Now for a couple of things to not do – check them out!
I’ve been interviewed for a position and I’ve been the interviewee for a position. I’ve personally experienced both of these mistakes – witnessing them as the person wanting to hire someone and once wanting to be hired.
The mistakes are simple and easy to do. Consequently, they should be easy to prevent:
- Never criticize your current or previous managers
- Never criticize your team or work in your current position
When I was interviewing for a position at a different company, I told one of my (thousands) of people interviewing me that one of the reasons I was interviewing was because my manager was over a thousand miles away and rarely talked with me about what I was working on for him. That one statement was construed as criticism of my manager (which, innocently, it was). That one statement ended up being the reason I wasn’t hired. I know this because I had someone on the inside of that company who told me that was the reason.
It was hardly a condemnation speech and it lasted less than 30-seconds in a four hour interview. It cost me a position. I probably would not even be here in Seattle-land today if I had gotten that position because the company was headquartered in Chicago-land.
Another time I was doing the interview and looking for someone to really help out in the company I was working for at the time. I was interviewing this person who was from a different company that I had previously worked for and I understood most of what was going on at the former company.
The person spent at least a half hour complaining about the previous company/department/management – but never told me why she would be of value for my work at my company. And I really wanted her to – but she didn’t get the job just because of the complaining.
The lesson is simple – never complain about your manager or your current work. There is no percentage in it. Even though one of the major motivations for looking for a new position is from poor managers and boring work.