As you’re looking to change jobs, obviously is something about your job you are not fully happy with. You don’t like your last job otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this post.
There are several reason the interviewer is trying to figure out about you when asking this question. So while formulating your answer, be careful not to trigger big question marks.
Reason 1: What are the things you DON’T like. Are these things important for the job opening? Did you leave (or you are about to leave) for the right reasons? Are you a reliable person or you are easily getting bored. Are you impulsive? Are you just testing the job market? Do you feel unappreciated?
In the end, the employer wants to know if you are a reliable person, stable, responsible and reasonable. A pleasant person to work in.
Reason 2: Did you leave on your own or were you asked to leave? What are the reasons that made you leave – are these good reasons? If you were asked to leave, what were the reasons? Poor integrity, poor performance or there were factors out of your control like downsizing or restructuring and you were one of the last who join the company.
Reason 3: Did you leave as a professional? Are you in good terms with your managers or were you escorted out of the office by security? Obviously the interviewer doesn’t want to take on board a ‘trouble making’ person and a good reference from the former employer will always help.
Either if you like it or not, brace yourself as… this question will come .
This is NOT the time to get defensive or talk trash but is yet another opportunity to demonstrate WHY YOU ARE THE PERFECT CANDIDATE. The more you think about the reasons before you get to the interview, the better off you’ll be answering it! Keep your answers positive and clear. Look straight in the interviewer eyes and have an open body language.
Here are 10 good reasons for leaving a job that could be used during the interview.
Try to respond by mentioning a factor out of your control.
Scenario 1: Change of Environment
‘I have been working in a large company for ‘x’ years now. I am missing the dynamics that you find only in Start-ups. I want to be a key person from the group and be part of a growing project.’
Scenario 2: Change of Environment
‘I have been working in the company ‘x’ years now. I feel I reached one point and I am doing by heart all the things I already know and I am good at. I am driven by challenges and my energy comes from discovering and learning about new topics.’
Scenario 3: Change of Environment
‘I have been working in a Start-up company which I enjoyed. I realised after a while that that specific business didn’t have its act together and that I am missing having an organised approach. I want to work at a company that does.’
‘My company was aquired and the atmosphere changed since then.’
Scenario 5: Weakness which is not relevant for current position – Avoid words like “quit” or “walked out.’ and try instead:
‘My last job required extensive knowledge on ‘xyz’. I felt behind everyone else on that topic. I also don’t find this sort of work very exciting. I’m much more interested in doing ‘ztw = described as main responsibility in the current opening’, which I do have experience in.
OR: ‘I am currently looking for a position better matched to my skills and long-term career goals.’
OR: ‘I am looking for a position within a company where I can contribute and grow.’
Scenario 6: ‘Old boss is no longer with the company’ – Keep your answers positive:
‘When my boss left, it made me realise that it was time for a change and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to move on as well.’
Scenario 7: ‘Personal projects to deal with’ – Trying out a new business on your own may be a very good reason.
Scenario 8: ‘Personal projects to deal with’ – Family always comes first and there are times you need to step back in order to take care of a personal situation.
‘I left my last job in order to take care of a family issue. The circumstances have changed and I now find myself in a position where I’d like to reenter the workforce.’
OR: ‘I decided to take five years off to start a family.’
Scenario 9: You’ve Been Laid Off.
Don’t take it too hard, you are not the only one. Some of the best influential people in world have been fired too.“You’re nobody until you’ve been fired at least once.”
As long as you weren’t laid off due to reasons related to performance or integrity, a potential employer isn’t going to hold it against you… especially if you weren’t the only one laid off from the company at the same time. With restructuring, it’s not unusual for a company to let go of a group of employees, regardless of performance or skills.
Be careful as usually employers see being fired as a red flag, regardless of what the reasons might be. Avoid saying ‘I was fired’ and don’t put the blame on other people.
DON’T LIE; there are ways to answer this question.
“Although I was hired, it was clear as the job progressed that other skills (i.e a task which is not required in the new opening) and knowledge were needed to perform the tasks. It became clear that someone with more experience was needed and I was let go. It was not an easy moment for me, but it made me realise this was an opportunity to move my career in the direction I really wanted. ”
‘My position was eliminated and I was let go. Although I no longer work with the company, my former manager is one of my strongest references and would be happy to answer any questions you might have about my performance and skills.’
Scenario 10: ‘Money’ – Even money is often a good reason to change jobs, be careful and better avoid mentioning it.
Go back and read more about other Interview Questions and Answers