Job interviews can be anxiety-inducing. To be more confident and prevent awkward situations during job interviews, it’s best to be prepared and know the answers to every possible question job recruiters might ask you. One of the most asked questions is, “why did you leave your last job?”. Let us know more detail about ‘Why Did You Leave Your Last Job?’.
Why Did You Leave Your Last Job?
Regardless of how horrible your last company was, it’s crucial to stay professional and never bad-mouth your previous job. Focus your answers on your need for growing and developing yourself that you wish could be achieved in your new company! Here are tips for answering this essential question.
Why do Recruiters Ask This Question?
You may wonder, why would they care why you left your previous job? Shouldn’t your commitment to the new company matter most? Actually. How you answer this question and the reason why you left your previous company matters, and it’s not asked with bad intentions. Remember, recruiters are not monsters. They’re just doing their best to ensure your, and the company’s needs and values match.
Recruiters ask this question to know whether you leave for bad or good reasons. For example, if you left because you are bored, this shows that you are not someone who’s committed to your job. They also must know how you left; were you fired, or did you leave voluntarily? Being fired is not always a bad thing, but recruiters must know that. This question can also help to find the correct position for you. Let’s say you left your previous job because you want a company that’s more energetic and lively; recruiters can help match your needs with the available positions. This also helps ensure you have the best experience in the company.
How To Answer This Question?
Answering this question properly is crucial. It shows your work values and how you are as a person dealing with work life. It’s crucial never to bad-talk your previous company and focus on the positives. Here are some ways you can answer.
1. Your need for growth
For example, you have been working in a start-up company and wish to move to a bigger company where you’ll be challenged with new things and do bigger things. You can even share how your previous company has helped you build your foundation in your career, and you hope that you could develop the skills you’ve gotten and grow your career by moving to this new company.
2. Your need to experience new things
Maybe after working for years in your previous company, you want to challenge yourself working in a different position or work in another industry; express that to your recruiter. For example, you have been working as a content writer and wish to try becoming a technical writer, which your previous company doesn’t offer. Tell them that you want to broaden your career and you feel like the company you are applying for is the right fit for you. Sometimes it can be as simple as wanting to be in a new environment, especially if you have worked in your previous company for plenty of years.
3. Your values no longer match your old company’s
People change, and companies change too. Maybe your values changed, or your company’s values changed, and you feel like the new company you are applying for has the same values as you. The difference in value isn’t always negative.
4. Your skills don’t match your previous position
This is especially if you left your previous company too quickly. Tell the recruiter that you felt your skills don’t match the position you took or offered at the last company and thought it’s best to leave rather than disadvantaging the company and yourself. This is also possible when the company makes some changes and offers you a different role.
5. Academical reasons
It doesn’t always have to be job-related. If you left your previous job because you wanted to continue your studies, that’s fine too! Don’t be afraid to seem like you lack job experience. Continuing your studies and being academically higher is an attractive thing in recruiters’ eyes.
6. Regular life reasons
You may want to move from your previous job for regular life reasons like because it’s far away from where you are staying, the area has so much traffic, etc. Or maybe you had some family-related problems forcing you to leave your job. It’s completely fine to express this reason to your recruiter.
7. You got laid off
Being fired isn’t always bad, especially if you were laid off on good terms with your previous employer. Sometimes companies may go bankrupt, forcing them to fire some of their employees. Or maybe you were fired because your skills weren’t a match to the position you took, and this new position you are applying for suits you better. Don’t lie because your recruiters can just make a simple call to your last company and ensure the accuracy of your story.
Worst Things to Say
1. I hate my previous boss, company, or co-workers
As shared previously, don’t ever bad-mouth your experience in your previous company, even if your last company is terrible. Doing so makes you look unprofessional, and just in general, you look lame. Especially if you’d share a company’s or someone’s secrets, you’ll look not trustworthy. When applying for jobs, you are assumed to be an adult and act like one. Gossiping about your previous jobs won’t get you anywhere.
2. I got bored
There are better ways to express this, like “wanting a new experience” or “wanting a new challenge.” Saying that you left your last company because you are bored will make you look incompetent and does not commit.
3. I want more pay
This relates to the previous point. Don’t just bluntly say that you left your job because you want a higher salary. Share other reasons why you left and discuss about your salary when it’s appropriate.
Now we have learnt ‘Why Did You Leave Your Last Job?’, Focus on the positives you got from your previous company, don’t lie, and be confident. There is plenty of content on the internet that can help you know possible interview questions and prepare for them. Practice is key! If you’re nervous about your job interview, try practicing the answers yourself or ask a friend to help you out.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is a good reason for leaving your job?
You wanting to expand your career and search for new experiences and opportunities.
- How do you explain leaving your previous job?
Don’t gossip, be honest, keep it professional, and be concise.