Job Interview Tips: Talking About a Horrible Boss

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Avoid Giving Unnecessary Information

Sara’s situation was a little different. She really did not get along with her boss. After working at her last job for more than two years, Sara was passed over for a promotion. The job was given to Jeff. He only worked at the company for six months before becoming Sara’s manager.

Sara thought she was more qualified for the job than Jeff. Instead of mentioning the flaws she saw in Jeff, Sara should talk about being passed over for the position as briefly as possible and instead focus on the fact that she wanted to find a new challenge elsewhere.

Quick, name a horrible boss you've had (or have). Unless you've yet to hold a job, it's unlikely that you had any trouble bringing a name or two (or three) to mind. Based on Gallup’s "2013 State of the American Workplace" report, 70 percent of the 150,000 employees surveyed disliked their boss. Horrible bosses are such an unfortunate part of our society that loads of movies have been made featuring employees plotting to get revenge on their despicable managers.

Seriously, though, how do you deal with this problem when you're trying to get another job? Even if everything you say is accurate, you can't go into an interview with a potential employer bad-mouthing a previous supervisor. You'll be pegged as a problem they just don't want to deal with. So how do you talk positively about your bad experience?

According to Heather Huhman, writing for, you shouldn’t go into a job interview without thinking about how you’ll talk about your terrible boss. Having a clear plan of how you’ll answer this inevitable question can help you make the right impression in your interview.


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