3 Strategies for Answering “Why Did You Leave Your Last Job?”

You may have your own reason on why you decided to part ways with your previous employer. That could be a low salary, toxic environment, or lack of career growth. The list goes on and on. However, regardless of your reason, there are appropriate ways on how you could answer the question, “Why did you leave your last job?”. For sure, you need to be professional even if you left your recent company on bad terms. Be careful, for the way you answer this will also speak something about you. Here are the strategies on how to get past this job interview question and increase your chances of winning the offer.

3 Smart Ways to Answer “Why Did You Leave Your Last Job?”

1. State your ambition and drive

If you resent the fact that you didn’t get the promotion that you deserved in your past job, don’t show bitterness in your job interview. Instead, state that your drive to always excel at work never stops. So, you’ll be able to get your desired role with bigger responsibilities in the future. This will give an impression to the interviewer that you really want to level up your career. Employers want ambitious employees because they are the ones who perform very well at work.

On the other hand, if your reason is a toxic environment, never badmouth your recent company because it’s simply unprofessional. But you don’t need to lie. You just have to be tactful. Thus, tell the interviewer that you desire for a challenging environment where you’ll be pushed to attain higher goals.

2. Express your appreciation for your past job

Your past work experience probably taught you something significant. So when asked the question, “Why did you leave your last job?”, express first your gratitude for your past job because it taught you valuable skills. It’s just that you are aiming to employ those skills in a more challenging role. But remember that it’s not all about the technical competence related to your expertise. It could also be some soft skills such as leadership and communication skills which you can use more effectively in the position you are applying for.

3. Show clarity about your career direction

It’s not enough that you are ambitious in your career. This does not automatically translate to clarity. It’s because you can be determined to reach professional success while being unsure of your specific track. This applies to other areas in life. So if you’re a career shifter, you should prove to your prospective employer why you came up with the decision to pursue a new path. On the other hand, if you will still be in the same field as your past work experience, you can show clarity by demonstrating your drive to reach the peak of your career. That could be having a managerial role. But if you were already in this position before, you just need to state what you still want to accomplish given the same role.

Did you notice that the 3 ways mentioned above are focused on the future? Yes, that’s how you can speak on a positive note in your job interview. The key is to always include a major element in your answer that will speak about your career goals. The 3 strategies above exhibit that essential factor. Even if your reason for leaving your previous employer is that you got laid off, you can still tie your answer with your career plans for the future. Support it with the lessons you had learned from your past job. Actually, all these 3 strategies can be applied to that case.

So, why did you leave your last job? Now, demonstrate through your answer that you are driven to succeed in your profession, grateful for your past work experience, and clear on your career goals. Get ready to ace that job interview!

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Photo by Nik MacMillan on Unsplash

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