Why did you leave your last job?

+89 votes
asked Jun 30, 2015 in Career & Work by Madesen (540 points)
My last job was absolutely terrible. The supervisor was the type of person to choose one person over another for a position only if he like the other person better…even if someone else, who had been there longer, was more qualified. I am currently applying for new employment and on just about every application, there is the question “Why did you leave your last job?” I know most companies don’t want a reason that degrades their past employer, so how do I answer this question?

2 Answers

+14 votes
answered Jul 7, 2015 by mark (660 points)

need to do is base this answer on your future goals instead of your past disappointments.

  • One way to answer this question is by telling your prospective employer that you want more growth than your last company could provide you. This will not degrade your last company; sometimes businesses just do not offer their employees growth. That’s just a true, but sad, fact.
  • Another reason could be that you want to find employment that better matches where you want to be in your life. If you are seeking a job that better matches your interests, this would be a great way to answer your question.
  • Similar to the first idea I’ve given (growth) is to let your prospective employer that you are looking for more challenge. If you let them know that you just weren’t challenged at your last employment (instead of that you just couldn’t stand working there), your (possibly) new employer will actually be impressed in the fact that you like to be challenged. Of course, if you are looking for an easy job, you should not say this because you just may get the challenge you are speaking of.
  • A very easy way to answer that question (at least on the application) is to tell them you need to relocate. Yet, if you get an interview, you may be asked to elaborate on your need for relocation. This is easy if your prospective employer is closer to your home (or public transportation, if you use this) than your past employer.
  • You could also claim enhanced education if you either recently obtained a degree, or certification, in an area in which this new job would better suit you; or if you are considering furthering your education in an area that this employment would be of more interest to you (and you of more interest to the company.

Although these are all good answers, the point of your answer is not to be dishonest but rather to point out the positives in seeking this new employment over your last employment. It only takes one phone call from your prospective employer to your previous employer to find if there is an underlying reason you left your last job.

From the following link you can find more individual answers to this question:


+1 vote
answered Jul 4, 2015 by Ivy (830 points)
Why did you leave your last job? For this question, here is a quick example. Hope it helps!

“Although my last employer was great, I no longer felt challenged. I always put myself in the position to do more than my initial job required but there just seemed there wasn’t enough. It was very hard to leave my past employment but I feel the need to constantly better myself. I love to grow, not only as an employee, but as a person. I feel this company can give me the challenge and growth I desire.”
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