Get advice on how to deal with jerks at work Check out the book 'Jerks At Work' and other titles by Ken Lloyd Ph.D. Return to the homepage Learn more about Ken Lloyd, Ph.D. Submit a question to Ken Lloyd, Ph.D.

You asked, Ken answers ...

This item is filed under these categories:
Bullies Job Interviews Finding a Job

I am looking for another job because of my manager. He is an uncommunicative, over-controlling, micromanager. Everyone who reports to him cannot stand him. I have been told that it is not a good idea to speak negatively about your manager during a job interview, but he is the only thing I don't like about this job. What should I say when asked why I am leaving this job?

You are correct in assuming that if you destroy your manager during a job interview, you are likely to simultaneously destroy your chances of getting the job. The likelihood of this outcome increases dramatically if you trash more than one previous manager in the interview.

When the interviewer asks you the inevitable question as to why you are thinking about changing jobs, you should be honest, but not brutally honest. After all, brutal honesty often means little more than inappropriate and often insulting frankness. As a result, do not jump all over your boss or label him as uncommunicative or anything else. It will do you no good to say that everyone dislikes him. That merely cheapens you.

You will fare far better if you say take the negative aspects of his managerial style and turn them into what you seek in a job. Using this approach, you would say that you are leaving because you are interested in a position that offers more autonomy, independence, and opportunities to be heard. When it comes to job interviews, a positive approach increases the chances of a positive outcome.

Comment on this item

Your name (optional)
If you leave this blank, we'll list you as "Website visitor"

Your comments
Please keep your comments focused on the topic. Thanks!