ringier home icon

How To Answer: “Why Did You Leave Your Current Job?”

A job interview is one of the most intimidating ways of making a first impression. It is also a good opportunity prove to your employer that you are the best fit for the job

On of the most challenging question, that most candidates fail to answer appropriately is “why did you leave your last job” .This question has become so common in interview rooms and most often your ability to answer it can make or break that interview.

So what does the interviewer want to know in this question?

First of all, the interviewer wants to know whether you left your previous job in good terms as well as the kind of relationship you had with your previous employer and colleagues. He also wants to know your personality, credibility and whether you can relate well to people.

When responding to this question always  focus on your previous achievements and say that you are looking for more challenging opportunities and responsibilities

I have worked at company M for three years and was awarded the best employee of the year for my exemplary performance in teamwork and problem solving. Having successfully achieved that, I am ready for another challenge with your company and to offer my expertise in XYZ field  for the overall benefit of your organisation”

The following should also be kept in mind when answering such a question

Be honest but tactical when giving your explanation

Failing to be honest about this question can prevent even the most qualified of candidates from getting the job. At the end of the day, employers will contact your referees and find out the whole truth. The interviewer will appreciate your honesty even if you were fired from your job and instead of going around in circles telling a false story, give an honest explanation. If you left the job because you were laid off or you were fired, you should be able to explain it tactfully.

Never Speak ill About Your Former Boss

How well you related with your former boss largely depends if you have a chance of securing this other job. Most employers are eagerly waiting for that moment when you badmouth your former boss. The consequence of that, is that an employer could end up blacklisting you.

Not all bosses are good but speaking ill of him in the interview will not help either. Besides, you have nothing to gain by being negative. No matter the circumstances which you left your job, the interview is about you so use this opportunity to prove your suitability for the job.

Focus on the positive contribution you made for your previous employer

Employers are keen to hire candidates who have demonstrated immense contributions throughout their career. Position your communication in a  way that reflects significant achievements throughout your career. While doing so, the new employer is able to leverage your track record and what you can offer their company as well. Interestingly, in this competitive market most recruiters are keen to poach and find talent that is unmatched, this could mean finding a potential employee whose career history speaks volume in terms of positive accomplishments.

Some situations are beyond our control

Some organisations close indefinitely. As part of the restructuring process, other organisations lay off dozen of workers, while others lose big in terms of key client accounts. However, ensure that you focus on the three critical areas mentioned above and more so, highlight your accomplishments so far before mentioning that ultimately the company went down.

Overall , create a vivid goal that is inline with your career interests. Mention specifically that you are seeking more responsibilities and this new position advertised is your ultimate dream job.

“I have been working hard for the past five years in a similar position, improving on key skills that are critical to this new position and creating a consistent positive impact on the organisation. With this in mind, that is the reason i am really keen to find a senior position with your company. Your company also offers an ideal environment and practical exposure that will allow me to be fully committed to this position and based on my track record, i am confident that i will meet the company’s objectives.

Mueke Katwa
I have two years experience in Business Support which covers Human Resource as a function; and a lifelong passion in creative writing.
Notification Bell