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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

"So Why Did You Leave Your Last Job?"

 Why Did You Leave Your Last Job?

The words to strike fear into every person ever to set foot in an interview room. Being asked why you left your job is always difficult. You never know what the right answer is. Too honest, and you'll risk alienating your prospective employer, but too vague and it'll look like you're trying to hide something. Unless you've got a really good reason for leaving your job then what do you do?

Honestly, I'd love the answer to be "be honest" but I don't think it's that cut and dry.

I'm not suggesting you lie about the reason you left, but there is a way to be diplomatic about things. You've got to remember that your old company will probably be called on to provide a reference, so you need to tread carefully. Things you shouldn't admit to include sleeping with your previous boss, any kind of gross misconduct and anything that starts with the prefix "my boss was an idiot".

You've got to be smarter than that.

I'm not suggested you flat out lie, but you can be economical with what you tell someone. Instead of slagging your boss off, talk about looking for new challenges, and hoping to work in a team environment.


Doesn't that sound much better? The person interviewing you is looking for someone they can get on with for half of the day. Make sure you come across as the kind of person that they want to spend time with, not someone who's going to stab them in the back. Need Help Finding Work?Click Here!

I don't have to tell you that any kind of gross misconduct is going to look bad so you have two choices. You can either address it and move on, or not say anything and hope that your old company isn't called upon for a reference. My advice? Don't mention it until it's brought up (I'm guessing if you've gone on a mad screaming rampage, that might come out). And then handle it swiftly and move on. Really swiftly and politely. Talking about how much you've learned would be a good idea as well.

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What about if you don't have a good reason for leaving your job?

Boredom and frustration are both good reasons. Wanting to go off to France for a few months doesn't look that great. Because your new employer doesn't want to pick up the slack when you get bored in six months time. But talk about it as thought you took a career break and suddenly things will look a whole lot better. Hanging on the beach isn't a learning experience. Working out where you want your career to go is.Last Minute Air Deal

You don't have to talk about everything. Sometimes one of the best interview skills you can learn is when to shut up.

And if you did sleep with your old boss, that might be a good idea.

Mr. Dangerfield is an I.A.P.D.A Certified Debt Specialist whom has worked in the finance industry for over a decade. He manages and is the author of "A Dangerfield Manifesto" and co-founder of SMG Holdings, the parent company of Squad Music Group, Dangerfield Artistic Entertainment SMG Publishing and Taboo Dangerfield Publishing
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