As a sales recruiter I deal with (would you believe) many salespeople.  And as the old saying goes, “we are always selling something” with the moral of the message being “including ourselves”. 

With this in mind, I am continuously perplexed as to why candidates slide into (what can become) a rant about their current or past employer. 

I’ll be clear on this point.  Don’t do this, it reflects badly on your own personal brand.  It is that simple. And pre-empting your rant with “I don’t want to speak badly about my employer… but” does not make it ok.

When interviewing a salesperson I am looking for your ability to articulate a potentially toxic time in your career and transform this episode into a well-constructed criticism where equal portions of the situation are attributed to more than one influence than your ar%ehole manager.

Like all things, there is an art to communication, and it takes time to develop. 

Prior to meeting with the hiring manager or recruiter, take a moment and be honest with yourself as to why you moved or have been motivated to move on as to be able to communicate this potential negative time as a learning or growth opportunity.  Because every hiring manager leans in to hear your response and gauge your character. 

One thing I know is that in fifteen years of recruitment, no one has sat in front of me and said: “I’m going great, having an amazing time, hitting the budget, making commissions and really want to leave”!  

Ok, so there are many situations where leaving wasn’t a choice but please, think before you speak because this is a golden opportunity to show how you handle a pressure situation well.  If you want some coaching around this topic, I would be happy to speak with you.