One of the most common interview questions is, “Why are you looking to leave your current job?” or “Why did you leave your last position?” With that being said, it is important to prepare a response to one or both of these questions before you even enter your interview. No matter why you are looking for a new position, it is in your best interest to give an honest, straightforward answer that illustrates your focus on future career goals. (This is especially important in situations where you may not have left on positive terms).
Perhaps the most important thing to remember during an interview is not to speak poorly of a former boss, company, or co-worker. Regardless of the circumstances and your experience, making negative remarks about a previous employer actually reflects unfavorably upon you. Part of the interviewer’s job is to ascertain something about your character. You want to demonstrate your resilience, not create cause for concern that you might make similar statements if you were to leave their company on unpleasant terms someday. Additionally, you can never know who the interviewer knows – they may be friends with, neighbors of, or even related to the person you are speaking ill of.
During the interview, do your best to say something positive about your previous job even if you had a bad experience overall. This could be something as simple as the office environment, a new skill you learned, or a useful seminar you attended. Prospective employers want to see that you are ready to focus on the future and not dwelling on the past. Practice what you plan to say so that you are prepared to communicate your thoughts in a confident, concise, and articulate manner.
For more interview tips, be sure to check out our blog post on how to achieve interview success.