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I'm with Richard Mateosian: Tell the truth, but limit the details.
I want to know where potential personality conflicts might arise. I
usually ask candidates questions such as "Tell me about a coworker or
client from whom you had special difficulty getting what you needed" to
try to find out what kinds of personalities the candidate clashes with.
If the candidate describes a person just like me, it's in both of our
best interests not to work together! If a candidate tells me s/he is
leaving the current job because of a personality conflict with the
manager, I'm refreshed by the honesty. I'll follow up with questions
such as, "What steps did you take to try to remedy the situation?" and
"If you could do anything differently in working with your manager, what
would it have been?" I want to know whether the candidate has learned
anything from the experience.
But many hiring managers will NOT want to hear this answer. It's a
crapshoot. There are frequently many reasons why a person seeks a new
job. Perhaps the original poster has more than one, and can share those
that are less sensitive.
I left my last job largely because of a personality conflict with my
manager that we could not resolve. (Some listmembers might remember a
message I posted in late 1996 asking for advice. I had been on the job
for less than a year and I wanted to know whether they would look down
on such a short employment stint.) I chose to tell *different*, but no
less true, reasons. For example, my old position involved a tiny bit of
usability testing. It's great stuff and I wanted to do more. Also, my
growth plans at my previous company would have required a move out of my
home state, which I did not welcome.
> jim grey \ Documentation Manager
> Made2Manage Systems, Inc. \ jgrey -at- made2manage -dot- com