One of the trickiest questions you can face during an interview is this one: Why did you leave your last job?
If your job search became a necessity because of something innocuous, like a move to a new city, you might find this question pretty easy to manage. However, if you left because you were unhappy or were terminated from your position, you need to make sure you handle this question with care.
Telling a hiring manager you were fired is always tough. Similarly, if your last job experience was poor, resisting the urge to badmouth your former boss or company can be challenging.
Luckily, there is a way to handle this question carefully and professionally. If you aren’t sure how to explain why you left your last job, here are some tips to help you during your next interview.
What to Say When You Didn’t Like Your Last Job
First and foremost, you need to make sure you don’t speak negatively about your past employer. Telling the hiring manager your last boss was intolerable or you hated your duties isn’t going to go over well, so it is best to avoid those points entirely.
Instead, you want to remove any emotional context for the situation. Similarly, don’t point fingers at any people, regardless of how they influenced your decision to leave. Instead, reframe the experience in your mind and identify facts that showcase how the job wasn’t a great fit.
For example, if you were hoping to advance and didn’t get that chance, you can discuss the fact that you are looking for a role that offers more professional development opportunities than you had access to previously. If long hours on the job were a problem because your workplace was understaffed, you could mention you are looking for a role with better work-life balance.
However, make sure to pepper in some details about how aspects of the job did work for you, at least for a time. The idea is to highlight what the position gave you and how it helped you grow. Then, you can stress how a new job is the next logical step based on your career aspirations or preferences.
What to Say When You Were Fired From Your Last Job
Discussing a termination is daunting, but necessary. You want to be honest about the situation but keep your answer brief. Don’t blame anyone else for what happened, as it is better to own your part in the equation than point the finger. Also, be prepared to pivot quickly, allowing you to shift what could be viewed as a negative into a positive.
For example, you can tell the hiring manager you were let go and then provide some context based on facts, not emotions. This could include an overview of a mistake you made or a summary of how the job wasn’t a great fit.
Next, shift your focus to what you learned from the experience and how that will make you a better employee as you progress. Then, highlight why you are a great fit for this role, highlighting your skills and capabilities.
This approach allows you to be accountable but also to reframe the situation by showcasing your growth. That way, your answer ends on a positive note.
If you would like to know more about successful interviewing, the professionals at TempStaff can help. Contact us to speak with one of our recruiters today and see how our interview expertise can benefit you. If you’re looking for a new Mississippi job, click this link!