In this video, I talk about another 1 of those dumb things that people do on interviews – – criticizing the past.
Here's one of those stupid interview mistakes that people make so often… It's frustrating… I want to shake them. The mistake is criticizing the past.
It can be the lengthy rant about a coworker who would eat your lunch., . It could be the rant that goes "I've been with this firm for 5 years, passed over for one promotion or another and I have had it!" "My boss is an imbecile!" You may say that a more mild-mannered fashion. But what you say still translates into that.
You become super-critical of one thing or another to the point where you just sound like you are a complainer. Some of the sitting opposite you during the interview and you know what's going through their mind? "OK. I would how long it's going to take for this to happen to me? I could have brought cancer into our midst. So I'm going to nod my head for a while, smile and bring this 1 to an end."
Here's what you need to do in order to be effective communicating why you want to change jobs. For example, in the case of feeling passed over, you don't want to focus on the past over part of the story. "I am real good at my work and my firm likes me in this role, but I don't want to spend the next 25 years of my life doing the same thing over and over again. I understand I may have to join this firm and prove myself here in order to demonstrate my abilities. I am looking for an organization where I can learn and grow and get ahead. And, unfortunately, my firm seems content in me doing the same job for the rest of my life. That really isn't for me. Again, I'm willing to demonstrate to you that I'm capable, competent and willing to pay my dues here, but I also want to know that there is an upside."
They know right away that you are looking for promotional opportunities in the future. That isn't a bad thing, right? That's one way to do it.
For the example of the coworker who eats my lunch or the problem coworker… I work with a problem coworker who steal stuff from his colleagues. I have worked with this organization for a long time. After a while, there are some personalities that show up, people don't necessarily behave properly. And, I don't want to come across like I'm a complainer or whiner. I'm not. Yet, when people go to the refrigerator and take my lunch out or, as was in my case, they steal resumes from coworkers and present them to other recruiting firms, there is a problem in the office! When management doesn't want to address it because this person is making sales, eventually, I have to ask myself, 'Who is looking out for me?' That is why I am sitting here." You can come up with your own version of this story.
My boss is an imbecile. Never go down that road. Never ever go down the road of criticizing her boss. It is a losing proposition. You are better off doing the speech about, "I want to join an organization where I can learn and grow and get ahead," rather than being critical of your boss.
Again, you don't want to be criticizing the past. You want to be looking forward and using the example of the problem colleague, "People are people. I'm sure in this organization, if someone were stealing from the firm. This is not something that would be tolerated. I trust that you would handle things in a professional way and look after the people."
This is a very graceful way to wrap that one up.
I hope you found this video helpful.
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves life coaching, as well as executive job search coaching and business life coaching. He is the host of “Job Search Radio” and “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” both available through iTunes and Stitcher.
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