My friend needs your advice. Recently she quit her job. One of the difficulties she is facing is answering the interview question “Why did you leave your job?”
She happened to leave the job as she was not given a promotion, she believed she deserved. She did not gave her employer the same reason for quitting the job. Now when she is asked the reason for quitting her job in interviews, she is not sure whether to tell the truth or give some other excuse.
She asked for my advice and I thought you would be the best person to answer this.
It would be great if you could help out.
Nice of you to want to help your friend.
I just posted something that may not at first seem related since it’s about someone who was essentially forced to resign after 15 years at the same company:
But the advice is basically the same.
First…when dealing with the reason you left your last position, stay positive about the last job – never ever talk about how awful they were or how badly they treated you or how you didn’t get what you deserved. That’s all sour grapes to a potential new employer and would only brand her as high maintenance.
As in the example, (although her answer would be a little different of course) when she answers the question, she should lead and end with positive strength. In the middle, it’s usually good to talk about something like looking for new opportunity and challenges and in her situation, room for growth. And if she feels more comfortable with a shorter answer, then she can just talk about what she’s looking for which will cover most of it.
In your friend’s case, since she gave her other company a reason, and since there will be reference checks, it’s probably a good idea to make sure what she tells a potential new employer at least gels with what she told her last employer. Since I don’t know what it was, I can’t give you an example. I just hope she told them something that won’t trip her up – for instance that she wants to stop working altogether or leave the industry that she’s still interviewing in. But odds are, if she’s clever, she can make that work.
Now…although I said be clever, I want to emphasize I don’t mean slick. What she says has to ring true to both herself and the interviewer, or she’ll come across as two-dimensional and maybe even phony. Luckily, looking for new challenges and job growth are both excellent reasons for anyone to seek a new job or career.
I wish her much luck. She’s lucky to have a good friend like you, Jay. Please keep us posted!
~ Ronnie Ann
About the author…
Ronnie Ann, founder of Work Coach Cafe, bases her real-world advice on her many years as an organizational consultant where she helped interview and hire people, added to a certificate from NYU in Career Planning & Development and her own adventures as a serial job seeker. She can also be found on her new blog, Career Nook and on Google+.