After sending your job application to your dream company and waiting for days, finally a recruiter calls to invite you for an interview. With mixed feelings of both enthusiasm and anticipation, you are preparing yourself physically and mentally to face the interview session. Most interview tips found on the internet merely talking about how you should demonstrate eagerness  to join the company, the reasons why you apply for the jobs, as well as what makes you the best fit candidate for the position.

However, it is duly noted that while the hiring managers want to see your passion and potentials for the future job role, they might want to dig up your past employment, too.

There is no doubt that having a good track record in your employment history is beneficial for candidates. Recruiters often throw several questions regarding the candidate’s previous career to assess their suitability with the job offered. From the candidate’s answers, hiring managers can learn about their past behaviour and commitment towards the job, as well as predict their attitude and response towards particular circumstances if accepted.

Some people leave their jobs peacefully as they are simply encouraged to seek for better opportunity in other company. Some others might leave in less good smooth process due to a conflict or issue with their previous employer. Meanwhile, an interview is the time where you should emit positive energy instead of the negative ones. No matter how much you resent your previous job, you should not let such negativity stay on your mind. Telling bad things about your past employer will not make you look any better. Instead, your future managers will think that you are being disrespectful to your old boss. And thus, this will affect how they see your candidacy.

To prepare the right answer when asked about your past experiences, check the following list of most common questions related to previous job:

Why do you leave your job?

This question is meant to gauge your commitment at work. While the truth might say that you leave your job because you hate your demanding boss or toxic environment or even that you are fired for some reasons, you should not express it bluntly. Avoid using negative tones and choose more neutral words to share your reasons. For example, you can say that while actually you love the job, you believe that you will have better opportunity to make use your knowledge and skills in this company. You can say that all you expect to find better career path which you might not get in the previous job.

What do you learn from your previous job?

Recruiters want to see how candidates grab the opportunity to achieve personal development as well as their willingness to learn through this question. By knowing the interviewee’s capabilities, this question will help hiring managers see the candidates’ future potentials when offered the job at the company. To tackle this query, you can mention about both technical and soft skills you have gained from the previous job, while emphasising how those experiences have shaped your character.

Tell me the challenge and conflict you have faced in the previous job

This question aims to reveal your ‘survival’ skills at work, such as your attitude towards challenge, your mentality when dealing with problems and challenges, as well as how you handle pressure in a job. At this point, you do not need to exaggerate the answer to make it sound great or dramatic. The most important thing is that you just have to explain the actual problem, how it affects you, then how you solve and learn from it to do better.

How did your previous boss and your coworkers describe you?

The recruiter needs to know how you manage good relationship at work and adapt with the working environment. While actually you might not know exactly how your previous boss and coworkers see you as an individual, you can try to deter this question by praising your colleagues instead. For example, you can tell the hiring manager that they have solid teamwork and you are able to form good relationship with them. In the end you can say how you appreciate them and you believe that they appreciate you the same way.

Read also: Competing with a Friend: What to Do When You and Coworker Aim for the Same Promotion

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