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Among the most common questions in job interviews is the dreaded, “Why did you leave your last job.”

This can be complicated because the reasons for leaving are varied and often negative. However, the way you answer could mean the difference between a job offer and no calls back. There are better ways to approach this answer regardless of the particular situation. Before you begin to speak, consider these tips for formulating your response.

Complaining is Never Appropriate

No matter what the situation was that caused you to leave your last job, never start out by complaining about the work environment, your coworkers, or your management team. Negative comments about previous employment is the biggest red flag for hiring managers. They will be concerned that this negativity will be a hallmark of your workstyle and may not take a chance on hiring you. Keep all your comments positive and focused on you, what you want in a new job, and the lessons you’ve learned along the way.

Expand on Your Needs as a Professional

Money, advancement, or professional development are all completely normal reasons to consider a new job. It is important that you frame them in a way that enhances your opportunity rather than hinders it. Hiring managers are looking for people who are loyal and stable and want to work for their company. If they get the impression that you would leave the position as soon as something else became available they aren’t going to call you back.

Make itAbout Them

Your most important job, beyond selling your skills and accomplishments, is to demonstrate why you want to work for their particular company. Research the job, the organization, and anything else that might help you understand their corporate culture. Let them know how you can be an answer to their specific needs and problems. From the employers perspective the best reason to be looking for a new job is because you want to work for their company.


Managing your workforce begins with hiring the best employees. If you’re seeing a constant flow of candidates who struggle in interview situations, consider sharing this resource with them. Additionally, if you’re looking for the best employees, consider partnering with Anserteam Workforce Solutions. With streamlined staffing across North America and local service, the only ANSER is Anserteam.