Interview Question: Why Did You Leave Your Last Job?

new-jobAuthor: Alexis Perrotta
Source: Idealist Careers

No matter why you left your last job (or why you’re planning to leave your current job), the most important thing to remember when answering this question in an interview is, stay positive.

Below, you’ll find a few general categories that your response to this particular question may fall into, and based on that, further advice on how to answer in an honest, productive, and positive way.

You left your last job because of work-related issues

There are plenty of reasons why you may have left your last job. Perhaps you’re escaping a toxic workplace, you no longer feel connected to the mission of the organization, or you feel that you’ve plateaued professionally.

To answer this question in a positive way while also staying true to yourself, take the opportunity to highlight your professional needs (and how they went unmet at your previous job) without getting caught up in the specifics. Here is an example of what you could say:

“Communication is incredibly important to me and while I really enjoyed my last job, after [X YEARS], the quality of communication with my former supervisor was never quite what I wanted it to be.”

Once you have broached the subject, be prepared for a follow-up question; a good interviewer will go after some details. If you left your last job only after trying to address the issue that led to your ultimate resignation, highlight that in your follow-up. This is a great chance to show your interviewer that while you may have been dissatisfied, you didn’t throw in the towel too soon, nor were you complacent.

For example:

“The biggest pain point was communication between me and my supervisor. While I did try to address the issue by scheduling a formal meeting and suggesting a new weekly check-in format for us as well as inviting his feedback on how I can improve my own communication style, it didn’t improve. Ideally, I would like to have a mentor and a champion in my supervisor. I decided that for me, the issue was a dealbreaker.”

Pro Tip: Not only should you strive for honesty and authenticity in your interview because it’s the right thing to do, it’s also in your best interest. You should take every reasonable opportunity to truthfully represent what you’re looking for in a job, a team, and an organization.

You left your last job because of personal issues

If something came up in your personal life that made your last job untenable—schedule change, relocation, illness, or an ill relative—be honest. You don’t want to hide the truth until the 11th hour only to learn that whatever obstacle caused you to leave your last job—no remote work, inflexible hours, etc.—is also an issue at this new job.

In addition to honesty, it’s important that you make a connection to the organization. After all, if an interviewer asks, “Why do you want to work here?” you wouldn’t say, “To pay my bills.” Similarly, when an interviewer asks, “Why are you looking for a new job?” you don’t want to answer, “Because I hate my commute.” Instead, remember to speak to the specific job or organization. Here’s an example of what you could say:

“Later this year, I’ll be moving further from the city. While I really love the work and the mission, after [X YEARS] at my last job, I decided that I needed to find something that I love just as much, but that doesn’t require such a grueling commute. While it was bittersweet to leave, I’m also looking at my move as a great opportunity to connect with a new mission and reenergize my interest in, and commitment to the sector.”

In other words, you don’t want to say that you’re looking for a new job strictly for the sake of convenience. Don’t forget to let the interviewer know that you’re interested in this specific job.

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Your Complete Guide to the Interview Process

interviewSource: The Muse

Between the 20 or so of us, The Muse team has probably been on several hundred interviews in our day.

(We know. We cringe thinking about it, too.)

In other words, we’ve been through all of those OMG-what-should-I-wear panic attacks and bathroom-mirror rehearsals of the perfect answer to “What’s your biggest weakness?” that you’re probably dealing with as you prepare for your big day.

But all those pantsuits and practiced answers weren’t for naught. In the interest of sharing our hard-won job search expertise, we’ve put together a list of the biggest job interview questions we had going in—and answers that will help you go into yours totally prepared.

Consider it everything you ever wanted to know about interviewing—answered.

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5 Email Templates to Save You Time

emailsAuthor: Kayla Mathews
Source: The Daily Muse

I’m obsessed with being as productive as humanly possible, whether that’s setting better deadlines or finding the most effective way to schedule my days.

But my inbox was still a huge time-suck. And the kicker is: I was sending a lot of the same emails over and over again.

That’s when I started using canned responses. If you’re not familiar with them, you can save a response you craft and then, instead of constantly retyping it, you can click and insert it into your email, saving you time and effort.

Not sold yet? I’ve written five common, time-saving templates to get you started that’ll convince you this makes sense. (But first, you need to get set-up. If you’re a Gmail user, you’ll find instructions here. And if you’re an Outlook user, they’re called “Quick Parts,” and you can see them here.)

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Holiday Jobs To Pay The Bills

gifts-300x225Author: Farnoosh Torabi
Source: CBS News

 

During my sophomore year in college, I worked three part-time jobs — including hostessing, ad sales at the college newspaper, and selling my class notes. Collectively, the paychecks helped me be build a nice little Christmas nest egg and be quite a generous gift giver that holiday. (Of course, I probably could have benefited more by saving that money and applying it towards grad school instead of that rare and pricey Beanie Baby purchased off eBay for my then 8-year-old brother — but his shriek/fist pump upon opening the gift made it all worth it.)

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Awesome Resource: 101 Career Tips You Can Learn in 3 Seconds

tm-pilbox.global.ssl.fastly.netAuthor: Lily Herman
Source: The Muse

We know—you want great career advice, but sometimes, you just don’t have time to read lengthy articles or books.

Well, today, you’re in luck: We’ve distilled some of the best-ever advice on The Daily Muse into bite-sized chunks that you can scan in a matter of seconds.

Or, better yet—that you can share with your entourage! Each tip is 140 characters or fewer, so you can easily copy and paste your favorites to share with your followers all over the web.

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Awesome Resource: Resume Advice Collected

static1.squarespace.comSource: Monster.com

Writing your resume can be hard. You have to ensure you include all of your relevant accomplishments while simultaneously explaining or avoiding any problem periods. Thankfully, Monster.com has a huge collection of resume writing advice, from how to effectively write a resume title, to advice on how to deal with personal information such as disclosing disabilities. In addition you’ll find tips for tailoring your resume to various individual industries, as well as advice on dealing with some of the common dilemmas resume writers run into. Check it out, you can’t afford not to!

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Awesome Career Resource: Jobs by Occupational Field

careerSource: Careers.org

From jobs in farming, fishing, and forestry to careers in management, business, and finance, Careers.org has assembled in-depth information about thousands of occupations within every major career field.

In the next ten years every career field is expected to experience some amount of job growth. While smaller employment gains are projected in production-based occupations and those in installation, maintenance, and repair, serious gains are expected in professional and related occupations and those in the service industry.

Browse our in-depth Occupational Profiles below, which contain specific information for thousands of occupations, including: the nature of work; average earnings; underlying training and education; related occupations; and corresponding academic programs.

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