This Is The Most Difficult Interview Question to Answer

woman answers interview question


“Why did you leave your job(s)?”


Take a moment to reflect on how you’ve answered this question in the past.


Did you tell the truth? Are you worried you would be seen as someone who “bad mouthed” your last company? This is a real no-no!


Did you tell a “white lie?”


Here are some explanations our candidates have used during interviews in the past, and how this approach can hurt your chances of moving forward.


  • There were no growth opportunities. Don’t say this! I have almost 50 years in staffing, and when I receive feedback from a hiring leader, they say they won’t consider a candidate who claims this reason. Why? Because they feel if they are not able to promote you rapidly, you will move on—quickly. Why invest in you?


  • I left for more money. DON’T! Same reason as above.


We have worked with our candidates who have left a toxic workplace to develop a sanitized, but truthful, version of why they left. Here are some examples of what NOT to say, and how to explain your reasoning instead:


  • I had a terrible boss. No matter what was “terrible” about your boss (yeller/screamer, withholder, passive-aggressive—and too many “types” to list here) don’t tell this to the interviewer. Instead, you and your boss could not find a good communication “wavelength,” and you resigned because you felt your boss would be better served with someone they could communicate with effectively.


  • I was ill and had to have medical treatment. DON’T. It is illegal to discriminate—yet it happens all the time. Employers are afraid that having a medical “condition” means you will miss a lot of work—or go out on FMLA or disability. They won’t even consider you as a viable candidate! Tell them that you had an ill family member, and you left to care for them. Nobody needs to know YOU were the ill family member!


At Staffing Solutions, we are your “career agents.” Our team is always available to coach you through these “sticky” interview situations. That’s why we enjoy a 4.9/5 Glassdoor rating. Few staffing firms can boast that!


Questions? Call us!


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