From a candidate: How do I deal with a past job experience that was not successful?
Long past are the days when anything negative is forgotten. Your bad experience will be posted and achieve Google’s version of immortality. As a candidate, you must presume this and get in front of any negative reactions.
- Start with a short conversation with the search consultant. Briefly tell your story and seek counsel.
- In the letter of interest, consider a closing paragraph such as “You may have questions concerning my departure from XYZ University. I would be pleased to address them as we move forward in the search process.”
- Including a reference who can speak objectively about the bad experience is also useful. Just make sure the reference will speak factually and positively about you.
- In the interview, look for a way to include the bad experience as part of your response to a question. Answer any questions about bad experiences directly. If no one asks, include a short reference to it in the period allowed for questions and summary statements.
An excellent way to refine your response to is develop a two-minute drill, a concise statement that addresses the issue without speaking ill of anyone. Committed to memory and recited without hesitation, the two-minute drill says “I own the facts. I have honorably dealt with the problem. I’ve moved on and am ready to serve.”