When attending a job interview, there are several questions that are asked. Some questions are related to the everyday work of the individual, while others are professional questions. Every question in the interview is important and is the make or break question that would be the deciding factor as to whether you are selected for the job or not. One such important question is the reason why you left your previous jobs.
There are several answers to the eternal question, “Why did you leave your last job?” While the question can be asked in many ways, the answer should always be the same.
Read further to find out more about the question and its answers.
The question itself can be asked in several ways, depending on the timelines:
If you have recently quit your job and are looking for a job while not working, you will be asked “why you have left your previous job”.
If you are currently working and are attending an interview for another job, you will be asked what the reason that you wish to leave your current job is
or why you wish to leave your current job.
Sometimes, the interviewer may also ask “why did you leave your previous job for your current job?”
Regardless of how these questions are asked, there are several types of answers that are acceptable as a reason for leaving a job.
Good and acceptable reasons for leaving jobs on an application
Undoubtedly, the acceptable reasons for leaving a job have changed over the years.
For example, even just a few decades ago, leaving a job would most probably mean that a person is either moving from his or her place of residence or that the company itself has closed for good. However, with the change in corporate and human mentality, there are more and more acceptable reasons for leaving a job today.
The average job span of a person has decreased from a good fifteen/twenty years to a mere two to three years. Therefore, if you have worked in a company for two or three years and are now looking for a job, you may have many good reasons as compared to several years ago.
Answering the interview question: why did you leave your last job?
The following are a list of acceptable answers as good reasons to leaving a job:
You can easily say that you are looking for a change in role and wanted more growth, or even that your position was getting stagnant. This might be an acceptable reason for quitting your job, but this by no means gives you leeway to criticize your job.
Your career path
One reason is basic dissatisfaction with your career. Remember that it is not about the particular company or the department, but your career on the whole. This reason would hold true if you have a rich career profile and are currently applying for a job in a new profession.
Looking for challenges
One of the most common and simple reasons is that your job was at a standstill and you wished to seek newer avenues and greater challenges.
Another common reason nowadays is company restructuring. When a company restructures, it can lay off several people, and in a timeframe. Therefore, even if you have not been directly told to go, nobody would blame you if you are looking for avenues because your colleagues or some other department has been told to go.
More often than not, relocation is another reason that is blindly accepted by a company as a reason for looking for another job.
While these are just some of the traditional reasons for a job change, there are some reasons that are more or less accepted today.
Another reason that can be provided is enhancement of abilities and education. If you have recently acquired a degree and have decided to utilize your education to enhance your professional profile, this would be a good reason to give for this question.
Sometimes, even reasons related to daily commutation, like spending too much time commuting from your place of work to your place of residence, as well as less time spent with family can be considered to be the reason/one of the reasons for leaving a job.
Remember that you cannot lie about the reason why you quit your job.
In this era of references and cross references, finding out the real reason why you quit your job is as simple as dialing ten digits on a mobile device.
These above are reasons for leaving a current job or a previous job.
You may also refer to the article: Answering “why were you fired” interview question.