It is quite common for people to switch their jobs, although their reasons may vary vastly. To get a new job, you will inevitably have to sit for an interview process. Preparing for an interview means preparing your answers for all kinds of questions that you may face at a job interview.
One of these questions include- Why did you leave your last job? This is a question that you will inevitably face at your next interview, and it is quite essential to have the right answer prepared for it. Sometimes, your answer may turn out to be quite simple.
You left your previous job because it was an internship, and it finally ended. However, if you have worked in some other company for a while and then decided to leave, you will have to provide a proper answer to this.
There are many different ways in which you can answer this question, and here are some tips for answering this question well.
Also Read: How to Answer – Reasons for Leaving a Job
You Found a Better Opportunity
This may come as a surprise to many, but you have a chance of faring better in your job interview if you already have a job and are looking to switch companies. If this is the case, then the interviewer might ask you why you are looking to leave your current company to join the new one.
Well, the best way to answer this question is to let the interviewer know that you think the opportunity offered by their company is a better deal for you. What you want to convey to the interviewer is that you are choosing to leave your current job for a better opportunity, and not to run away from a wrong position or situation.
You Feel You Are Ready to Take on Newer Challenges
Taking on challenges and being able to solve them successfully is a good thing. Problems make us motivated and drive us forward instead of letting us be stagnant. However, when you are working in one place for a long time, the challenges can become less exciting.
This is a good reason you might want to move forward to the next step of your career and is an acceptable answer to give to your interviewer. Of course, it is essential to do some research about the company first, so that you can talk about a few challenges that you know of, and how you think you can use your problem-solving skills to solve those challenges at the new company.
Your Skill Set Has Improved with Experience, and You Think You Can Add Value to the New Company.
It is a good idea to mention how you have adjusted your skillset by working in your previous job, and how it has added to your strengths. This not only allows you to talk about your advantages with your interviewer, but you can also mention your achievements and accomplishments.
Using this information, you can inform the interviewer of how you think your skillset will add value to the organization, and how you feel you would be a good fit for the job position.
The Company Was Downsizing
Of course, there might occur a situation where you did not particularly choose to leave your previous job, but you were laid off. This is not information that you should keep from your interviewer, neither should you try and lie about it.
Many companies often downsize, and it is quite common to be a part of this process, mainly if you were not laid off due to performance reasons. When you are mentioning this reason to your interviewer, make sure that you speak about your achievements and accomplishments in the previous company.
Mention that you were laid off, along with many others, due to downsizing. Remember that lying about this will not be a good idea, as the interviewer can always recheck the reasons with your previous company.
In Case You Were Fired
It happens to most people at some time in their career. They are fired from the job. However, this reason should not come in the way of you finding another job or looking for better opportunities. When answering the question ‘why were you fired from your previous job,’ you need to be careful of a few things.
It is not a good idea to talk negatively about your previous company, your employers, your boss, or even your colleagues. If you were not comfortable with the office environment, you could always mention this as a point without really belittling anyone in your previous workplace.
However, make sure that it is not your only reason; you should have other valid points as well. It often happens that a new manager is called into the team; there are budget cuts, policy changes, or only changes in expectation regarding your performance.
Your interviewer will most probably be aware of all of these office nuances, so you should feel free to state your reason honestly. Make sure that you highlight the positive points you have acquired from your previous company.
Of course, in case you were fired for a particular reason, you should mention it to your interviewer, but also assure them that it was an isolated incident so that you don’t come off as risky to hire.
Whether you were laid off or you left for personal or professional reasons, it can always be slightly uncomfortable to answer this question. Nevertheless, it is still important to prepare yourself to answer this question.
Your goal should be to focus on the future, let your future employer know that you are hardworking and motivated (without actually mentioning these words but citing examples and incidents).
It would help if you practised this answer in advance, as your body language or tone may come off as defensive, anxious or unsure. Your interviewer will be able to asses this body language quite quickly, and it can be negative marking for you, so it is essential to be calm, relaxed and prepared for this answer. And the most important thing is, don’t lie. Your interviewer can find out the truth anyway!