“Why are you looking for change” or “Why did you leave your last job” or “What is the reason of job change” or “Why are you planning to leave your current job”
In one form or another, this one question is always there in every job interview. There is just no skipping from it. There can be multiple reasons for leaving a job or looking for new opportunities in the market. Some you can share or some are better to skip.
How to justify these reasons in an interview is itself a challenge:
Let’s have a look at different reasons. And find out how to frame a good answer to the question “Why did you leave your last job”
Also Read : How To Answer: Why are you looking for change
Sample answers of “Why did you leave your last job” interview question –
New Opportunities / Professional Growth :
This is the most common answer given by candidates. Where they fail is, in justifying how their current organization is not helping them in achieving desired professional growth and how the new organization can be the best fit to meet their career aspiration.
When not justified properly this reason can look like an excuse for changing job and interviewer can assume anything from your poor performance to your inability to do the job properly.
Sample answer –
“In my current organization I got the opportunity to work on _ and _. And now I want to explore _ and my current organization is not a right place or is not able to provide an opportunity to work on my desired skill sets. Since your organization is working on _ so I believe this can be a right place to grow professionally. And also I can use my skills to help in achieving organizational goal.”
Work-Life Balance :
You are working long hours, you don’t have time for friends and family and you are always on work-related travel.
You have to share this reason without looking like someone who is always the first one to leave the office and a naysayer when it requires to work overtime and come office on weekends.
And don’t avoid sharing this reason. Because interviewer response on this will gives you an idea about company culture, if they also follow the same work culture then this is not a suitable place for you.
“Since my current organization is in a growing phase, processes are not defined properly, there is a bit of mismanagement when it comes to assigning tasks and a lot of unplanned activities are always there, because of all this, most of the time I am working for long hours and doing unplanned travel. And this all has left me with no time for my personal life and is also causing a lot of stress and affecting my productivity. Although I have learned a lot in my current organization, now I am looking for a place which gives importance to work-life balance and smart working”
Laid off :
If you have been laid off along with a group of people or with the whole unit then just be honest and explain it. Make sure to highlight your accomplishments.
“I have worked with this company for 3 yrs and achieved great success in _ and has learned a lot in _. Now the company has been going through restructuring/merger/acquisition. And dynamics within the organization have changed a lot, some positions have been removed. So they decided to let go of few people and I was one of them. I also took it as an opportunity to look something better for me in the market.”
As soon as you will share that you were fired, the first thing the interviewer will assume that it must be because of your bad performance. The challenge for you is to change this assumption not only with your answer but with your overall performance in the interview.
Don’t plan to skip sharing this because lying and getting caught later can lead to something even worse.
So better to deal with it. And make sure that you perform so well in rest of your interview that “fired” tag got ignored or considered as a one-time incident. And if you win the interviewer’s heart with the answer to this question, rest of the interview will be like a cakewalk.
Be honest while answering this question. Give facts and figures to justify your performance. Share about learning you had from this incident and do not bad mouth your employer.
“I was hired to work on _ and _ and I have achieved significant results in those areas and received appreciation from my manager and client. But overtime expectations from my role have been changed drastically. And I was asked to work on areas, where I had no prior experience. This has affected my productivity and my performance went down so when my manager found someone else to do the job, I was asked to go. My mistake was that I didn’t say “no” when different work assigned to me. I should have communicated my manager that I have no experience in this and I need the training to start working on this. I learned that open communication really matters in any organization and if I don’t feel confident about any task, then I should not take responsibility to complete that”
So these are the sample answers to the interview question “Why did you leave your last job”. They are based on the most common reasons for the job change. If you have some other reason you can modify these answers and use them in your next interview.
-The Career Sailor
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