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Tuesday, May 14, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
One of the questions that is typically
asked in an interview is "Why are you leaving
your job?" or "Why did you leave your pre-
vious job?" if you have already moved on.
If you were fired from your job, use these
answers to respond. If you left of your own
accord, review these suggestions on how
best to answer and tailor your response to
meet your particular situation. Be direct
and focus your interview answer on the
future, especially if your leaving wasn t
under the best of circumstances.
Don't Badmouth Your Boss
Regardless of why you left, don t speak
badly about your previous employer. The
interviewer may wonder if you will be bad-
mouthing his company next time you re
looking for work. I once interviewed a person
who told me that her last employer was
terrible. They didn t pay her enough, the
hours were awful and she hated the job.
That company happened to be my compa-
ny s biggest, and most important, customer.
And there is no way I would have hired
someone who felt that way, justified or not,
about our valuable client. So, she gave up
any opportunity of getting the job as soon
as she answered the "Why did you leave?"
Prepare answers to typical job interview
questions, like this one, in advance. Practice
your responses so you sound positive, and
clear, about your circumstances and your
goals for the future.
Sample answers to the interview question
"Why did you leave your job?
• I found myself bored with the work
and looking for more challenges. I am an
excellent employee and I didn t want my
unhappiness to have any impact on the job
I was doing for my employer.
• There isn t room for growth with my
current employer and I m ready to move on to a new
• I m looking for a bigger challenge and to grow
my career and I couldn t job hunt part time while
working. It didn t seem ethical to use my former
employer s time.
• I was laid-off from my last position when our
department was eliminated due to corporate restruc-
• I m relocating to this area due to family circum-
stances and left my previous position in order to
make the move.
• I ve decided that is not the direction I want to
go in my career and my current employer has no
opportunities in the direction I d like to head.
• After several years in my last position, I m looking
for an company where I can contribute and grow in
a team-oriented environment.
• I am interested in a new challenge and an oppor-
tunity to use my technical skills and experience in
a different capacity than I have in the past.
• I recently received my degree and I want to utilise
my educational background in my next position.
• I am interested in a job with more responsibility,
and I am very ready for a new challenge.
• I left my last position in order to spend more
time with my family. Circumstances have changed
and I m more than ready for full-time employment
• I am seeking a position with a stable company
with room for growth and opportunity for advance-
• I was commuting to the city and spending a sig-
nificant amount of time each day on travel. I would
prefer to be closer to home.
• To be honest, I wasn t considering a move, but,
I saw this job posting and was intrigued by the
position and the company. It sounds like an exciting
opportunity and an ideal match with my qualifica-
• This position seemed like an excellent match for
my skills and experience and I am not able to fully
utilise them in my present job.
• The company was cutting back and, unfortunately,
my job was one of those eliminated.
Questions About Why You Want to
Hiring managers are often curious about why you
want to change jobs. They often need to be reassured
that you aren t covering for poor performance or
difficult working relationships. When responding to
questions about why you are switching jobs, it s
important to provide reassurance that you are moving
on for career reasons, not just to get out of a bad
Here are some approaches you can use to reassure
the interviewer that you are leaving your job for the
Emphasise the positive reasons why you are tar-
geting a job with their organisation. Refer to specific
aspects of the work and employer which correspond
well with your interests and skills.
Frame your move as a path to advancing your
career without disparaging your current job. One
way to do that is to reference the aspects of the new
job which appear to carry more responsibility. Even
if the new job doesn t have a higher status, you could
mention that you believe it would provide a spring-
board for future career advancement down the road
(after you have spent considerable time in the first
job and mastered it).
Integrate positive references about you current job
in your response, so that it is clear that you are not
fleeing a bad situation. You are just seeking to improve
upon an already good situation. Of course, you should
avoid any negative references to management or the
number of hours worked.
Why are you leaving your job?
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