Interview Questions: Work History



Why are you leaving your job?

A typical question asked during an interview is "Why are you leaving your job?" or "Why did you leave your job?" If you were fired from your job, you should address the question carefully.

Not to say that if you left of your own accord you should be any less careful.  Review these suggestions on how to provide a good response that is tailored to meet your particular situation. Attack the question directly and focus your response on the future, especially if your leaving was under less than ideal circumstances.


Don't Talk Negatively About Your Managers

It doesn't matter why you left, don't speak badly about past employers. If you talk down your past company, the interviewer may wonder if you will be bad mouthing her company next time you're looking for work. During an interview a person once told me that his last employer was terrible, because they didn't pay him enough; the hours were unreasonable; and he disliked the job. The company turned out to be my company's largest customer. Whether it was justified or not, no way will anyone hire someone who felt that way about a invaluable client. He lost any chance of getting the job as soon as he answered this question.

Have responses prepared in advance to commonly asked job interview questions. You should practice the responses so you sound positive and confident about your situation and goals for the future.


Responses to the Question "Why are you leaving your job or why did you leave your job?"

  • I became bored with the work and started looking for more challenges. I have an excellent work ethic and I didn't want my unhappiness to have any impact on the job I was doing for my employer.
  • There isn't room for growth with my current employer and I'm ready to move on to a new opportunity.
  • I'm looking to grow my career with bigger challenges. I couldn't job hunt part time while working. It didn't seem ethical to use my former employer's time.
  • When our department was eliminated due to corporate restructuring, I was laid off from my last position.
  • Due to family circumstances, I am relocating to this area and left my previous position to make the move.
  • My current employer has no opportunities in the direction I'm interested in and I've decided that it's not the direction I want to go in my career.
  • After several years in my last position, I'm looking for an company where I can contribute and grow in a team oriented environment.
  • I am interested in using my technical skills and experience in a different capacity than I have in the past by facing new challenges.
  • I recently graduated from college and I want to utilize my educational experience in my next position.
  • I am interested in a position with more responsibility, and I am looking for new challenges.
  • I left my last position in order to spend more time with my family. The situation has changed and I'm more than ready for full time employment again.
  • I am seeking a position with a stable company with room for growth and opportunity for long term advancement.
  • I am looking to be closer to home after commuting to the city and spending a significant amount of time each day on travel.
  • I actually hadn't been considering a move, but this opportunity was something to explore. It sounds like an exciting position and a great match for my background and skill set.
  • This position appears to be an excellent match for my skills and experience. I am not able to fully utilize them in my present job.
  • Unfortunately my job was one of those eliminated, when the company was scaling back.