The interview seems to be going well, and then the hiring manager asks about your previous job. Can you keep your cool? Are you truly ready to answer the question?
If this question makes you nervous, here are some tips on how to talk about your last job during the interview:
1. Focus on yourself. If you have bad memories of the last company you worked for, you’ll want to stay focused on yourself instead of the company. It’s possible that you really are looking for more challenges, or that you want to focus on your career growth. Don’t ever badmouth the last employer you worked for, as tempting as it might be. You can always state that the company culture didn’t suit you, but avoid elaboration.
Think about how the previous company helped you grow as an employee. What opportunities were you given that helped you become successful, and helped you tackle issues that fit your skills?
2. Be positive. Don’t be bitter about the fact that you left your previous company because of a bad experience. Think of it as a learning opportunity that has helped you grow and be more productive. Evaluate how your last job helped you become a better business professional.
Focus on the lessons that you have learned from your previous job, and take those lessons with you on your career path.
Talk about your accomplishments. What did you accomplish in your last job? Were you able to produce good results for the company? Make a list of both to share with the interviewer. This will make you focus more on the positive aspects of yourself, rather than on your undesirable experience with a prior company.
Tangible results from your working experience can help to prove your credibility. Going over past performance reviews can help.
These tips will guide you at that moment when the interviewer asks about your last job. If it wasn’t a good experience, be positive, focus on yourself, and discuss the most beneficial points to avoid raising red flags and allow for a much more comfortable interview.
Happy job hunting!