“So, why are you looking to work for a new company?”
“I had to get out of there; my boss was the worst.”
“We never saw eye to eye.”
“My boss was so out of touch with the staff; it was hard to deal with them.”
True or not, statements like these do not belong in a job interview.
In part three of Mandy Zaransky’s, Ragan Communications’ chief marketing officer, top five tips for a successful interview, she discusses why negativity should not make an appearance in an interview.
This brings us to the third of her “Four P’s” for interview success: Stay positive.
“Looking for a job is very much like dating,” Zaransky says. “You always want the second date as an option. Let the choice to move forward be your choice. Woo and wow them, and then decide if it is the right fit for you.”
Nobody wants to spend a first date hearing about how horrible your ex was; it is unlikely that would lead to a second date.
The same holds true for a job interview. Interviewers want to hear what makes you the best candidate for the position, not about your poor professional relationship with a current or former employer.
This made CareerBuilder’s list of “10 tough practice questions—and sample responses—to nail your next biginterview.”
The piece echoes Zaransky’s position, reinforcing that you should focus on your aspirations and what you bring to the table. Discuss what you’ve learned from past experiences and why they make you a prime candidate for the potential position.
When responding to the question, “Why did you leave your last job?” it suggests replying:
“While [company X] provided me a tremendous amount of experience for which I am grateful, it isn’t an ideal fit for me creatively. My experiences have taught me what to look for in my next role so it would be a better fit.”
It can be tempting to express displeasure for a current or former job as a reason for applying to the position, but it’s not a good idea. A job interview is no place to air your dirty laundry.
“Keep your conversation positive, and talk about why the specific job is of interest. Highlight your skills and how they make you a good fit for the role,” Zaransky says. “Discuss what experiences of yours mesh with the job description, not why you want to get away from your current or former job.”
If you’re a qualified candidate, sell your strengths; don’t dwell on the past.
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Ready to put your positive interview prowess to the test? Instagram seeks a communications manager in Australia.
It summarizes the position:
The ideal candidate is a creative and strategic thinker with strong experience in developing and executing high-profile communication programs in multiple countries. This role requires excellent communication skills and the ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment. The individual will work on communications campaigns to reach a wide range of audiences and stakeholders, including consumer and industry press, as well as business and tech influencers. Candidates should demonstrate an ability to work cross-functionally, lead proactive and reactive communications programs with tangible results, and have excellent media relations skills.
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