Interviews can be nerve wracking, especially as you think about sharing your experiences with a potential employer. You are meeting someone new and trying to sell your skills and experience to them for a role – it’s a lot to take on! And, it can be even more challenging if you’ve had a negative experience in your job history that you may have to address in the interview.
A popular interview question is often to speak to a challenging time you’ve faced in your professional experience. While this can seem like a difficult question, in today’s blog, we’re breaking down how to put a positive spin on a negative experience.
1. Don’t get too specific.
While your negative experience is important to you, consider what details actually need to be shared in an interview setting. Avoid mentioning specific names. You don’t want to give the impression that you are “bashing” a former employer, so as you share your experience be sure to keep it high-level and share how it affected you specifically. Think about outlining how it challenged you, rather than sharing every detail of what might have happened.
Always be sure to accurately convey what happened, but don’t feel the need to overshare in an interview setting.
2. Focus on what you learned.
The things that challenge us often teach us some of the biggest lessons. So, when you speak to a difficult experience in a professional setting, be sure to share actionable takeaways that you learned from the experience. Perhaps a challenging experience with a supervisor taught you the importance of strong communication skills, or a difficult experience with a client helped you understand the importance of outlining exact roles and responsibilities in an agreement.
Showing how you have navigated the challenging experience and sharing what you’ve learned demonstrates your ability to proactively and professionally move through difficult situations.
Interviews can be intimidating, so we always recommend thinking ahead about what questions you might be asked and preparing accordingly. You can follow our social media pages and keep reading our blog for more interview tips and best practices!