It may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised at the number of people who get caught out by the interview question ‘what do you think of your current employer?’. Of course, we’re told that honesty is the best policy, but if you have a negative experience with your current employer it’s best to focus the positives and find alternative ways to answer the question.
Just recently, we were given feedback from a client who interviewed one of our candidates.
On paper, this candidate was the perfect fit and therefore the job was his for the taking, all he had to do was ace the interview. During the interview, he was asked, ‘what do you think of your current employer, and what are your reasons for leaving?’ His answer included how much he didn’t like his manager, how there were conflicts between him, the manager and the team as well as generally talking badly about the company. For that reason alone, the client decided that they did not want to hire him. When the client fed back to us, they said they would not hire him due to the conflict with his current employer and the way he talked badly about the company which left them feeling he would be too much of a risk to hire.
Naturally, we fed this back to the candidate and he naively explained how he had good intentions and said he didn’t want to lie about the reasons why he was leaving. Of course, this was a hard lesson learned and one we are sure he won’t repeat at future interviews.
So how should the candidate have answered this question? If the reason you are leaving your current job is because of your manager, it’s always best to focus on you! Turn the question around by saying you’re looking for progression, more opportunities, to feel more valued and to be challenged are just some of the ways you can disguise any conflict between you and your current employer. Focussing on the positives and your professional development is much better than talking negatively about your employer as this only makes you look unprofessional and creates doubt in the mind of your prospective new employer.
It's always easiest to avoid being in that situation with good interview preparation and we have 10 top tips to help you get through the interview and secure the job of your dreams!
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