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In a job interview, you would expect the hiring manager to have a clear idea of the roles and responsibilities of the position for which she's interviewing candidates.

But that's not always the case. A new survey found that 43 per cent of workers surveyed said the job they accepted was different than the position outlined to them during their interview.

The survey, commissioned by Menlo Park, Calif.-based staffing agency Robert Half, discovered that of those people who found themselves fooled, 74 per cent said the job duties were not as described, 44 per cent said the corporate culture wasn't as advertised, and 32 per cent said the job hours didn't match up. Respondents could give multiple answers.

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Younger workers feel this happens to them more often. Fifty-five per cent of workers between 18 to 34 said they've had a job that fell short, while only 34 per cent of workers 55 to 64 said they've been led astray by a new position. Nearly 400 Canadians were questioned for the survey, which was conducted in both Canada and the U.S.

So what can you do to prevent this from happening? Raffi Toughlouian, a branch manager of Accountemps in Toronto, a unit of Robert Half, said job seekers need to know as much as they can about a company prior to an interview or accepting a job.

"Professionals should keep in mind that the interview is a chance for them to assess if the role is one they would enjoy," he said. "Thorough preparation helps job seekers ask the right questions to determine if the opportunity is a good fit."

A recent survey by Accountemps found that 36 per cent of managers said knowing little about a company is one of the most common mistakes made by job seekers during interviews.

Before a job interview, you should at least look at the company's website and do some research online beforehand. In addition, you can contact people in your network about the company or look on social media channels to find out more about what a company is really like, Mr. Toughlouian said.

If you start a new job and find yourself fooled, don't just quit, he said. "Before throwing in the towel, employees who find themselves in this situation should first see if they can work through the challenges by requesting a meeting with their manager," he said.

"Together, they can review the job description as it was discussed in the interview process, as well as the employees' goals and expectations of the role and how they differ – there could be potential changes that can be made to not only ensure the role is fulfilled but that the employee is also getting what they want out of the job."

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But you need to plan ahead for a meeting like this – and keep calm – while articulating what's wrong and how it can be fixed.

"Many times, professionals don't address things that are bothering them at work and that ends up damaging their morale and making the situation worse," he said.

If all else fails, then it's time to look for a new job that's more in line with your goals.

Hiring managers must help potential hires understand the workplace culture and the role itself, including describing an average day in that job, Mr. Toughlouian said.

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About the Author
Assistant Editor, Globe Investor

Gillian Livingston started her journalism career at The Gazette at Western University. She's worked for The Financial Post, Dow Jones Newswires and The Canadian Press as a reporter for news, business, markets and Ontario politics. More


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