Many jobseekers are looking for a new role to escape their current situation. Stories of bullying, harassment, personality clashes, blame cultures, difficult individuals, poor management and tough team dynamics are unfortunately not uncommon.
Such circumstances are stressful, upsetting and very uncomfortable for most. Yet as a jobseeker you really need to focus on moving ‘toward’ a new position rather than ‘away’ from an old / current one.
In order to do this I suggest you try to off load the emotional baggage surrounding your search before you get started.
Many candidates unwittingly find themselves discussing the ins and outs of their conflict experiences during the interview process. They sometimes over justify and end up emphasising their reasons for leaving. Many are upset and confused as to how and why it came up, as if subconsciously they sabotaged themselves talking about the very thing or issue they wanted to avoid. If and when this happens it can also bring unexpected emotion into the interview which can put the candidate off, impacting negatively on their performance.
To offload, try talking to a trusted friend or family member. When we find an area sensitive or puzzling we tend to think in loops, playing thoughts over and over, try and break these cycles and move past them. If talking is not an option for you, try writing it out. The act is still cathartic and listing the facts in black and white may bring an objectivity you never had before.
Whatever the detail in your personal experience, centre on what you can learn from it, acknowledge what you can or cannot control / influence or change and then let it go.
One particular candidate of mine was adamant she wanted to bring up and openly discuss at interview, the conflicts she and her previous manager had as she wanted to make sure it was never repeated. Apart from appearing unprofessional, this approach is dangerous as it asks the interviewer to make an impossible judgement based on one subjective side of a story, invites further investigation or scrutiny, raises more questions and brings different emotional responses. We discussed that focusing on what she wanted from a manager in the future was far more relevant and productive than remaining stuck on her experiences of the past.
Remember your future employer is much more concerned with why you want to work for them in particular, that they are ‘THE’ job for you, not just an escape route.
It’s not that Recruiters are unsympathetic, you just need to focus on what you want from them, ultimately a job not their empathy.