Articles From the Team

Why did you leave your last job?

We all have a past. Sometimes, those skeletons in the closet can haunt us. What do you say when you are asked where you have come from and why you are moving on? How you frame your past experiences can dictate your future.

This sort of question at interview is unavoidable and necessary. The interviewer may even ask why you have left previous roles and go through each move as listed on your CV. What you say here, can say a lot about you.

Think about all the reasons why someone may want to leave; not a good team fit, lack of work, lack of quality, small fish in a big pond, big fish in a small pond, the list is endless. Sometimes, this can be an obvious answer, such as the contract came to an end. Other times, it may be a little more sensitive and it may be that you didn’t get on with your manager or salary was too low. Inevitably, there will be a reason why you are leaving to move on, but how you frame this is integral to the success of the interview. You want to show to your potential employer that you are not a flight risk as soon as things get tough.

When asked why you are leaving your current situation, think about how you could positively answer this. Give the interviewers reasons to employ you, not reasons to steer clear.

During an interview, it is simply not good etiquette to be negative. Talking badly about your last firm, not only shows a lack of professionalism, but a lack of accountability.

I recently had a candidate say in an interview that they had been a solicitor for over ten years and had struggled to find somewhere where they fit. Straight away, you think, why?! What is this person like to work with? This did not come across well to the interviewers.

When a person has a number of moves on their CV, I usually tell them to take a copy of their CV into the interview with them in order to help with focus. Think about why things haven’t worked out, what you have learnt from this and how the next move is going to remedy the problem. Your CV is the journey of your career so far and everything is explainable, you just need to be able to frame it correctly and bring this to life when discussing at interview.

As soon as you are offered an interview, we will help you with your preparation. It is not a case of asking you to lie about the reasons as to why you have left, there is always a lesson to be learnt from your last place and it always leads on as to why the current opportunity remedies your pain. We will help you to understand your reasons from a rational point of view and help you to frame this in the best way possible.

If you are currently looking for a role, please get in touch! I work with firms across the wider West Midlands and will assist you throughout the recruitment process.

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