Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Trash Talk Your Previous Employer in an Interview

You had a bad experience at your last job. Your boss was less than pleasant. The company screwed you out of some severance. You never agreed with their strategic direction.

Sidle up next to you at a bar, and you could rant for hours about that lousy job and the lousy company you worked for. All that may be true. But save the diatribe for happy hour. At a job interview, you should keep the conversation upbeat and positive.

Why? What does it matter what happened to you at a previous employer? Shouldn’t you be honest in the interview?

Yes and no. There’s no need to lie to your interviewers. But there’s equally no reason to go into details and tank the vibe in the room over things that happened in the past. Need more convincing? Here are four good reasons not to trash talk your previous employer in an interview:

You Look Bad Too

It takes two people to have an argument. Imagine you’re in line at Chipotle and the couple in front of you are screaming at each other. Does it matter which one is right? Or do they both look ridiculous?

Keep that in mind as you think about how to talk about your former bosses. However true your complaints are, however “right” you may feel, you still might end up looking petty and disagreeable.

No One Wants Baggage

Think about how you feel when you’re on a first date and your new romantic prospect starts spouting off about their exes. Your prospective employer feels the same way.

They don’t want to help you work through previous trauma. They want a team player who can show flexibility and adaptability. Make sure you present that image.

Interviewers Have an Employer Brand to Protect

The people interviewing you are projecting out into the future. They predict how you will fill the current role, but they also project how you can contribute to future growth. They take glimpses into the far future…and they don’t want you to trash talk them at some point.

In the world of social media and sites like Glassdoor, employers have to worry about their brand, not just with consumers, but with prospective employees as well. Someone prone to speak ill of one employer might do the same for another.

Keep Things Positive

You want good vibes in an interview. You want everyone feeling positive and hopeful. Don’t threaten that mood by purposely bringing up bad memories.

As far as your interviewers are concerned, every one of your previous positions was a positive experience, every challenge was an excellent learning opportunity, every coworker and boss was a friend or mentor, and every situation in your past brought you to the brink of the exciting opportunity you are interviewing for now.

Getting prepared for interviews gets easier when you have the right support system. A top-flight recruiter, like SmartTalent, can prepare you for any situation, as well as put you in ideal placements to advance your career.

Contact SmartTalent today to find out more.

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