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Finding a Job Job Interviews Complaints Honesty Criticism

I worked for 16 months in customer service at a company that had “quality control” techs monitoring incoming calls. They made no mention of all the times the customers praised our work, but they quantified the negative comments. The company fired many employees for ridiculous reasons, and then asked the rest of us to work overtime every day. How should I describe 16 months of torture to a potential employer without sounding overly negative?

The best way handle this experience with a potential employer is to think about the difference between whining, moaning, and griping, as opposed to discussing, explaining, and suggesting.

When it is time to discuss an outrageous employer, you should keep your content and demeanor businesslike, and you should focus on specific examples of the kinds of behaviors that you felt were problematic. You should not dwell on this past experience, but you can certainly phrase it to your advantage. Let the interviewer see that you are a smart, fair, and decisive individual who endured a difficult situation as long as possible, and then made a totally reasonable decision to leave. After all, enduring this situation for 16 months shows that you are not a quitter.

However, if all of your previous employers were torturous experiences, and you have serious complaints about them, then a potential employer is more likely to think that you are more of a problem than these employers. If it is just this single previous employer, a potential employer is not likely to disparage your potential.

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