“Why Did You Leave Your Last Job?”
This is an inevitable question during the interview process and one for which you should be prepared. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your departure, you should never speak negatively about your prior or current employer. Speaking negatively or in bad light raises doubt on your character to the interviewer.
An answer for a layoff, summer or internship position is easier to answer; however, the concern is when you have to answer this over the course of your career or a period of long unemployment.
Regardless of the circumstances, you should focus on a positive answer while making sure that your non-verbal response is not giving off mixed signals. An interviewer is asking this question to get more information about you and your experience in a non-direct way and this question could be phrased in different ways to get that answer.
Interviewing For Better Opportunity
- If you’re interviewing because you have perceived this as a better opportunity or truth be told for more money, a good way to answer is by saying “I have been at my current positive for ‘X’ years and I have accomplished ‘XYZ’ and now I’m looking to use my experience in a different capacity while experiencing new challenges and continued growth.”
Interviewing After a Period of Unemployment
- If you’re interviewing after a period of unemployment, it is important to answer this question carefully and not to lie. It is okay and important that you refer to any professional or personal development skills you’ve acquired during this period; volunteer hours you’ve earned especially if it relates to your career. If this applies and you’ve gone back to school or been traveling you need to let your interviewer know and be ready for the possible follow up questions. However, it is important to highlight your accomplishments at your last employment.
Interviewing After a Lay Off / Recession
- If your unemployment is as a result of a lay off and/or recession, employers may be more understanding in the length of time between jobs. It’s key you explain the reason why you left. You can say “Due to an organizational restructure our team was laid off” or “our company lost several clients over the course of ‘X’ period, which meant a loss in revenue leading to mass layoff.”
The key to answering this question is to be as honest as possible without sounding desperate or putting down your current/former employer. Happy interviewing!
p.s. You can find more ideas to find work fast here.
p.p.s. Related Article here.
Till Next Time,