Thursday, December 8, 2011

Why Did you Leave your Last Job? The Do’s and Don’ts of Answering this Interview Question.

This is a common interview question that has the potential to have a negative affect on your interview. Even if you are currently employed, your interviewer may ask you about your motivation for seeking a new position. Often, employers ask this question to try and define your motivation. However, more often than not, they are fishing to see if you will reveal your “dirt” or will speak negatively about a former employer so that they can gauge what kind of an employee you will be.

As with all interview questions, the key to answering this question is to be prepared. Here are some tips to help you be ready to take the focus off the past and shine on your future in your next interview.

Don’t ever talk negatively about a former employer, no matter how much you think you were in the right. When you talk down a previous company or boss, it automatically leads the interviewer to think you are a difficult, problem employee.

Do show the interviewer that you have researched their company and have a solid reason that you want to work for them. Demonstrate your knowledge of and enthusiasm for the company with an answer such as, “The opportunity to work for the aerospace industry’s leading propulsion engineering company on the new P229 engine was an opportunity that I had to pursue.”

Don’t give the impression that you are hard to please. When you give answers such as ‘I was not being challenged’, ‘I was being underutilized’, or ‘I was bored’ make you sound like someone who may also leave their company as soon as the going gets tough.

Do stay positive. Talk about what you really liked at your former employer and express that you can’t wait to be involved in that area with this new employer. Explain in the interview that you discovered you really enjoy and excel at a skill that you know you can expand upon in the new job. Working as part of a team, helping people, working independently, and managing projects are all examples of what you use in this answer.

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