You’re nervously sitting through your first job interview since you left your last position, and the question you have been dreading has finally been asked – “Why did you leave your last position?” You know full well that how you respond will make or break the interview, but what is the best answer? The truth is, there is a lot more that goes into the reasoning why you’re no longer with your last job than simply quitting or being fired. Not every job fits every person, yet how do you condense the complicated situation into a couple sentences? Here are three tips to help you answer this tough job interview question:
Always, always, always be honest in a job interview. You never know who knows whom, and among reference checks, general networking and how connected we all through social media, it’s incredibly easy for an interviewer to learn if you lied. However, with that being said, if you were fired from your last job, how do you tell the interviewer without him/her instantly writing you off? This leads us to our next tip…
As I mentioned, there is no cut and dry, black and white reason why you’re not with your last position. However, there is probably a silver lining that emerged from the cloud, so focus on that! Maybe you were feeling like you hit a career plateau, and you needed a change in environment to take the next step. Maybe your work and your personal life both became overwhelming, and you took the time to sort out issues at home. Maybe you and your boss simply didn’t see eye-to-eye, and you needed a fresh start with the next step in your career. Focusing on the positive side of the sticky situation will give the interviewer a much better impression of who you are as a teammate.
Don’t Trash Former Employer.
Take the high road; don’t bad mouth your former employer. It’s highly unprofessional, and quite frankly, it makes you look at fault for your employment situation regardless if that is actually the case! If your former boss was difficult, only mention a difference in opinions. Don’t go much further than that.
The “why did you leave your last job”-question can throw many for a loop during a job interview. But if you remember these three things, you will answer it gracefully and can confidently carry on with the rest of the interview.
Have an additional tip for answering this question? Leave a comment! We would love to hear.