Why did you leave your last job?
What you should know: There are numerous reasons why a person leaves a job. Sometimes it’s voluntary and sometimes it’s involuntary. Some of the circumstances are sensitive warranting a well thought out response for both voluntary and involuntary separation. The primary concept you must remember when responding to this type of question is to be brief. Rarely will someone drill down for more details when you stay brief and high level. The more commentary you make in either situation the more likely you are to say something that doesn’t reflect well on you. When a person has left under circumstances that create emotions for them, they are most often blocked in some ways by feeling like they can’t adequately answer this question. Right now with so many people involuntarily unemployed, the bigger picture of the economy prevails in most people’s thinking. Here are possible responses:
Answer: I was released (or use the words, separated or left) at the time when my company was cutting back in several areas. There were several (or give a number) people in my immediate group that left at that time. (If you would return but they can’t hire you due to cut backs say-) I was interested in being rehired but their situation has not improved.
Answer: My position was eliminated due to a restructure of the work and organization. Eliminating my position made sense because the nature of my position shrunk due to X being changed.
Answer: I had a personal issue that warranted more of my attention than I could adequately manage and stay fully engaged in my job. When I left, I left on good terms but they were unable to reemploy me because of budget constraints. The issue I had to focus on is now fully resolved and will no longer require my time.
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Author: Dorothy Tannahill-Moran is a Career Coach and expert on helping her clients achieve their goals. Her programs cover: Career growth and enhancement, Career Change, Retirement Alternatives and Job Search Strategy. Want to discover specific career change strategies that get results? Discover how by claiming your FREE gift, Career Makeover Toolkit at: http://CareerMakeoverToolKitShouldIstayorShouldIGo.com