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Criminal Past, Salary, and More: #cbjobchat Gets Tough On Interviews

Job seeker and employer chattingCareerBuilder continued our monthly #cbjobchat Twitter chat last Monday night (quick plug: It’s the first Monday of every month at 7 p.m. CST)– so if you skipped the trainwreck that was the Real Housewives of New York Reunion Part II, you might have caught it! If you didn’t, do not fear — we’ve recapped the best bits of the chat for you.

This month’s chat was all about tough interview questions. Candidates aren’t strangers to them — those questions that seem to flow effortlessly from an interviewer’s mouth, but that leave candidates themselves speechless, or trailing off into a long, random story about sixth grade camp and s’mores and that cute girl with the pigtails and the camp counselor who told them to never be afraid. Never. Be. Afraid! Wait, now where was I? Ah, yes. Tough or scary interview questions — employers have to deal with them too (just on the other, less scary side). So this past Monday night was the perfect opportunity to merge the two worlds together, to share advice and give everyone the opportunity to learn a little more about the other side’s experience.

For those who aren’t familiar with #cbjobchat, we aim to bring together both job seekers and career experts to discuss today’s most pressing recruitment process questions.When job seekers had questions, you all didn’t hide your feelings. But job seekers had some opinions to share with you as well. Let’s dig in:

Chat Highlights:

Q1: How do you explain an involuntary departure, such as a layoff or firing? Do employers care about a layoff vs. being fired?

The general consensus here was that honesty is the best policy — layoffs have become more commonplace and job departures less stigmatized.

@KaraSingh Be honest. Keep it short and professional. If the hiring manager wants to know more they will ask.

@V167 Honesty is the best policy, but you have to remember to not insult a former boss or job regardless of the outcome.

@MatthewTForrest Seems like the stigma that was once there isn’t there for the most part. Just be honest about your situation.

@ChangePR Agreed. Layoffs are far too common nowadays anyway & honesty is always best policy.

Q2: How should job seekers explain leaving their current job without badmouthing a boss, and still sound sincere?

Experts advised candidates to look forward and stress how they can contribute to their full potential at a new company/in a new role. Recruiters need real reasons, but an employer wants to know what you are looking for in the future. Above all, candidates should not bash a former employer. Diplomacy is the way to go.

@mtATL Be positive about your old job, but focus on the direction you are looking to go. No need for badmouthing.

@michaelranaii If you badmouth your old company, who’s to say you won’t bad mouth ‘this company’?

@KaraSingh Say you’re looking for a position that will challenge you to your full potential.

All about the application process

Amy K. McDonnell

About Amy K. McDonnell

Originally hailing from Ohio, Amy is the editorial manager on the content services team and has been with both CareerBuilder and the city of Chicago for nearly a decade. She writes on a range of recruitment topics on The Hiring Site, striving to bring a dose of clarity and humor to sometimes complicated issues around employee attraction, engagement and retention. When she's not working, Amy spends as much time as possible reading, pretending to be a chef, writing short stories, eating Nutella out of the jar, waiting for CTA buses and trains, going to see her favorite bands live, and spending time with people who inspire and challenge her.
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