It’s one of the trickiest interview questions and requires a certain amount of tact.
There is one question that is always dreaded in a job interview and that’s when you are asked "Why did you leave your last job?" It’s one of the trickiest questions and requires a certain amount of tact. The main issue with this question is to maintain a positive stance - even if the reason for leaving that last job was due to job performance, poor fit, career change situations, money, politics, boredom, personality conflict or any of the usual reasons.
The best way to deal with the question is to always cite reasons such as job stagnation (no room for advancement), changing home location, want new challenges, company went out of business, you were laid off, it was a temporary job or you want a job better suited to your skills.
You don’t want to say anything negative about your last job, so make sure that you explain your reasons for leaving as positively as possible. NEVER launch into a tirade about how much you hated your previous company, or what a total fool you thought your boss was and so on.
Listed below are some answers you can give when asked in an interview why you’re leaving your job:
· I'm looking for a position with more opportunities for advancement.
· I'm looking for better pay.
· I'm looking for more challenging job assignments.
This is a nice way of saying that you weren't exactly challenged at your last job. Whenever possible. you want to turn the problems with your last job into a positive statement about what you are looking for in your next one.
· My career goals have changed.
If you’re going into a new industry or occupation, this is a great thing to say. However, companies want people who can step into a job immediately, so be prepared to show how your experiences in past jobs have prepared you to do this job.
· I was laid-off.
If you were laid off as part of a downsizing or staff reduction, say so.
Remember; always be POSITIVE about discussing former companies. Don't ever bad-mouth a former job or boss. Stick to concretes, like long commute or hours, explain that the position is no longer challenging, or doesn't seem to be leading where you want.
For more job interview strategies, check out 95 Mistakes Job Seekers Make by Richard Few (Impact, 2003).