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How To Answer ‘Why Did You Leave Your Last Job’ Question

When answering the quitting question, there could be many different reasons for why you left your last job, but currently looking for a new opportunity. In an interview, you need to be able to articulate those reasons well without digging yourself into a hole.


10 Good Responses To ‘Why Did You Leave Your Last Job?
  1. Seeking New Challenges: “I was looking for new challenges and opportunities to grow my skills. I believe this position aligns well with my career goals and will allow me to leverage my experience while continuing to develop professionally.”
  2. Career Advancement: “I left my last job because I was seeking a role that offered greater opportunities for advancement. While I appreciated my time there, I felt it was time to move on to a position where I could take on more responsibility and continue to grow.”
  3. Change in Career Direction: “I decided to leave my last job to pursue a different career direction. I realized that my true passion lies in [specific field or industry], and I wanted to find a role that aligns more closely with my long-term career goals.”
  4. Company Restructuring: “The company underwent restructuring, which resulted in the elimination of several positions, including mine. While it was an unexpected change, I see it as an opportunity to find a role where I can bring my skills and experience to a new team.”
  5. Relocation: “I relocated to this area for personal reasons, and as a result, I had to leave my previous job. I am now looking for new opportunities that are closer to my new location and excited about the prospects in this region.”
  6. Seeking Better Work-Life Balance: “I left my last job because I was seeking a better work-life balance. While I enjoyed my role, the demands were quite high, and I am now looking for a position that offers a more balanced approach, allowing me to be productive and maintain a healthy personal life.”
  7. Desire for a New Environment: “After several years at my last job, I felt it was time for a change of environment. I am eager to bring my skills to a new team and gain fresh perspectives, and I believe your company offers the kind of innovative and collaborative environment I am looking for.”
  8. Pursuing Further Education: “I took some time off from my last job to pursue further education and earn an advanced degree in [specific field]. Now that I have completed my studies, I am eager to apply my new knowledge and skills in a practical setting.”
  9. Company Culture Fit: “While I appreciated my time at my last job, I realized that the company culture was not the best fit for me. I am looking for a company that values [specific value, e.g., innovation, collaboration], and I believe your organization aligns well with my values and work style.”
  10.   Health Reasons: “I left my last job due to some health issues that required my full attention. Fortunately, I am now fully recovered and ready to get back to work. I am excited to bring my skills and enthusiasm to a new role and contribute to your team.”

How you present yourself and your position can be a huge factor in getting a job in today’s competitive market. Being able to articulate why you left/are leaving a job in a way that shows respect for your previous employer.

But always show excitement for the opportunity and challenge ahead. With some practice and forethought, you can effectively answer the quitting question.


All About Perspective

Whether you were fired, laid off or chose to quit your job, don’t let the negatives become the focus. Explain the benefits of what happened. If you felt like you couldn’t grow any more in the job you’re in, emphasize how you feel the job you’re applying for would give you those growth opportunities. If you were laid off, hopefully it wasn’t because of any fault of your own.

Talk about how you and your boss still have a good relationship (maybe they’re even one of your references!). But only do this if you actually do have a good relationship still. There are plenty of negative reasons for quitting a job, but you don’t necessarily want to air all of those. Instead, find the positives and draw their focus there.


Be Honest, Not Comprehensive

They don’t need to know every frustration. Be tactful and succinct. Express why you left, but again, don’t be very negative about it. Industries can be interconnected, so you’ll never know if the interviewer knows your previous boss in some capacity.

Plus, if you indulge in complaining about your other workplace to the interviewer of this new job, they’ll probably wonder how long it will be until you’re complaining at your new job.

Practice giving a to-the-point answer as to why you’re making this change. Don’t give in to the temptation to complain or point fingers at your workplace.


Consider Your Response

What are some responses for why you’re quitting/have already quit your job? A few could be: you got burnt out, you had to take care of a sick family member or just needed to spend more time with family, the job you’re currently applying for was just such a good opportunity, or you needed room to grow.

All of these are acceptable answers and are much better than just saying, “I hated my job and wanted to leave”. Your next employer wants you to be honest with them, but how you phrase your responses will help them to see the validity of your choice.


About Allen Recruitment

We are a team of expert recruitment consultants with offices in Irelandthe UK, the NetherlandsSpainFranceSweden, Belgium and Poland, providing recruitment solutions and job opportunities all over Europe. We offer temporary, permanent, contract and contingency roles in a variety of industries such as IT, Tech, Finance, Telecom, E-commerce, Engineering and more.


Posted in: Job Seeking Resources

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