How to Get Along Better With Your Coworkers

1. Be fair and realistic about your expectations. Every person has intrinsic strengths and weaknesses. If you’re someone with good attention to detail, a coworker who regularly takes poor phone messages probably bothers you.

But before you label that person as dumb or get frustrated every time you receive another non-descriptive phone message, remember that we all have different strengths and weaknesses. It’s likely that the same person who takes bad phone messages is probably great at other things that you haven’t taken the time to notice, because it’s ingrained in your mind that this person is incompetent.

2. Treat others how you want to be treated. This is one of life’s golden rules that absolutely applies to the workspace, too.

If you’re in a sour mood because someone took your favorite parking space that morning, retaliation or holding a grudge won’t get you far. For most people, you spend more time with your coworkers than you do with your own family.

When you start to treat others with respect, regardless of irritating incidents that could easily be chalked up to mistakes, they generally take notice and return the favor. What goes around comes around.

3. Keep in mind you’re all on the same team. When you work for a muti-department company, it’s far too easy to slip into the “us versus them” mentality, even though you all work for the same business.

If you work for a paper company and there’s a late shipment, sales blames the warehouse for taking too long to package the order, whereas the warehouse blames sales for not putting the order into the ordering system correctly. When that happens, everyone loses, because you’ve all taken a step toward creating a disjointed company where people would rather point out others’ mistakes instead of take action toward making things better.

The next time you’re about to complain about someone in a different department messing up your job, remember that it’s a two-way street, and you all have a shared common goal of making the company a better place to work and a more efficient operation.

You can’t control other people, but you can control your mindset and train yourself to stop pointing fingers when something goes wrong.

4. Remember - your coworkers may be fighting internal battles you don’t know about. If you have a coworker who’s always rude to others first thing in the morning because he’s tired, it’s easy to just assume that he’s being irresponsible with his time by not going to bed early enough.

Your coworker is probably just a jerk, right? Maybe, but maybe not. What you might not know is that his grandmother is very sick in the hospital with terminal cancer, and your coworker has been spending every night in an uncomfortable chair by her bedside. Or maybe he’s a single dad struggling to get small children to bed at night, packing lunches and doing house chores after they’re asleep.

Try to keep in mind that your coworkers are only human, and many people are going through struggles that you don’t know about.

Everyone has off days or hard times in their lives that other people don’t realize, and that frustration gets misdirected. While that’s never an excuse to treat your coworkers poorly, it helps to keep that in mind when you notice a colleague has been acting particularly out of character lately.

The 3 Best Ways to Blow a Big Interview

Job searching can be stressful, especially if you’ve had interview after interview without hearing back from any of the potential employers. It’s always possible that the other candidates applying were better suited for the position, but it’s also possible that you blew your big chance in the interview and just don’t realize what you did wrong.

If you’re in an interview funk and can’t figure out why you’re not getting hired, here are some of the most common ways that interviewees blow the interview and ruin their chances of getting called back.

1. Showing up late. Nothing says that you’re unreliable more than showing up late for your first interview. If your car breaks down or you need to take care of a suddenly sick child and showing up late for your interview is inevitable, always call as soon as possible and let your interviewer know that you respect his/her time. If you have a good reason for being late and you give your interviewer plenty of heads up, it might not be a deal breaker for getting the job.

By calling in ahead with a reasonable excuse for running late, you’re showing that you’re responsible enough to professionally handle difficult life situations, and you appreciate the interview opportunity. But if you’re late just because you forgot to set your alarm, don’t expect a second chance.

2. Lying on your resume. Some companies routinely call references and research you as a candidate before the interview. If you lied about working at a company or holding a certain position, it won’t be long before your potential employer realizes that you aren’t a trustworthy person and you probably aren’t qualified for the job they hired you to do.

Just keep in mind that touting your transferable skills is very different than outright lying about your work history.

3. Wearing inappropriate clothes for the position. If you’re interviewing for a mechanic position, showing up to the interview in jeans might be just fine. But it’s extremely important to have an understanding of the industry and make sure you’re dressed appropriately. If you’re not sure what’s appropriate interview attire, play it safe and always dress more formal. Click here to see a list of the top 11 interview outfit no-nos.

The Top 11 Things Never to Wear to a Job Interview

It’s the morning of your big job interview, and you’re trying to decide what to wear. You want to be professional yet show your personality. You want to be respected yet comfortable. There are so many choices, it can be a hard decision.

While choosing the perfect outfit can be tricky, here are the top 11 things you should definitely avoid wearing to a job interview.

  1. Jeans with holes or stains. Depending on what sort of position you're interviewing for, jeans might be appropriate. But still make sure they're clean, nice jeans paired with a collared shirt. No paint splatters, tears, or grass stains. And if you’re not 101% sure jeans are appropriate, don’t wear them.
  2. Leggings instead of pants. If you’re wearing leggings to cover your legs while wearing a dress, that’s one thing. But leggings should never be a substitute for pants in a job interview.
  3. Sandals or Crocs. Make sure to wear proper shoes. Opt for a closed-toe conservative dress shoe. Skip the sneakers, sandals, flips flops, and hiking shoes.
  4. Graphic t-shirts. Even though your "I'm with ugly -->" t-shirt is a hit at the bar, it tells your future employer that you aren’t taking the interview seriously, and if they hired you, you probably wouldn’t take your job seriously, either. Your best bet is to choose clothing without large branding or funny messages.
  5. Messy nails. Make sure your hands and nails are clean and trim before the interview. If you paint your nails, be sure that you either touch up your manicure before your interview, or remove the polish altogether. If you’re interviewing for a position in the food industry, dirty fingernails or chipped nail polish can actually be considered a health hazard, which sends the message to your future employer that you don’t even have a basic-level understanding of the industry.
  6. Baseball hats or beanies. This one might seem obvious, but removing your hat for an interview is a basic sign of respect. And if at all possible, don’t wear a hat right before the interview, either, to avoid hat-hair that will make you look silly and unprepared.
  7. Strong smells - even “good” ones. We’ve all had the physically uncomfortable experience of sitting next to a stranger who smells like they took a bath in perfume or cologne. Even nice smells can be offensive and overbearing with the wrong amount applied. And if you’re a smoker, be careful to avoid walking in and smelling like an ashtray.
  8. Your cell phone. Bringing your cell phone into a job interview isn’t a great idea. You should never check your phone or text during the interview, and there’s always the possibility that you’ll forget to silence the ringer. And oftentimes the vibration of “silence” mode is just as distracting and rude as if it were actually ringing. If you drove to the interview, leave your phone in the car.
  9. Any distracting or gaudy piercings or jewelry. If you normally wear large, neon orange ear-gage hoops, consider taking them out for your interview or wearing something more discreet or clear instead. Even though many piercings are still noticeable without jewelry in them, it sends the message to your interviewer that you care about your professional appearance and that you know the difference between personal time and work expectations.
  10. Wrinkled or dirty clothes. You want to send the message that you’re prepared and you would represent the company well - not lazy and just rolled out of bed, or pulled your outfit from the dirty hamper because you forgot about the interview.
  11. A frown. It might sound a little cheesy, but something as simple as wearing a genuine smile and maintaining respectful eye contact goes a long way in an interview. You don’t need to be over-the-top, fake cheerful, but nobody wants to work with someone who’s negative and always in a bad mood.