Keep the trash where it belongs!

If you’ve had a nightmare experience at your last job, don’t let previous work woes sabotage your future prospects. Chips on your shoulder the size of Texas are going to be obvious when interviewers ask, “Why did you leave your last job?” or “What would your previous boss have to say about you?” If your answer goes something like; “they were spawns of an evil empire whose sole purpose was to target me for annihilation” then you probably won’t come across vey well…

I once did a mock interview with a former client who proceeded to rant about his former employer. When I discussed the negative consequences of this dialogue, he replied that he thought it would show a prospective employer that he thought their company was better. This was definitely an unusual way of looking at it! I reminded him that when faced with a rant, most employers think the following:

  1. Will this person bring this kind of negativity into my company?
  2. If they can’t control their emotions now, how will they be on the job?
  3. Will they trash talk me when my back is turned?

 At the same time, you don’t want to avoid the question altogether since that will also give off “red flags.” The best way to handle such a question is with class and tact. Don’t go into the details, take ownership for mistakes and show you’re open and willing to move on.

 For example, you can simply say: “It wasn’t a good fit”

 If interviewers press you for details, you can maybe mention a difference in “core values”

 Then instead of leaving it in such a way that the employer is unsure what you mean, tie it into their “core values” (which is often found on company websites under mission, vision and values) and explain how you believe that their values are a better match.

 This type of answer does one of two things:

  1. It takes a negative and turns it positive
  2. It shows that you understand and believe in their culture

 Now kick that trash to the curb and move on to bigger and better things!



Elaine Logie is a student of the Career Consultant Certificate Program and blogger for MCACESBlogs. MCACESBlogs is a series of posts created for job seekers and their peers by students of the Career Consultant Certificate Program at Mohawk College. Like what you see? Be sure to follow our blog today! The MCACES Employment Advisement Program is also on Pinterest! Follow us!


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