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One of the most fundamental pieces of interview advice is ''Don't speak negatively about your current job or employer during an interview?it's the kiss of death.'' I have found that this wisdom, by itself, often falls short on a practical level.
When helping my candidates prepare for interviews, I routinely get asked questions to this effect:
"The fact that the partner I work for is certifiably insane is the only reason I'm looking to move, but if they ask why I'm leaving, I know I'm not supposed to bad-mouth my current employer because it reflects poorly on me. If I lie and say I'm happy, they'll question my sincerity because, after all, I'm on an interview, so there must be a reason I'm considering leaving. What do I do?"
This is a very common dilemma. Indeed, if you are interviewing for a new position because your existing employment situation is bad—due to no fault of your own—the situation forces you to walk a very delicate and uncomfortable tightrope.
Many candidates bomb interviews because they do not know how to respond to the "Why are you leaving your firm?" question. They either speak too negatively about their current firms (and turn off their interviewers), or they fail to effectively communicate their reasons for seeking new opportunities (out of fear of committing blunders by speaking negatively about their current firms). Neither of these approaches is likely to yield successful results.
This article shares an easy-to-follow four-step process that will help you express your concerns about your current employer without being seen as somebody who committed the "interview kiss of death."