Interviews and Selections

Interview - Criticizing Previous Organization

The negativity of any form in an interview can be construed as bitterness, particularly when it is aimed at a former employer. If you must describe a negative experience such as a lay-off or a conflict, do so by stressing the positive.

Do not say that you have never been criticized at work, as this sounds as if you are bragging (or saying you are perfect).

If you feel that you have never been criticized, dig deeper. Nobody’s perfect. If you don’t have much work experience yet, reach back to school projects, volunteering gigs, or extracurricular group activities.

Whatever you do, do not make up a story when answering “Can you describe a time when your work was criticized?” Hiring managers can sniff out lies and exaggerations. Do not make the mistake of going into excessive detail about any work slip-ups—instead, focus on your positive reaction to criticism.

Do not talk about whether the person who criticized you was in a position to offer that criticism. Don’t disparage anyone with your response, including yourself.

When asked about a bad employer, you should be honest, but not go overboard. Having only positive experiences with employers is not realistic, and there’s nothing wrong with talking about it in an objective, non-emotional way.

For instance, Liz got along with her boss almost all the time. However, she did not like how work schedules were chosen. In an interview, Liz could talk about how much she loved her last job and employer but didn’t care for the short notice given when her upcoming work schedule came out. This shows that she can talk about a problem in a respectful way, rather than complaining about how her boss ruined her life.

  Zeynep Ogkal

  Tuesday, 26 Nov 2019       725 Views