Useful Tips

How to explain at the interview why you left your previous job


Passing the interview, I want to open my best sides and hide in a deep box all that, from the perspective of the applicant, can interfere with employment. How reasonable is this to be done regarding the reason for leaving the previous job?

Sometimes the reasons for dismissal can really characterize the applicant not from the best side and become a stumbling block in employment. But this situation does not apply to all cases. Often, a candidate for a job, coming for an interview (either from a great desire to get an affirmative answer, or from an obsessive fear or self-doubt), begins to compose fairy tales about his previous experience. The results of the HeadHunter study are further confirmation of this.

This behavior can have several development paths:

    they will "bite you" and, believe me, they will independently suggest the most disadvantageous options for the reasons for dismissal, which will not help you in finding a job,

Suspecting something was wrong, they’ll try to bring you to clean water with leading questions, when voiced which an awkward situation is ensured,

  • you will be able to deftly convince the employer of the veracity of the given option of the reason for dismissal, but for this you must either first take the courses of a “professional liar” or get an incompetent interviewer, which is now rare.
  • The logic is clear - it’s not worth brazenly lying. You can either tell the truth (it may not be as scary as you suggested), or find a way to describe the situation with the dismissal in a light favorable to you. Although there are reasons for leaving the previous place of work that definitely will not play into the hands of the applicant.

    According to HeadHunter, most often an applicant for a job during an interview hides that the dismissal occurred due to a bad relationship with the former leadership. Least of all they are silent about the territorial location of the office.

    All these reasons, of course, can motivate an employee to change their place of work, but the future result depends on how you present them at your next employment.

    Interview Diplomacy

    If you left on your own, obviously, the situation is not so deplorable. Although in this case the option is not excluded that the new employer will not be too lazy to study your ins and outs. You need to be prepared for these kinds of issues, not to beat around the bush, but not to spit out a passionate speech about your hardships or conflicts at a previous job. A scrupulous preliminary preparation for possible questions and restrained, not devoid of logic answers will locate the personnel officer to you and inspire confidence in him.

    There are several formulations of the reasons for dismissal, which if not properly served will not play into your hands. It is necessary to be careful with them - have reached the black strip in your working biography - and along.

    Consider individual cases:

    • You left work because of a conflict with your boss or colleagues.

    Expert advice on this issue diverges in many aspects, but there is one consensus: it’s not worthwhile to emphasize that the problem was only in the bad boss and the bad colleagues, and you were their victim. The idea immediately arises that you will also blaspheme your potential leadership if you do not work with him. And, in any case, a quarrelsome and conflicting employee, unable to find a common language with others, is far from the dream of the employer. If you even have contentious issues in a team or directly with your boss, do not go into details. If the interview turned into torture and specifics are required of you, it’s better not to tell lies. The main thing is to avoid excessive emotionality, not to switch to an offensive tone. The cause of the conflict can always be presented in a more favorable light for you, even telling the truth. And do not forget to mention the positive experience of cooperation with colleagues. Also, do not focus on personal discomfort from the situation. It’s better to say that the result of work could worsen from a misunderstanding, and that you, as a responsible employee who understands your duties, could not allow it.

    • The reason for the dismissal was an unacceptable level of salary.

    Agree, the employee will be paid worth its weight in gold accordingly. When you begin to say that you were underestimated in material terms, a logical question arises - are you worth what you demand, or are these simply overstated ambitions? Especially if wages are the only argument for a job change. One gets the impression that money is your main motivator. This reason for the dismissal can be provided as one of, but not as the main. It is all the more difficult to believe that a specialist will leave a good place of work if everything else is perfect - the team, working conditions, and the possibility of implementation. In the vast majority of cases, the salary offered at a new place of work does not greatly exceed the previous one, since the level of payment for a particular specialty does not vary much in the labor market. And to leave a comfortable place for a five to ten percent premium is not entirely logical. This reason looks important only in the case of a transition from a state organization to a private one - then the difference in material issues can really be significant.

    • The crisis or internal problems of the company are to blame (that is, you were kindly asked to leave).

    Again - valuable shots are not scattered. If there are five specialists performing the same functions, they will leave the best while reducing. Why you were not recognized as such is the first thought that will visit a new employer. You are “lucky" if, for example, you liquidated an entire department, because you recognized his work as too costly, or if the company retrained - then this is only to your advantage. If this reason, in your opinion, is still the most acceptable (although you were among the few who pointed to the door), try to provide an argument, of course, in a light favorable to you, why it happened. It is even better to say that you saw that the company was in a difficult financial situation, that you could expect anything, even the termination of its existence, and you decided to go in search of a new place of employment, because you cannot afford to be unexpectedly unemployed. The dry wording “crisis is to blame” will make it possible to dream up.

    • The reason is the lack of career and other growth.

    Were you not ready to be entrusted with the execution of more complex tasks? How do you imagine your career growth? Be prepared for such updates. Firstly, the scale of work in different companies may vary. If you want to move from a small office to a large holding - this is all clear. But if the level of employers is approximately equal - how can one refer to prospects? It is important to emphasize here: it is possible that the position that you would like to occupy was absent at the last place of work, or you were limited to a framework that did not allow you to demonstrate your abilities. But referring to these problems, you need to outline what exactly you would like to do in order to get an understanding of how your desires and capabilities of the employer correspond to each other. It’s also good to mentally draw up a plan according to which you would like to follow the goal, that is, to a specific position or criteria for implementation. Purposefulness, especially supported by logic, has not yet hindered anyone during employment.

    • If you were fired "under the article."

    Everything happens in life, no one is safe from unforeseen situations that can lead you to the fact that the employer puts you out the door with an unpleasant entry in the work book. Some applicants decide to cheat and “lose” this document, so as not to remind once again of the mistakes of the past. Maybe this will work, but still at a new workplace they can check your past achievements and find among them those that will deprive you of a chance to find a job. To tell the truth, it’s not in the forehead and bypassing its mention in the resume, otherwise you can simply be weeded out even when it is considered. Once in an interview, you should not immediately talk about the shameful dismissal if you are not asked. If the conversation nevertheless went about it, briefly and unemotionally talk about the current situation. If your fault was obvious, clarify that you admit your mistake and the conclusions are made (for example, if you could not cope with the duties, after dismissal you improved your qualifications in courses or in another way). Sometimes applicants with “sins” initially offer to lower their salary in order to get at least some kind of work, but this can play a trick - if you are hired, they will be perceived as an “employee ready for anything” employee with appropriate loads and attitude .

    On the way to finding a new job, in particular, a more interesting and promising one, the applicant will face challenges that must be passed through with dignity. Interviewing is one of the most important of them. Be confident in yourself - do not panic when you hear an unpleasant or provocative question, in particular about dismissal, do not go too far into writing fairy tales about your achievements (you can check all this, do not blithely assume that this will not happen), be precise in statements, avoid sharp corners and tactfully focus on your achievements and plans. Following these rules, your reason for dismissal will be one of, and not the main criteria for hiring.

    Your boss was just unbearable

    Interviewers know that the world is full of terrible bosses and that it is a serious excuse to look for another place. The catch is that they don’t know you well enough to believe in the objectivity of your assessment. If you criticize the boss in an interview, they will justly think about the other side of the story - you could create problems in relations with superiors.

    In addition, one unspoken rule of interviews is to never criticize ex-employers; this is considered immodest and unprofessional. Most interviewers will prefer to postpone your resume if you mention a bad leader, even if this is true.

    In a word, even if you leave work because of the boss, it is better to give an answer that does not concern him. Say that you are “ready for new achievements” or “delighted with this vacancy, because ... (add what you need)”. An important point: these answers are not suitable if you worked in the previous place for only a few months, as interviewers may doubt that you are interested in constant work and dedication.

    You have been reduced

    This means that you weren’t fired for performance reasons and you don’t need to beat around the bush to explain the situation. Abbreviations are a normal (albeit sad) phenomenon, and there is nothing to be ashamed of. Answer very simply and clearly: “The company was forced to cut its salary fund, and my position was one of those that fell under reduction.”

    However, if you can share more detailed information, it will be at your fingertips. Interviewers will probably be interested in why you were reduced, and not one of your colleagues. Contexts like “they cut everyone who was hired last year” or “they cut the entire project team“ no name “” emphasize that the decision was not based on the results of your work.

    You got fired

    If you were fired, you might be tempted to try to hide this, which is fundamentally wrong. What is the point of deceiving, saying that you left voluntarily if the HR manager can easily find out the truth by contacting a former employer?

    Sometimes, applicants appeal to sympathy, getting into detailed explanations of the reasons and circumstances of the dismissal. This strategy is also wrong - you run the risk of provoking a negative reaction, because most likely, fill the monologue with excuses and criticism of the one who fired you.

    Usually only a few sentences are needed to explain what happened. For example: “Actually, they asked me. The fact is that I took up a job that required quite advanced design skills, which, frankly, I do not have. I thought I could quickly gain experience, but I underestimated how much to learn. In the end, they offered to leave, and I was relieved to go back to editing and so far I’m working freelance. "

    You know, this is not the end of the world. A lot of people get fired and they find work again. The salt is how you talk about it - succinctly, calmly and without excuses.

    You were underpaid

    Some coaches advise never to refer to money as a reason to leave work, but if you are really underpaid, and this is the main reason for finding a new job, it is quite normal to tell the truth.

    For example: “I like the work that I do, but for a long time the company has been working on the brink of budgetary resources and our salaries are not competitive. I have learned a lot and are doing very well, but I want to increase my income in accordance with my professional level. ”

    It is also nice to mention the lack of bonuses such as medical insurance. Any reasonable interviewer will regard this as practical motivation.

    You did not like the work

    "The Devil Wears Prada"

    And here frankness is in your interests, because if you do not like your production tasks, honesty will help to avoid work that may not be pleasant for similar reasons.

    The main thing is not only to indicate what is not suitable for you, but also to admit what you want to do. For example: "My role required solving marketing problems, while I always wanted to do research work." Or: "I was on business trips 75% of the working time, and I would like to get a place with fewer trips."

    You did not like the atmosphere in the company

    "The wolf of Wall Street"

    The trick here is to find a language that briefly summarizes the situation (so that it doesn't look like you're mired in negativity), and submit the information without judgment. For example: “I’m used to small organizations, where there are more opportunities for rapid promotion and entrepreneurship, and although large companies have many advantages, I realized that I’m missing this.”

    Or another option that confirms your team player potential, which is appreciated by many employers: “The company's culture is really important to me, and I realized that I want to work in a team-oriented company with great potential for cooperation. I am impressed by this approach, but I am also sure that this makes the work more efficient. ”

    Hirst Shkulev Publishing

    Moscow, st. Shabolovka, house 31b, 6th entrance (entrance from Horse Lane)

    What is the reason for terminating the interview?

    First of all, no need to lie. Every decent company has a security service. And she will inquire about you, so the truth inevitably comes up.

    The veracity of the answers is relevant in relation not only to the reasons for dismissal at the interview, but also to work experience, marital status ... This is all easily verified.

    Secondly, no need to bustle. If the interview is eye-to-eye, then any hitch with an answer to this question will arouse suspicion. Do not try to get away from a direct answer.

    Get ready, think about what to say at the interview about the reasons for changing the job at the interview.Answer clearly, confidently, without unnecessary details. Avoid parasitic words.

    Thirdly, the answer should not be stereotyped and sound memorized. It will also provoke doubt in your sincerity.

    Example: to the question “Why did you fall under the reduction?” You answer: “Crisis. Many are now being cut. ”

    Wrong answer, even if partly true. Typically, when a storm, the ship gets rid of the ballast. The same situation is in the era of the economic crisis.

    You must admit that it is not very pleasant to recognize oneself as “not valuable cargo”. Therefore, you need to come up with a reason that is not so offensive to pride and more convincing in the eyes of the employer.

    To the question “Why did you get fired right after the trial period?” Of course, you can say that this is a constant method of the company that does not want to raise salaries. But it’s better if you say that the dismissal happened by agreement of the parties, that you understood that this is not yours, that this is not what you would like to do.

    If fired for an article

    This is a separate story. The entry in the applicant’s work book about dismissal under the article is like a flashing red button warning the employer about the danger.

    There are several options for the owner of such a work book. For example, lose work, get a job "by acquaintance". If you understand that these are all not your options, then go for an interview and take into account a number of points.

    Do not indicate the reason for dismissal in the resume. At the interview yourself do not start a conversation about it. Try to get an interview with a supervisor, not a staff member. So you get an individual approach. And it may come in handy.

    If, nevertheless, a question has been asked, answer briefly, without detailing or embellishing. Important! The ability to admit one’s mistakes is usually valued more than cunning and the desire to blame others. Tip: If the manager hesitates, offer to take you with a trial period.

    5 beautiful reasons to leave work at an interview

    What are the best reasons for dismissal at an interview:

    1. Emotionally burned out. Now this is a pretty fashionable answer. By the way, the term "professional burnout", indeed, exists in nature. Tip: this reason is not suitable if you tend to change jobs every year.
    2. Bankruptcy of a company, reduction of position, reorganization. Caution! This is all easily verified.
    3. Change living place. It became inconvenient to get to work. Tip: you can take advantage of the situation and emphasize your positive features. For example, punctuality: “Getting to work is so long and problematic that due to traffic jams I started (a) to be late. What is punishable and obligatory for me, unbearable. ”
    4. I want a white salary and social package. Attention! Suitable for those who in the previous place of work did not have all this.
    5. I heard a lot about your company. I have long dreamed of working in it. Note: a rare employer will not be flattered by such an answer. But take the trouble to inquire and gather information about the company you are striving for.

    And another answer, as a role model:

    In my opinion, continued work in one place leads to mental regression. I notice that, having studied all the nuances, I am already fulfilling my duties “one left,” on the machine. It becomes uninteresting and boring for me to work. I don’t learn anything new, I don’t grow professionally. I don’t see the point in such a job. AND because I try not to stay too long - For more than three years, do not work in one team, in one position.

    3 main mistakes

    Criticism former leadership, a demonstration of grievances and claims. “The boss is always right” - in the circumstances, this formula works.

    It does not matter who, in fact, was right in the dispute with the authorities. Victory is obviously on the side of the one who is stronger. Deal with it. You need to find a job and a reputation as a brawler and a critic in this business - a poor helper.

    We can say that a new director came and brought his team. There was no place for you in it. But you are grateful to the previous management for the experience gained and are now ready to apply it with benefit elsewhere. You can also say about a different vision of the development prospects of the company. Important: the employer often wants to see a characteristic from the previous place of work. And therefore, leaving, do not slam the door.

    Small salary. Even if this is true, do not make it the main argument in your search for a new job.

    And if you, nevertheless, decided to write in the column “reason for dismissal” "Financial considerations", be prepared to argue your claim for a good salary. Give good reasons, prove your competence as a professional. In other words, justify your market value.

    Negative atmosphere a team. Forget the tales of “energy vampires” sitting in the same office with you. And about how Ivan Ivanovich constantly sniffs, and it bothered you. In order not to kill Ivan Ivanovich, you decided to change your job.

    Advice: if you still have ill-wishers at the same place of work, then it makes sense to warn the new management about this and add that they did not want to let you go, and therefore refused to give a positive recommendation.

    What does the employer think?

    He wants to hire a compliant, adequate, competent employee. Therefore, in answering the question about the reasons for dismissal, he hears not quite what the applicant is counting on.

    For example, the employer does not like it when the applicant is “imprisoned” only for a large salary.

    The course of his thoughts: he wants to receive well, which means that he is motivated by the result and ambitious. This is good and understandable. But this can be easily outbid. Will go to where they promise more. He will leave the company without hesitation if she has financial difficulties. So, not reliable.

    Note: as professional recruiters note, every employer wants his company to be loved not for salaries, but for “something more”. Employer does not trust the dismissed by the reduction. In the eyes of the employer, this is not a completely valid reason for dismissal.

    The course of his thoughts: reduced, which means it was not really needed. So, you can do without it. Valuable shots are not scattered.

    Another thing is if the company survived the reorganization, changed its owner, and the reduction was massive. In this case, the employer may be interested in the appearance on the labor market of professional personnel who have become unemployed due to circumstances beyond their control.

    On a note: “personnel officers” have a term for unprofessional and invaluable candidates for employers - “slag”. In the era of crisis, the percentage of “slag” in the labor market increases sharply.

    “Why do I want to change jobs?” - what to say at the interview? Remember the 3 main rules:

    • be brief
    • reasoned
    • no conflicts.

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