How to Describe The Reason for Leaving a Job during an Interview?

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One of the most common questions that recruiters are bound to ask you during interviews is “why did you leave your last job?”

Your reason for leaving a job can be due to a personal conflict with a colleague or maybe you didn’t like your boss. 

But, these are definitely not the reasons you’d want to state in your interview answers. 

The last thing you want to do during interviews is bad-mouthing your previous employers or show any type of red flags that would cost you your chances of getting hired. 

So, how should you describe the reasons for leaving a job during an interview?

Given below are some tips to help you with the same: 

Understand Why Recruiters Ask This Question

The best way to frame your interview answers is by understanding the purpose of the question. 

By asking you about your reasons for leaving a job, recruiters want to know: 

  • What are you looking for in a new job?
  • Are you serious about joining the company? 
  • Are you flaky or irresponsible? 
  • Did you leave on good terms? 

Your answer must address these concerns in a positive light and assure the recruiters that you’d make a good addition to their workforce. 

Provide a Professional Reason 

As stated earlier, bad-mouthing your past employers is a big no-no during interviews. 

Provide a professional reason like any of the following: 

  • Your values didn’t match with the company 
  • You were not compensated for your work
  • You needed more growth opportunities 

If you were laid off, be honest and state the same.

In case you got fired due to a work mistake, make sure that you own up to your faults, describe the steps you’ve taken to work on it and assure the recruiters that you’d not make the same mistake again. 

Show You’re Serious About the New Role 

When you are describing your reasons for leaving your past job, you must simultaneously show your enthusiasm and genuine interest in working for your new employers.

Hiring is a tedious and resource-consuming process. Recruiters want to ensure that you are not flaky or incompetent. 

They don’t want to risk hiring someone who’d leave the company after a few months. 

Thus, your reason for leaving your last job must not hint to the recruiters that you are likely to leave the job in a jiffy. 

Keep it Concise 

When your frame your answer, keep it concise and try to focus on why this new opportunity is good for you. 

The best way to go about it is by offering positive and opportunity-oriented reasons for both leaving your old job and looking for a new one. 

Here’s a sample answer that will give you an idea about how you can answer this question:

“I loved working with XYZ organization and although my role has armed me with exceptional marketing skills and a rich experience in the industry, there was a lack of growth opportunities for my role in the company. That’s why when I saw the job posting online for this role, I was thrilled. I believe that this is the next move in my career that will help me grow and increase my potential.”

Key Takeaways from the Blog

Since interviewers are bound to ask you about your reasons for leaving your old job, you must at least have a mental outline of how you’re going to answer this question during the interview.

  • Avoid bad-mouthing your previous employers with your answer and provide a concise and professional answer.
  • Your answer must provide assurance to the recruiters that you are serious about this new role and are not flaky. 
  • The best way to state your reasons for leaving a job is by providing monetary and career-related reasons. 
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