There are a lot of reasons you shouldn’t trash former employers in interviews. But one TechRepublic member asked if you should tell a recruiter when your company may actually be doing something illegal.


I wrote a blog this week about why you shouldn’t trash a previous employer in interviews. The blog prompted a TechRepublic member to ask me this question: What if your employer is not doing the right thing, and you want to leave because of dodgy practices?

Here’s the e-mail:

“I have recently taken over as the IT Manager for a Medium sized global consultancy company. When I first arrived, everything seemed fine; there were projects that needed to get done, a new office to open up overseas and general looking at the network and infrastructure we had. Everything seemed fine, project budgets were approved and things seemed to be moving forward quite nicely. Well, about two months into the job, I started getting phone calls from credit controllers and the vendors I used about why they have not been paid. You can probably tell where this is going. To make a long story short, my company is really bad about paying their bills or really purchasing anything. I have since decided to move on since I really can’t get the job done without some money. I have been asked why I am leaving, and I state (to recruiters anyway) that ‘my company is just not paying the bills, so I do not feel comfortable with the current climate.’ I don’t think I’m ‘trashing’ the company, just stating a fact. Is this really a wise way of going, or should I find another excuse for leaving this company after five months?”

My original advice holds true here, perhaps more so. Don’t trash a former employer. “Not paying their bills” borders on an accusation of illegal practices, and you really don’t want to go there. Our readers may have some more advice.

Got a career scenario of your own? E-mail it to us here. We’ll post it anonymously, and see what kind of feedback your peers have to offer.