This is a challenging inquiry that will almost certainly come up in job interviews. Figure out how to make the best of a bad situation.
Think about why they’re asking you this
“What made you want to quit your last job?” It’s a trap, but a prospective employer really wants to know the response since it reveals so much about you, like:
- If you often change jobs
- If you’re looking to leave your previous workplace or to advance your career
- How you handle difficult situations
- How dedicated you are to your work
- How you feel about your responsibilities to the company you work for
Your response should be representative of you favorably. The hiring manager will learn a lot about you just from your response, so now is your chance to shine.
Prepare in advance
It’s important that you not be taken aback by this inquiry. The ‘off the top of my head’ response you give may not be very reassuring, especially if you left your previous position due to a bad experience.
Most job interviews will include this question, so you should be ready with a suitable response.
Disclose the truth.
A prospective employer may do research into the reasons you gave for leaving your previous work. They will get a negative opinion of you if they find out something different from the account you told them. It’s never a smart idea to fib to a recruiting manager.
While tactful wording is appreciated, don’t sugarcoat the reality when speaking to the management.
Keep an upbeat attitude.
There were moments when you had to quit your job because it was that terrible. Perhaps the manager was just being rude. Possibly the work was terrible. Perhaps your workmates were extremely poisonous. No matter the source of the negative experience, your response should be upbeat.
Try to put yourself in a positive frame of mind and use phrases like “look on the bright side” or “find the silver lining” when formulating your response to this inquiry.
Avoid making enemies out of former employers, superiors, or coworkers.
Even though this is related to “keep a positive attitude,” it warrants its own subsection. How you respond to this inquiry may reveal important information about your interpersonal skills in the workplace. Your interviewer may worry that you may bring negative attitudes and behavior to their company if they hear you speak negatively about your previous employer. It may seem as though you’re trying to portray yourself as a victim. You should avoid giving off the impression that you are incompetent right off the get.
You should demonstrate to a potential employer that your departure was amicable. You are not a person who harbors ill will. You have no ill will against anyone. You’re just going along with the flow.
If that isn’t the case, then you should try to make some progress. Put aside any grudges you may have and see this interview, and any others to come, as a chance to better yourself.
Keep it short and sweet.
Although you shouldn’t be overly evasive, a succinct answer might show your enthusiasm for the position without giving the interviewer any openings to poke holes in your character. If you dwell too much on the past, you risk coming across as stuck there.
A brief response, no more than a few sentences, will suffice.
This is not usually a simple question to answer. It can make or break your chances of getting a new job, therefore it’s important to be ready for it.
If you’re on the market for a new job, look no farther, you can also get helpful resources like sample resumes and interview questions.
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