Have you ever been in a job interview where you were asked about a bad past experience? Wonder how to answer your interview correctly? In situations like this, we typically like to avoid speaking about the subject to begin with. We automatically want to change the subject or answer with the most generic response to smooth over the situation. Keep in mind, there is always a chance that your interviewer has spoken to someone in your past or has caught wind about your previous experiences.
Whether it was a professional or personal experience that now affects your hirability, it’s important to know how to speak to the hiring manager about your past. Though it may not be brought up during your interview process, the way you approach the matter could greatly affect your chances at landing the job.
Here are a few of our tips on how to gracefully overcome talking about your problematic experiences.
Be Honest About Your Experience but Not Too Honest
Share your truth. Give the hiring manager an overview about what happened from your perspective. Only share enough for the interviewer to understand the situation. Talk about how you overcame the situation, what you learned, and your honest feedback. In return, by doing so, your interviewer has the first hand opportunity to see how you handle challenging situations.
Avoid Using Negativity
It’s unnecessary to use a sour tone of voice when speaking about the situation or previous place of employment. Not only does this place you in a bad light, it will cause the hiring manager to believe that working with you could become problematic. Do your best to speak about your experience in a professional manner. This will ensure that you are leaving the interview with a clearer and stronger impression.
Always Find the Positive From The Bad
Do your best to add something positive. Though it can be difficult to find something good from a bad experience, focus on what you’ve gained from the situation and how you grew. Speak about what you have learned and how you will apply it going forward or how it was an opportunity for you to add to your skill set. This demonstrates that though your experience was flawed, you were still able to find a silver lining and benefitted from it.
Talk About Your Other Experiences
After you’ve touched base on your past experience with your previous employer, move on from the topic. Place a heavy emphasis on your career or positive experiences you have had to highlight why you are best suited for the position in spite of the situation.