Don’t badmouth your co-workers
Freddie Prinze, Jr., who you may know from She’s All That and Scooby Doo, has recently been in the press for badmouthing his former 24 co-star Kiefer Sutherland. Prinze called Sutherland “the most unprofessional dude in the world” and said that working with him almost made him quit Hollywood.
Prinze’s comments certainly didn’t help Sutherland’s reputation, but they also may have hurt Prinze by making him seem spiteful and opportunistic. This article discusses why that Prinze was wrong to complain about Sutherland and how job seekers could learn from this story when discussing their previous jobs:
The article criticizes Prinze for the timing of his comments: he worked with Sutherland over five years ago, so why badmouth him now? Perhaps because Prinze is promoting his new project, which calls into question the sincerity of Prinze’s comments: is he insulting his former co-worker to get more press for himself?
Making Prinze come off even worse is the polite response that Sutherland’s representative issued: it stated that Sutherland “enjoyed working with Freddie and wishes him the best.” The politeness and positivity of Sutherland’s response stands in stark contrast to the aggressive, disparaging tone of Prinze’s remarks.
In job interviews, we should try to refrain from bashing the people we worked with. I’m sure that most of us have dealt with horrible bosses or co-workers. But when we complain about them in job interviews, our interviewers might think that we’re just whiners who set out to blame other people for our own shortcomings.
Complaining about your bosses or co-workers during an interview brings up another concern: if you’re complaining about the people in your previous job, it stands to reason that you’ll complain about the people in your next job. And companies don’t want employees who complain about their bosses and co-workers:
…people who complain vociferously about their last bosses are likely to complain vociferously about their next bosses. Because the person sitting across from you in an interview wants to make his life easier instead of harder, he’s less likely to take a chance on hiring you.
So what do you say in a job interview if you had problems with the people you worked with? The article advises its readers to stay positive, resist the temptation of blaming others, and admit your own faults. It also advises readers not to make disparaging comments about their jobs online, as this reporter did.