Are you about to have an important interview for a new job?
This is the time to put your best foot forward and charm your interviewer. There are several standard questions that are likely to be asked that you can prepare for in advance.
One of the very first questions your interviewer could ask is the reason for leaving your last job. This can be pretty tricky to answer, especially if you left your last employer on bad terms.
Here are some acceptable reasons for leaving a job that are likely to impress interviewers.
- Good Reasons for Leaving a Job
- If You Were Let Go or Laid Off
- How to Answer The Question Well?
- Breaking The News to Your Current Employer
- Want Help With Other Tricky Interview Questions?
- Final Thoughts
Good Reasons for Leaving a Job
There are plenty of acceptable reasons for leaving your current job. If explained correctly, the reason can paint you in a good light and highlight your dedication to your career. Here are some reasons to give for leaving a job that future employers are likely to appreciate.
Searching for Career Growth
Some companies provide more opportunities for their employees to grow than others. While some companies offer in-house promotion and training programs, others prefer to hire from outside. You may find that your current company does not offer any further opportunities for you to learn new skills.
This reason gives you the opportunity to ask the interviewer about growth opportunities in their company. Many employers appreciate employees that are motivated to take on new challenges and develop their skills. The employer is likely to recognize your value as an employee who will go the extra mile.
The Desire To Change Career Paths
Many people follow several different career paths during their lifetimes. The willingness and ability to change career paths can show flexibility and varied competency. When giving this answer, highlight how changing career paths has or will enhance your future prospects.
You Identified a Better Opportunity
Even though you are doing well at your current place of work, you may have simply found something better. This answer indicates to employers that you know what you want and are willing to go for it. Explain how you’re going to use the skills you have learned to benefit the new company if given the opportunity.
You Were Not Enjoying The Work
Many employees stop performing well at work because they are bored and uninspired. The interviewer is sure to appreciate your drive to be satisfied and motivated at work. This indicates that you are interested in being productive rather than simply treading water.
The Company Restructured or The Dynamics Changed
If the company suddenly comes under new management, it may be completely restructured. You may find that the job you signed up to do has changed beyond all recognition. In this case, the desire to change companies and continue working to your best ability is admirable.
The Pursuit of Full-Time Employment
You may have originally been hired by the company as a freelancer or in a part-time capacity. However, your situation may have changed, and you may be looking for something more regular and stable. Perhaps you recently completed a training program and now have more time to dedicate to work.
Even though your current employer may be willing to hire you full-time, it simply may not be possible. Therefore, looking for a new job that will allow you to work full time is entirely reasonable.
You Want More Flexibility
You may have specific personal commitments that prevent you from working traditional hours. Alternatively, you may feel more comfortable working remotely, at least part of the time. The interviewer is likely to appreciate your willingness to search for a job that is the right fit.
The best strategy here…
In this case, it is essential to emphasize that you are goal and target orientated. Even though you may not be working right beside your colleagues all the time, you still get the job done. It could be the case that the company you are applying for offers the perfect working conditions for your needs.
If You Were Let Go or Laid Off
Unfortunately, this can happen, and employers are likely to understand if you give a reasonable explanation. Failing to reveal to an interviewer that you were laid off can cause issues if your former employer is asked for a reference. The trick is to be honest without going into unnecessary detail.
Avoid using the word fired if possible, and focus on what you learned from the situation. Divert the conversation as much as possible towards the job you are interviewing for and your positive attributes.
How to Answer The Question Well?
Maintain eye contact and keep your body language open when answering this question. This will indicate to the interviewer that you are being honest and have nothing to hide. Here are some techniques to answering this question that will help things go smoothly.
Be Clear about Your Reasons for Exiting
This question is just as much about you as an employee as it is about your reason for leaving. Therefore, it is best to work out your reason for leaving in advance and rehearse it. This will help you to deliver a clear answer that the interviewer can easily understand.
Keep Your Answer Short
While you need to provide a complete answer, try to keep it to one or two sentences. The interviewer will ask questions if necessary, but try to keep the focus on the position you are applying for. If possible, steer the conversation back to why you are the perfect candidate for the job you’re applying for.
It is important to try and identify a positive reason for leaving your current place of employment. Making negative comments about your current manager, work colleagues, or the company will paint you in a bad light. It is likely to indicate to the interviewer that you have difficulty working well with other people.
Instead, focus on the positives of the company and job and what you have learned. Express gratitude for your past opportunities and demonstrate how they have helped you to grow.
Be Honest without Being Too Detailed
The interviewer is not expecting you to go into too much detail in your answer. Therefore, you can keep it as short and simple as possible. Bear in mind that the interviewer is likely to contact your manager, so a dishonest answer can quickly come to light.
Breaking The News to Your Current Employer
Telling your manager in person that you are planning to leave your current job can be somewhat uncomfortable. However, it is best to have a meeting in person in addition to writing an official resignation letter. If the meeting goes smoothly, you will leave a positive impression, and you are more likely to receive a good reference.
It really is best to broach the subject as soon as possible. Making small talk and rambling will only delay the inevitable. Rehearse what you want to say well in advance and stick to the script as much as possible.
Give Reasons and Be Honest
While it is best to be as honest as possible, you need to be respectful and keep the conversation light. In some cases, you may be very uncomfortable with your working conditions and need to get out. However, it is best to focus on the positive and simply state that you need a change or something similar.
Express Your Appreciation
Ensure there are no hard feelings when you leave your place of employment. Expressing your appreciation to your manager and the company, in general, is likely to help smooth the way.
Closing the Conversation
Once you have dropped the bomb, hanging around longer than necessary can make things feel awkward. Hand over your letter of resignation and be prepared to answer any questions your manager may have. Confirm your last day and any duties that need to be completed before giving your manager a firm handshake.
Want Help With Other Tricky Interview Questions?
If so, we’ve got you! Please read our in-depth guide to Answering Tell Me About Yourself in Interviews, discussing your Strengths and Weaknesses for Job Interviews, responding well to Why We Should Hire You? or Why Do You Want to Work Here?
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Back to today’s guide…
By now, you should have a good idea of how to explain why you left your job. Once you have created your interview answer, it is best to practice it several times. Be aware that the interviewer may ask follow-up questions and be prepared to go into more detail if necessary.
The answer you give to this seemingly innocent question can reveal a lot about your personality. Employers want to be reassured that you are a team player who is willing to work hard and overcome challenges. While it is important to answer as honestly as possible, you also need to keep yourself in a good light and remain positive.
Good luck with your future endeavors!