful of an employee. Yes I messed up, but in corporate, one mess up could cost a lot. Luckily I’m not in a position where that is even in my power but I now understand the importance of correction and knowing that they are not attacking my character, but simply helping me improve my work ethic. When I first started I didn’t understand this but as time has gone on, I have seen the importance of direct and “non-sugar coated” correction.
  2. Work, and friendship. If you are anything like me then you probably thrive in an environment where you like the people you work with. It is true, I love the people I get to work with, but it is important to know when to draw the line between your personal friendship and your work relationship. I had to learn that you can be friendly with everyone, but it needs to be business first, friendship later. When you put friendship above your business it can make for some sticky situations if you have a problem with someone because they are more likely to take it personally because that is the type of relationship you have cultivated.
  3. Learn to learn. I know that opening statement is sort of strange so let me explain. Since I had never been around any type of corporate setting there was a lot I needed to learn.  For example, when I started I had serious “phone phobia”. I didn’t like to talk on the phone, didn’t know how to speak professionally, and had a hard time getting out of my comfort zone. These past 9 months have taught me that if I don’t know how to do something, then I need to learn how. If I were to refuse to learn then I probably wouldn’t still be working here since 50% of my day is doing things I have literally never done before. In the process of doing this, my confidence and adaptability have really improved and I am so glad I pushed myself.

 

So many of us 20-something-year-olds are honestly afraid of having a big-kid job because it is that fear of the unknown. But, I want to tell you that the unknown may be the best thing for you and pushing yourself will help you more than you know. You can’t grow without some growing pains.

Photography By Naomi Ledford Photography

Instagram: @NaomiLedfordPhotography: https://www.instagram.com/naomiledfordphotography/

Facebook page: Naomi Ledford Photography:

https://www.facebook.com/naomiledfordphotography/