In the course of a typical job interview, questions about your previous employer will come up. If your old job caused you immense frustration, you might find yourself tempted to use those questions as an excuse to rant about the horribleness of your former boss, working environment, colleagues, tasks, and so on.
Succumbing to such temptation would prove a mistake. A prospective employer doesn’t want to hear candidates talk about everything wrong with their old jobs. At the very least, spewing negativity will make you seem like somebody who has trouble letting go of the past and moving on (a vital career skill); at worst, the prospective employer will start to wonder whether you’d spread that pessimistic attitude to their own office.
Even if your previous job was awful, it pays to stay neutral when asked about it in a professional context. Describe your time there as a “learning opportunity” or “filled with challenges.” If you do end up talking about a bad situation, make sure to conclude the story on an upbeat note—how did you finish things in a positive and constructive way?
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