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

Thinking Before Speaking in Interviews

If you had the experience of being in a few interview sessions, you might be familiar with recruiters’ favorite questions. Yes, plural! Some HR questions are recurrent and mutual in the hiring process, regardless of the company itself. Hence, it would be beneficial to get ready before an interview. One of the most common questions is “Why did you leave your last job?” or “why do you wish to leave your current position?”

Encountering such questions is not uncommon for the candidates. However, due to emotional reactions and impulsive urges, some candidates discuss everything that was wrong with their previous job. They might even say something cynical about their last (maybe current) supervisor or manager. In an interview session, you need to think about everything you will articulate because whatever you say reflects on you and your personality. 

One mistake on your part can create a wrong impression in the mind of the recruiters and form this misconception that you might be problematic for them, should they pick you as a staff member. On the other hand, if you act too cool about leaving a position, it might be interpreted as irresponsible and unprofessional behavior. Hence, you will be judged again!

Truth or Lie?

Well, it may seem a little unfair or even complicated to think your truthful answer may cost you your prospective position! But, no need to lose heart. Remember, even if the reasons for you leaving your last job had something to do with you, it doesn’t mean that you will continue as you did previously. We learn from our mistakes, and we grow to become better. So next time you are at an interview session, choose your words wisely. Neither brag about your goodness nor humiliate your weak spots. 

It’s time to learn game strategy!

Seeking a New Opportunity

Recruiters love to hear about your interests in learning and growing. They want to know that they are going for someone with a bright prospective future in their institutions. Therefore, you can incorporate this into your answer and say, “I have worked there for many years, and I reached a certain point where I couldn’t feel fulfilled anymore. I knew I had a lot of potential. So, I left my last position to look for a role that allows me to grow.”

Not Aligned with Your Goals

Being goal-oriented is a remarkable feature of a person. One of the ways that you can answer the question “why did you leave your last job?” is to depict that you are pursuing specific goals and your last job wasn’t fulfilling your desire to achieve them. This also shows that you have high standards and won’t be satisfied with less. 

Needing More Challenges

Another way is to tell the recruiter something like this: “I have a lot of skills, and I spent years obtaining my knowledge on (your work field). However, my last position wasn’t challenging enough for me, and whatever I did, no matter how well I did it, it never gave me a sense of achievement. Because there was never an obstacle to conquer, and I know I am a conqueror.” Of course, these sentences have been mentioned here to give you an idea of what’s possible. We don’t advise you to say what you read here precisely to the recruiters!

Universally Understandable Reasons

There are certain things in life that we can’t control, no matter how hard we try. So, things happen, and sometimes there’s no stopping life. Reasons like losing a loved one, obtaining a university admission, pregnancy, or a sick relative are all acceptable reasons that might entangle any one of us, preventing us from going to work or keeping our position up and running. 

“I had to leave my last position due to personal reasons.” 

Keep your reason short and to the point. Getting in too many details could get the situation out of your hand. You want something honest and believable. Also, it doesn’t put your future job opportunities in jeopardy. 

Not Passionate Enough

You could also say: “I left my last position because I never truly was interested in that field. When I started working there, I needed a job, and I wanted to have financial stability. However, after spending years of my life- span on something that I know I don’t have enough passion for, I decided to pursue the things that are even thinking about it makes my heart race. I believe that I can only be my best self when I am working with something that I love.”

Final Word

When you are talking about your last boss or role, try to avoid sounding mean or ungrateful. Don’t use words with profound negative meaning. Just explain that what you wanted wasn’t matched with what you had, and you needed to do something about it. 

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