How to Answer “Why Did You Leave Your Last Job?

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Tips for Answering

This question is something you must expect because it will definitely come up in your interview. This might look really uncomfortable but expect it to pop up irrespective of the position you are into. Most job interviews include a question on why you are looking for a job change. You may also be required to explain the reason for leave your last job at the time of filling out a job application or resigning from your current job.

So, whether you are a fresher or you are an experienced person in the professional field, in this blog, we will tell you all the interview tips and points that you must follow to answer one of the widely asked questions such as this – Why Did You Leave Your Last Job?

So, let’s get started !

Be concise in your approach

Before your interview, you must list some of the reasons you leave your last job. For instance, you might have felt that the role you were playing in your last job was not giving you any rise or any improvement. Or maybe you might feel that you were not given enough chances to show your potential and work abilities. Just make sure whatever it is, say it clearly. Be concise and there is no need to be really specific.

Do not say anything bad

This is one of the most essential of all tips because if you will say bad about your last employer, company or any employee, you are most likely to lose the chance of grabbing your dream job and the role. So, be very careful of not speaking about your previous management team in any negative aspect. Speaking wrong about your employer can get back to them also, and it will reflect badly on you too. Even if you left your employer under any unfavourable circumstance, just try to find a way so that you put the positive spin on it and whatever you say looks positive in every sense.

Be as honest as possible

As said above that even if the situation was not so good because of which you left your last job, try to not hide the truth but at the same time be careful of using kind words. Remember truth should not be hidden at all costs because the hiring managers enquire about you from your last company and if anything comes up that is not really good about you of if some truth is revealed by your previous employee, then it might fire back on you. So, keep your answers brief and honest. Recruiters interview a lot of people and can usually spot when someone is being true or not. To avoid any future negative ramifications, try to be on the safer side and always keep your answers tactful but at the same time candid.

Pen down the reasons for you leaving the job

Have a look at your resume and see the reasons because of which you have to leave your last job. Just list them in one or two lines so that whenever the HR sees your resume, he/she has a fair idea of why you were leaving the job and looking for the next. You do not have to go in detail just give a hint, a gist of the reason and all will be well.  While you are doing so,  ask yourself the following questions.

  • Why did you join the job at first place?
  • What were your expectations from the current job?
  • How the actual work environment was different from your expectations in true sense?
  • What did you not like about your previous job?
  • What do you think, will your next job take you to the goal you have set in your mind?

Once you are able to answer all these questions, you will be able to answer this question properly because by this time, you will have a fair idea of what to say, what to write and so on.

While you are doing all of this, the reasons that you quote must be professional. For instance, if you have changed your job due to your marriage, it is better to avoid quoting such reasons instead, you can talk about the involvement of night shifts in the job. You can say that you wanted to move to a day time job and so on.

Do not beat about the bush

Instead of telling long stories, just come to the point directly. Explain the reason of your exit in a sentence or two. That would suffice. After that, immediately get back to what you really like about the new job. Also, why you are the right candidate for the position.

Show the positive attitude

Even if you leave your last job because of the negative experience, you are required to frame your response in a positive way. Just try to project yourself as a problem solver, the one who can navigate through all the tough situations. Also, talk about positive experiences you have had while you were in your previous job such as new skills you learnt, the rapport you were able to build, and the great time you have spent with your team.

Here is an example: Instead of saying i.e., ‘The manager did not value your work. It was a challenging task; you were not able to learn more and move ahead. Consider saying something such as, ‘The job gave you a chance to learn and understand about the skills that you did not have previously.

Stay ready to answer the follow-up queries

Remember there will always be follow-up questions based on the primary questions asked to you. For instance, if you express your desire to work as a different person in a different role, the interviewer might ask you if you tried for the desired position in your current company or not. At the same time, if your response gives a hint that you had some outstanding issues because of the lack of good communication, the interviewer might throw a question on you such as about the steps you took to solve the issues you have had.

When you are preparing for the follow-up questions, also think about the strong reasons to support your answer.

One of the Reasons You Can State for Job Change

Here are the examples that will help you frame the reasons for your job change:

Example: When you do not like the company

Every company has various aspects such as you might like and others might not. If your reason for the exit is your dislike for the company, then you should think both the ways, good and not so pleasant ones and then try to frame your response in a positive way. So, in this way, there can be many reasons that might pop up, but remember the key rule and that is to stay true and positive throughout because at any point in time, you might have to go through the background check and reference

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