4 ways to describe your old job in an interview for a new job

Since the dawn of the job interview, potential employers have wanted to know employee histories. Whether it’s your previous arson charges or how much you enjoyed your old job – you can’t run from the past. The reason for this, we all assume, is to determine your experience. However, the way you answer can reveal a lot about your work ethic, attitude and personality.

Think about it. Unless your interviewer is from ego-mad, draconian villain – he/she probably doesn’t want to hear a tirade about how glad you are to rid that old job from your life. You should use this inevitable question as a chance to show positive qualities while selling yourself for the job.

Here are four things to bring up about your old job when interviewing for a new, better job.

1. Your responsibilities 

Okay, so what the interviewers don’t want you to do is rifle through your bag and pull out a comically long scroll with every single task you ever completed on it. It’s important to talk about all the ones that relate to this new job. Find tidy correlations between the old and the new but don’t make it sound rehearsed – please!

2. The biggest challenges you faced

Say: “Putting my socks on in the morning”, pause for laughter and then start spinning a yarn about a real life situation where you had to put your grown-up skills to the test. Maybe a deadline got moved and you had to roll with the punches. The best thing you can do is describe the challenge in a metric that makes it sound as impressive as possible.

3. Your least favourite part of the job

With any question that’s centred on the negative it’s crucial to be diplomatic and respectful. Be careful about what you talk about as well. Speaking about strict hours, for example, makes it seem like you can’t be punctual when you need to be.

4. Whether you liked the people

People who like liking things are likeable. Take a minute to wrap your head around that. Above all, the impression you want to make in a job interview is that of a person who is good to be around. By describing the people from your old job with affection, you come across as friendly and likeable. Just don’t over-do it.