~ ASK THE EXPERTS ~
Questions from Readers of Cynopsis Classified Advantage
Answered by Michael Pollock
Q: On a recent interview, I was asked about my old boss. The problem is, he was a real jerk. Promoted because he was a buddy of a higher up, didn’t know what he was doing, he had problems with anyone who wasn’t a white male, he would get drunk at lunch and return to the office angry and he is the reason I left my last job. What do I say when they ask about him and why I left my previous position? Do I lie?
A: If you are specifically asked about him you should find something vaguely positive to say and then move on to something wonderful that you did while you were in his group. And please, under no circumstances mention anyone’s ethnicity. Your interviewer doesn’t really want to know about your boss, it’s just a way of finding out about you so be aware of that. As to why you left go with something of the order of: I wanted to get more opportunity to do what I do well, or to expand my talents or to work on something that I felt more strongly about. Try and find something to say that is not so much about the job you left, but says more about your own drive and skills and ambition: where you are headed. Don’t forget this is about you and your next job. And they don’t want to hire someone who will complain and badmouth – so stay positive and stick to talking about the value you will bring to them.