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How to answer “Why did you leave your last job?”

Job interviews May 29, 2022

This is the article you’ve been looking for, in order to answer one of the most trending questions lately when it comes to job interviews. HR responsible employees would love the answers given below. So don’t waste time and read them & keep notes!

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Firstly, check some reasons that led to leave your last job.

Reason 1: There was no opportunity for advancement

  • You're unhappy with the work.
  • You're unhappy with the management.
  • You want more responsibility.
  • You want more money.
  • You want more job security.
  • You wanted to try something new (or a different field).

Reason 2: Want a new working experience

You can give an answer like this: “I'm interested in learning new skills, gaining new experience and being able to work with new people. Additionally, I hope we can have more discussions about the future of our company's products.”

Another good answer is: “My previous job paid well, but didn't provide much opportunity for advancement. I'm hoping that at your company, there might be room for growth within my position or perhaps even an increase in salary!”

Reason 3: Fired

Here is a sample answer: "I was fired because my former employer had different expectations than I did about our working relationship, which led to some misunderstandings. We agreed that it was best for me to leave so that we could both move forward with no hard feelings.

Since then, I've taken the opportunity to reflect on what led us both down this path and have decided that I need more face-to-face communication when working with clients in order for them to feel comfortable with me as their advisor and vice versa."

Reason 4: Personal and family reasons

There may be personal or family reasons that led to your decision to leave your last job. If you have children and need more time with them, this may be a valid reason for leaving your job. The same goes for health problems. You should mention anything that is important not just to the interview but also to your life in general, such as caring for an ageing parent or other illness in the family.

Important tips

In order to answer with the right attitude!

Don't bad-mouth your old boss

Regardless of how tempting it might be, don’t bad-mouth your old boss/manager. If you're tempted to say something negative about your last employer, stop right there and remember that your potential new boss is the last person you want to hear bad things about your old boss, no matter how true they are.

Don't talk negatively about co-workers

You should also remain positive when talking about your co-workers. While it may be true that they were the reason you left, there are things you learned from them that are valuable to employers.

For example: “I really enjoyed working with my team at XYZ and am grateful for the time I had with them. They taught me some great skills in [relevant area]. I hope to continue learning from people in this industry and company!”

Or perhaps: “I learned so much from my boss at XYZ, especially in terms of leadership skills and how to manage employees effectively. I'd love to work for another leader who could help me grow even more as a manager in your organization!”

If you have strong relationships with customers, give examples here as well. They'll show the hiring manager that while there were issues at your last job, these issues aren't indicative of who you are as a person or how effective you'll be at their company if hired

You don't need to go into a lot of detail

If a hiring manager asks you why you left your previous job, explain how your time at the company made you a better candidate for this job.

When answering this question, remember that it's important to be honest about why you left without disparaging anyone else in your response. Even if they didn't give enough praise or support at work.

If there was something specific that led up to leaving (such as being denied a promotion), address it briefly. The goal here is to show that despite any setbacks experienced during employment history, there are lessons learned and growth achieved through those experiences rather than dwelling on past mistakes.

Be prepared for follow-up questions

If you dodged answering the question by saying something like "professional differences," you can bet the interviewer is going to ask for a little more detail.

Say something like: "I really enjoyed my time there, but I decided it wasn't right for me." Alternatively, if you're not comfortable talking about it at all because it was due to performance issues or something similar, just say so! Most people will appreciate honesty over polite lies any day!

Keep it brief, keep it positive and focus on what's ahead

Keep it brief and positive! Focus on what's ahead rather than what's behind them - as long as they're not pressing you for more details.

Here are some good guidelines for answering the question:

  • Keep it short! Don't give a lengthy explanation or ramble on about your previous manager's shortcomings. If they have follow-up questions (and they probably will), answer those instead of continuing with more detail about why the job didn't work out in the first place.
  • Avoid being vague or specific when describing why there were issues at your old company/job/role etc. Don't get too aggressive when explaining why things went wrong at your last role.
  • Don't be passive-aggressive, either. Just say what happened without making excuses!


Evaluate all the answers that were given in this blog post. Configure and adjust them in your situation based on the reason you left from your previous job. And remember, practice makes perfect, so make a lot of exercising for your interview and be confident with your answers.

Good luck!

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Zoi Kotsou

Copywriter - Content writer - Content Strategist

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