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"How do I explain why I left my last Job in an Interview?" - Ask Me Anything

How do you explain why you left your last job

What should I say when they ask me why did I leave?

I am a big believer that honesty is always the best policy but that doesn't mean you can't position the truth in the best possible way. The answer to this question will really depend on why you actually left your last position or want to make the move so I will split my answer into two parts. 

For a full list of how to deal with those tricky interview questions head to my previous blog post The Interview Answers that will get your Hired!

You were asked to leave your last position 

I'll begin with the harder of the two sides of this, if you were asked to leave your last post; essentially you were dismissed. Hopefully you got all the reasons for your previous dismissal allowing you to learn from any mistakes you made and move forward. 

A dismissal should not hold you back from getting another job, though I'll be completely honest it does make it more difficult. My first piece of advice is to not lie, if you come across an application asking if you were previously dismissed and you state no, most likely they are going to do checks and lying will put you in a negative light. This will lead to the company reconsidering your honesty and integrity and most likely mean you are withdrawn from the running for that job. Instead explain the situation in detail; every story does have two sides and make it clear how you have worked to ensure that whatever happened in your previous employment doesn't happen again. 

Now as a side note, if you were made redundant from your last job make that clear. Don't say I was "let go" as some people assume that to mean you were fired whereas a redundancy is something completely different. Don't blur those lines in your job application. 

What if you weren't asked the question; now this can be a grey area but if you aren't asked the question of dismissal then you can you talk about the reasons for want this new role instead of approaching the subject of a dismissal.You are putting yourself in the best light possible without lying. 


Employers Appreciate Honesty

You have decided to move on from your last position

There is nothing wrong in deciding a job isn't quiet right for you so you leave to make a change. When answering the question just demonstrate what you learnt about yourself, why it wasn't right for you and more importantly why you now know the job you are applying for would be perfect for your skills.

Top Tip - Stop saying you are just looking for progression. It is the easy way out but in most case not the truth. Try and be more specific, are you looking for a new challenge, have you got a career path in mind that you are unable to pursue within your current role for any reason. 

Generic answers don't cut it and they rarely show your passionate about the job you are going for so instead of moaning about your previous job use this question to highlight what inspired you to come to their interview.

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