Interview Tips: How To Answer Positively About Leaving A Bad Employer

It's okay to dislike your last boss. Bad managers are out there and interviewers, like any other human, understand. What they want to know is how you handle challenging situations, so how do you make a bad experience look good for you?




Here are 5 interview tips on how to answer positively about a bad employer:

  1. Decide on your reason is for leaving: Even if there was multiple negative aspects about your last job decide on one reason and stick to it. You don't want to look like everything was against you. They might think the common problem of each scenario was you. One reason is enough to focus on and prepare for.

  2. Keep it short and simple - A safe approach is to talk about your reason for leaving your last job without being negative is to say that it just wasn’t the right fit. If the reason for leaving is your employer, the safest approach is to answer in as few words as possible.

  3. Come up with a clear plan for your interview answer - Prepare your answer so you can respond if your interviewer digs deeper. What they care about most is how you handle tricky situations. The tone and delivery of this information is vital, so smile to avoid any negativity or bitterness seeping in.

  4. Be positive - You can talk briefly about some of the issues but follow this up with the good aspects or what you learned from the situation. Remember, hiring managers understand that bad managers do exist, but how you handle your feedback on this in interviews says a lot about how you handle difficult situations.

  5. Be honest - Always answer your interview questions truthfully. Nothing turns off an interviewer more than catching a candidate in a lie. Everyone makes mistakes. Owning up to something you've done in the past will show that you've learnt from it, you are transparent and you can be trusted - which is something every company is looking for. If you are scared about what a previous boss might say, you can offer more than one reference so an interviewer can gain perspective on the whole experience and what type of worker you are.


Clearview founder, Jane Downes, advises to always maintain absolute professionalism right until the last day when leaving a role to ensure your employer has no reason to give you a bad reference. If you are scared about what a previous boss might say, you can always offer more than one reference so an interviewer can gain perspective on the whole experience and what type of worker you are. You can read the full article with Silicon Republic here.


Jane and her team at Clearview are recognised as ‘Go-To’ leaders in Interview coaching preparation. Contact them today to see how they can help with your interview process.