In the Interview: Explaining Why You Left a Job
- Prepare to answer the question, “Why did you leave your last job?” or “Why are you interested in leaving your current position?”
- Ensure your answer includes a relatable reason why you left (but not one that has to do with personality issues).
- Give the prospective employer an answer to their desire to know if you quit or if you were fired.
- If you left on good terms, consider asking your previous supervisor to be a reference.
- Think about whether you want to list the reason why you left your job on your résumé — evaluate the pros and cons and then decide.
- Consider listing the reason why you left your job in your cover letter. (It’s not a requirement to do so, but employers will want to know at some point!)
- Don’t lie about the reason why you left your job. Your prospective employer may find out the real reason with a quick phone call.
- Never be negative about your previous employer when asked why you left your position. Don’t criticize your previous supervisor or co-workers.
- Think of a positive way to frame your reason for leaving a company, even if it was negative. Instead of “My boss didn’t provide me with clear expectations of what he wanted,” consider “I didn’t have a clear understanding of expectations for my job performance, and I know now that is what I need to be successful.”
- Focus on “I” statements and tie them into what you know about the company and the opportunities it offers. If this is your dream job, say so!
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