Letting go of the negative – what not to say in an interview

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We’ve all done it…

It’s one of the most common errors made by candidates in an interview – making a disparaging remark about the supervisor or company they are leaving or have recently left.

If you don’t have something nice to say

Joe had a great resume and called about a new management opening with one of my favorite clients. During our phone frustrated man holding his head in his hands at his deskscreen, I asked him about his background. For the next 20 minutes, Joe railed about his supervisor and his current company: “My boss is toxic. He has no idea how to supervise. The executive team has no idea how to run a business. I just can’t stand working there. They don’t know how lucky they are to have me.”

He went on and on. It was a real challenge to get him back on topic to discuss his skills and background, but unfortunately, I was so affected by his negativity that nothing he said impressed me enough to send him on to interview with my client. And for all I know, Joe Negative may still be looking for his next job.

Don’t miss an opportunity

Joe, like many great candidates, missed a wonderful job opportunity because of anger and frustration with a current employment situation.

For you to be successful in your job search, you must take the time to “get ready” to interview. Getting ready means taking some quality, reflective time to decompress from your current or past job stresses and let go of your negative feelings to put things into perspective so you can present your work experience professionally and positively, without going into a negative tirade.

The less negative talk the better

All of your interviewers have probably worked with a difficult boss or company at one time or another. Most savvy interviewers can read between the lines anyway and will respect you for your professionalism and not saying anything derogatory about your current or past employers.

Make the most of your time in your interview, focus on why you are the most qualified person for the job rather than wasting your time complaining about your previous employers.


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