I interview a lot of people and I hear a lot fast talking. Here is something that happened recently. I share it so that you won't make the same mistake.
I was interviewing a women talking about her previous jobs. I generally ask the candidate why he/she left each job because I like to know the types of decisions they make and get a feel for where he/she wants his/her career to go. This one woman proudly shared - for two jobs - that the reason she left was that she was not able to do quality work. When I pressed for more information, she said that management decisions compromised her ability to take the time to do her best work.
I think she thought she was communicating to me that she had high standards.
But what she communicated to me is that she was a high maintenance employee.
All companies have rules and practices and sure, half those rules and practices are stupid and counterproductive. We all want to change the world, but be careful about how you answer these questions in job interviews. Think about what an employer is looking for - someone who will provide feedback and share ideas, yes, but also someone who will be a pleasure to work with. Someone who can be successful within our dysfunctional organizations and help improve them without getting on a righteous right/wrong podium.
Other "red flag" answers to, "why did you leave that job," include:
- Conflicts with management
- Personal differences
- No opportunity (if listed more than once, it is likely the person, not the company)
- Mutual agreement
- Advancement (and the next job is an obvious step down)
- New challenge (and they were at that job for less than a year)
Red flags are not always bad, just a prompt to explore the reasons further.