"Be careful what you say about past employers, even in situations where you believe you're just telling the truth. Nearly everyone has experienced the challenge of a bad boss or a volatile team; however, it's how you've dealt with problematic situations that show your true value as an employee," says Smith-Proulx.
She advises clients who face this dilemma to be honest about how or why it didn't work out, but be respectful of former colleagues. "Focus on the upside, rather than on situations you couldn't change. No hiring manager wants to hear about impossible deadlines, negative colleagues or demoralizing work environments, but they do want to find out that you're a resilient, proactive resource who is able to get work done despite difficult circumstances," says Smith-Proulx.
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