How To Discuss a Negative Experience During an Interview

When interviewing, you may be asked about a negative experience or a problem you had at your last job. You could be asked about an issue with co-workers or a time when you had trouble with a boss.

Answering these questions and recounting “negative” experiences is challenging. You never want to bad-mouth anyone or come across as being a negative person – so how can you answer the question?

  • Focus on the positive. When you’re asked to recount a negative experience, avoid saying anything negative about your former co-workers or company. Instead, briefly explain a past problem in factual terms without criticizing. Focus on the positives of the experience, like how the problem was ultimately solved.
  • Explain what you learned. Every negative experience provides you with an opportunity to learn something. From how to communicate more clearly to how to work effectively with people who have differing perspectives, there is always a helpful lesson from any conflict or workplace issue. When you describe the experience, explain how you came away from it as a stronger employee who will do better going forward.
  • Avoid saying anything negative at all unless you’re specifically asked. If you’re asked about past problems, you need to answer the question. But, if you are asked something neutral – like why you left your last job – don’t say anything negative at all. State you were looking for opportunities the job could not provide. Bad-mouthing your past company or boss is likely to make the hiring manager wonder if you might be the problem and worry about what you might say about their company in the future.

High Profile can help you land a job interview with top companies in Dallas, Fort Worth or surrounding areas so you can impress the hiring manager and get hired. To find out more about how our staffing service can help you to land a great new position, give us a call at 972-991-7900 or contact us online.

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