We all know that for one reason or another, we don’t always use our previous employers as a reference on our resume or job applications. Honestly I have never asked this question myself because I already know how the answer is going to play out and it really doesn’t matter to me.
In my opinion, written references can say whatever they need to so they make you look good – otherwise you wouldn’t be presenting them. Many employers offer a raving reference letter upon termination to help you get another job – but the fact is a lot of it might be untrue or trumped up.
Sorry ladies! But this is just what I have seen in my experience when I have dealt with poor employees with incredible references. So I always read them, but I like to learn what I can in the interview myself rather than focus on this question – however, if the question does arise you must be prepared!
You don’t want to come unstuck on any of the questions that might be thrown your way.
It’s key to never put down any previous employers or their business. This goes to your character and values. Don’t go in to too much detail here, but also don’t just leave them with something awful like “Because” or “I put forward my best references”. Best to be honest so they don’t go phoning for a verbal reference to find out some sticky details you don’t need them to know.
E.g. I learnt a lot from working in my last job, but unfortunately it wasn’t the right fit for me. I don’t just want a job, somewhere to go every day and just work. I want a career and I want to live and not feel like I am “working”. I didn’t find that at my last job so it was time to move on. When I think of a reference, I want to display who I am in my job and life and not display somewhere where the relationship wasn’t the right fit, so I didn’t ask for a reference from my employer when I moved on.
Being honest and straight forward without shooting yourself in the foot is going to get you a lot further than if you lie. Let your true self shine, and your interviewer will see just how awesome you really are!