Tag: interviewing

Executive Job Interview Questions: What Didn’t You Like About Your Last Job?

Categorize this question under “trick questions,” because it is meant to tempt you to vent. Double that temptation if your last job was less than wonderful.

Often my new clients share with me that if they are asked this question during an interview, they will openly describe both the good and bad elements of their last company “in the name of honesty.” That’s a slippery slope.

Why You Shouldn’t Share Negative Information About a Previous Employer

You may be the most ethical, wonderful and pleasant professional ever, but unless you are personal friends with the interviewer, he or she has no way of knowing if your comments are “fair and balanced” or if you are a malcontent. Why risk the potentially negative exposure?

The general rule is to never say anything negative about your last job to your prospective employer. Certainly there is a time and a place for such discussions, but it’s generally not during a job interview.

Your job interview is your precious window of time that you won through your commitment to your job search goals. Use this time to focus on your future. A positive attitude and positive comments are extremely important in a job interview. I cannot stress this enough.

What You Can Say About Your Last Job And Keep It Positive

So what do you say when your interviewer asks you the question, “What didn’t you like about your last job?”

Here are some options:

  1. Letting people go. Sometimes it was necessary, but I dislike doing it.
    Have you ever had to fire anyone? This is the best answer you could give. No one likes it (at least the majority of people don’t) and it’s a good benign answer. It’s also short and doesn’t open a can of worms. Also, it would be difficult to over-talk this answer.
  1. Reprimanding team members. Sometimes it’s necessary, but it’s not something I enjoy.
    Never fired anyone? This is another great answer that keeps things clean and simple.
  1. My last job was actually a very positive experience. The only thing I didn’t like was the commute.

These answers are intended to help you breeze past this trick question, so you can invest your window of time on building the value of who you could be to your potential employer.

Job Interview Tips – Why Should I Hire You?


This is the one question that seems to strike fear in the heart of every job seeker. Not only does it put you, the candidate in an uncomfortable position but the tone of the question itself is deliberately provocative.


However, this is one of the easiest questions to answer if you know the right formula!


First, a little preparation.


You want to take whatever job description you have of the position with you into the interview. If you do not have a job description that is OK.  At the beginning of the interview, you want to ask the interviewer to describe the qualities and skills that the company is looking for in a top candidate. Discretely jot down the highlights of whatever they tell you.  By the way, these are your talking points for the rest of the interview.


When the dreaded question arises…why should I hire you, you simply look down at your notes and state back to your interviewer your understanding of the key qualifications. So you would say something like this:


Well as I understand it you are looking for someone who can….


As they nod their head in agreement you add:


Not only do have have many/all of those skills and qualifications, I hope it’s not too forward to share with you that I am really excited about this position!


Alternative positive statements include:


…I really see myself working here.


…I really want this job!


Though this is a simple technique, be sure not to discount the powerful effect it has. You will have to try it out to see its full effect and I promise you it will be a very positive one.


Usually the intent of the interviewer in asking provocative interview questions is to see how you will respond. Will you stammer? Get defensive? Go on and on? So, a smooth, confident and positive answer wins every time!


Use this simple yet powerful technique to help ace your interviews!

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