"It's not easy to interview you. I don't know you. You come with your own set of challenges. So, if I seem defensive, I am."
Interviewing people for jobs is no easy peasy deal. It's tough or tougher than being on your side of the table. Mistakes in hiring cost companies millions every year. They invest in their people and when that investment fails, well, money down the drain and back to the drawing board.
Being prepared on your end is a great help. But here is what your interviewer really wants to know.
1. What was your boss's name? Please spell the name for me.
2. Tell me about (their name) as a boss. What was he/she like?
3. What's something you could have done, or done differently, to enhance your working relationship with (their name)?
4. When I talk to (their name), what will he or she tell me your strengths are?
5. Now all people have areas where they can improve, so when I talk to (their name), what will he or she tell me your weaknesses are?
(These questions come from a great new-ish book entitled Hiring for Attitude by Mark Murphy (c. 2017 McGraw Hill)
These are basic. You may have a lovely smile, great clothes, and hair that movie stars envy, but the interviewer wants to know what your previous boss will have to say about you, especially your weaknesses. Can you handle it?
Here are some ways to strategically talk about your bad boss:
- Be completely honest. Lying will only create more issues.
- information. Don't tell all, just the basics.
- Turn the negative into a positive. Every cloud has a silver lining. Tell the interviewer your positive experiences about the negative situation.
- Remember what you enjoyed. Not everything about the last job, or boss, was bad, right? So emphasize the best parts.
- Say what you’re looking for instead. After briefly sharing about the previous boss and conditions, move on to what you want for the future.