Most interviewers are going to want to know about the circumstances of how you left your previous job. This gives them a chance to be on the lookout for any potential red flags, as well as get an overall understanding of your career path. Ace your next interview – check out these tips for how to answer the question, “Why did you leave your last job?”

  • Stay Neutral Regarding Previous Employer

Saying anything negative about previous employers will make you come across as bitter to your interviewer. No matter how bad the circumstances were that caused you to leave, try to remain as neutral as possible when describing it. Try to keep it objective and without emotion, such as saying you were not right for the company culture instead of saying it was outright toxic.

  • Be Honest, Without Oversharing

Transparency is important when discussing why you left your previous job, but be careful not to give too much detail. This is especially important to keep in mind if you left under less-than-ideal circumstances (such as getting fired, laid off or quitting without having another job lined up). Be honest about why you left, but be brief. If you start giving details, you are likely to overshare and say things you may regret.

  • Highlight Your Positive Attributes

Use the answer as an opportunity to impress the interviewer by highlighting your positive attributes, rather than the downside of the previous workplace. For example, if you left a job because it was a dead end with no chance of advancement, you could tailor your response to mention your drive, work ethic, and dissatisfaction at staying in your comfort zone.

  • Bring It Back to the Prospective Job

Once you have answered why a previous job was not right for you, include a brief explanation of why it sounds like this job would be a beneficial fit. For example, if you left a previous job because it ended up not being how it was originally described as, you could say something like, “My skills were not effectively utilized in that role, but with this job, I would be able to use my experience to advance the company’s goals.”

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