One of the most commonly asked questions during job interviews is why you left your previous job. People are typically predisposed to answer that they were looking for better opportunities or wanted a new challenge, even if that was not the case. Some jobseekers may leave a job on bad terms. Persistent probing from interviewers may reveal some glaring details that may lead them to lose a job opportunity. Ergo, knowing what to tell an interviewer when you leave a job on bad terms is vital. So here is what you should tell interviewers who ask why you left your last job on bad terms.
1. Do Not Bad-Mouth Your Former Employers
One of the reasons you may have been forced to quit your last job was a toxic workplace. Specifically, you may leave a job because of a bullying boss or unmitigated workplace bias. This may compel you to say, “My boss was the most insensitive person,” or “He was selfish.” Using negative statements to describe your former employer is unprofessional and may lead you to lose the opportunity.
2. Control Your Emotions
Before you leave a job on bad terms, the preceding events may be painful and highly emotional. Consequently, describing them to interviewers may elicit some emotions that can affect your chances of getting the job. Interviewers will often be looking to see if you are mature enough to contain your emotions or express yourself professionally. Practice at home alone or conduct a mock interview with a friend to better prepare you for the interview.
3. Be Clear on What You Are Looking For
People often quickly mention that they left a job because the workplace culture did not fit them properly. However, they do not describe what they would want for the interviewer to assess if their company is the right fit for them. This should be your moment to assess factors that that went wrong and what should be done to correct them. You should articulate clearly about the type of workplace culture you are looking for and why it would be right for you. If you want a great workplace culture, you should not shy from stating it.
4. Focus on the Positive
Be positive throughout the entire conversation. When you leave a job after a disagreement, you may be forced to focus on the negatives, but this does not mean you did not gain any experience or transferable skills. You can steer the conversation towards these positives without deflecting from the interviewer’s questions.
Interviews may be challenging, more so when you are probed on the negative aspects of your former job. When you leave a job unceremoniously, you should always make an effort to reflect on every issue to reduce your chances of acting unprofessionally in subsequent interviews. Professionalism and maturity are key to answering questions about why you left your job, and interviewers will often be keen to see how you can handle the pressure.