A very common part of any job interview is the point where you walk the hiring manager through your work history. Many people do this incorrectly - and it costs them the job. Without even realizing it, they reveal their weaknesses to the employer.

It's Your Reason For Leaving They Care About Most

The reason hiring managers ask you to take them through your employment journey is to hear your explanation of why you left each of your previous roles. They're looking for patterns. Specifically, whether or not you blame the employer or a coworker for your departure. There's a difference between running away from something and running towards something. Explaining why you needed to run away from one bad job after another makes hiring managers question your ability to:

A) choose jobs that play to your strengths.

B) effectively handle criticism and challenges on the job.

On the flip side, when you explain how each job made you a better professional and sparked your desire to seek other opportunities to help you become more valuable to employers, you show confidence and a true understanding of what being an employee is all about. Companies pay you to do a job. You're a business-of-one who should be striving to offer the best return on the investment in hiring you. When you can show your work history as a positive progression of you driving your own professional growth, employers get excited about your ability to meet and exceed their expectations. 

P.S. Even Jobs That Ended Badly Need A Happy Ending. Here's Why...

Sometimes our work history includes jobs that weren't a good fit. Maybe you had a toxic boss. Or, perhaps the work environment was unbearable. If you ended up quitting, you may think it's impossible to explain. But, it's not. While you may not have enjoyed the experience, it did teach you something valuable about what you need to succeed on the job. Effectively explaining what you learned and how you plan to apply it going forward is a great way to turn this situation around from a negative one to a positive. Remember, hiring managers are paying attention to how you describe your former employers. If you are negative, then they know you could someday say the same thing about them. Learning to articulate every step in your work history as something valuable is the smartest answer you can give!

Published on: Dec 11, 2018