Why did you leave your former employer?

The above question has been a point of discussion in one of my professional networks and I’d like to just share my thoughts on the same.

During an interview, you may be asked, ‘why do you want to leave your current employer? Or why did you leave your previous employer?’. There are so many ways to answer this question.

In any company you work at, you will be unhappy about something; maybe your Supervisor is wicked to you, or you feel micromanaged, you are so fizzled and no one really cares about your opinion anymore, among other reasons. We sometimes leave an employer when we are up-to our necks in frustration. But how do you tell your potential employer all these truthfully but still remain professional?

The thing is, badmouthing your employer does not increase your chances of getting the job. I would personally not hire you simply because you told me how badly your former employer mistreated you. Some candidates however choose to go on and on and on about how bad their employer was to them, how much they hated their boss etc.

I personally believe that all those details are not necessary at an interview. We all have very bad experiences at work, some horrible. But at an interview, just say what’s important. Be precise, don’t say too much. Instead, use that opportunity to sell yourself. Demonizing your former employer will not make your potential one a saint, neither does it make you. Every company has its own issues.

An interview is an opportunity for you to tell sell yourself, the things you can do and convince your potential employer why they should hire you. Focus on yourself, not your former/current employer. The rest of how horrible your experience was can be discussed later during lunch break after you get employed. So use an interview opportunity wisely.


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