As my experience grew, and I would get better and better jobs, I started to notice that the tenor of interviews was getting uncomfortable. At first, the interviewer would ask the same generic questions that I had been used to, and I would be able to answer with no problems or hesitation.
Eventually, the manager would start to ask me about my old job and my feelings towards my old employer. Since I had a couple of jobs under my belt already, and because I was so full of myself, I would let loose about every perceived problem that I had ever faced at my previous employer. I would also let them know what my solutions were. I was constantly surprised every time I got a letter saying they were going to go in a, “different direction”. It took me many times before I learned a couple of things about the interview process.
The interviewer wants you to be honest, but when they are asking about your past employment, they are less interested in the truth as they are in doing a little “weeding” of prospective employees. When an employer has one job to fill and fifty people wanting to do it, they usually go through a process of elimination. They will look for any reason to move on to the next applicant until there are no others. An applicant that spends a lot of time complaining about their past employment is prime pickings to be move on from.
We all know that your previous employment was not desireable. In all my years of hiring people, I have never considered that I was interviewing somebody who loved their current employer. I always figured that was why they were looking for a job in the first place! You are probably working for minimum wage, you do very hard, very unglamourous work, and you are probably working for a real tool. The person who is interviewing you knows this already. They already went through it as well.
What follows is one of the most important truths you will ever learn about getting a new job, so listen well:
NOBODY CARES ABOUT YOUR PROBLEMS
WITH YOUR PREVIOUS EMPLOYER!
NOBODY CARES ABOUT HOW YOU WERE
MISUNDERSTOOD BY THEM, OR HOW
YOU WERE THE BEST EMPLOYEE BUT YOUR
BOSS WAS A COMPLETE TOOL!
From an employer’s point of view, any prospective employee who is willing to complain about these things to someone they have just met, and who, quite probably will be as bad or worse, (because they are willing to offer that extra quarter an hour) is just too much trouble to worry about trying to fix. It’s just quicker and easier to move on to the next one and maybe get someone with less of an ego to have to overcome.