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Interviews can be absolutely nerve-racking. Your palms are sweaty, your mouth is dry, and no matter how long you’ve prepared you’re certain you’ll forget something. And then, the dreaded question: “Why did you leave your last job?” Almost any way you answer, you’ll be concerned about whether or not it was the information that the hiring manager wanted to hear. So, how can you answer this and other tough interview questions?

4 Ways to Address, “Why Did You Leave You Last Job”

Stay Positive.

The last thing you want to do is give the new employer the impression that you are bitter, angry, or negative about your former job. Don’t speak poorly about previous managers or coworkers. Focus on your experience and express what you learned from any mistakes. The new employer will begin to worry if you will have a similar attitude at their place of employment and will not be willing to take a risk.

Don’t Oversell.

Sometimes candidates overcompensate in the interview and use a lot of words to try to fool the interviewer into believing something that might be exaggerated. The problem is, this is a big red flag. Don’t oversell your experience, just provide the details needed and accomplishments that you can back up with data or references. Confidence is great but don’t cross the line to arrogance.

Be Humble.

You also need to make sure you don’t go overboard with self-congratulatory behavior. Yes, the company wants to hear about the things you accomplished but they also don’t want to talk to someone who doesn’t understand that multiple people are always responsible for success. You are the sum of your working experience so be humble about what you’ve accomplished.

Express Gratitude.

Finally, you want to be thankful for all of your experiences. Talk about things you learned from people you’ve worked with. Talk about experiences you’ve had for which you’re grateful. Express your gratitude for the interviewer’s time as well. Companies like to work with people who are grateful for opportunities.

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