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By Kibet Tobias
Why did you leave your previous job? Were you fired? Did you leave voluntarily? Or you resigned?
In your next interview, your potential employer will want to know what really happened hence why this is the most dreaded interview question you need to expect.
I know the pain that comes with losing your job, especially when you are fired. It’s very difficult talking about it with your family and friends but it becomes even more challenging when you’re discussing with someone you’d like to give you a job.
What’s the best way to frame your departure from that last job? How can you respond in the best possible light?
Here are the best ways to answer ‘Why did you leave your last job?” interview question:
1. Be prepared
Before you attend any job interview, you need to come to terms with your job loss emotions.
Maybe you were fired unfairly or for something regrettable, you need to collect your thoughts on how you are going to explain the circumstances during your search for new opportunities.
Write them down and practice reading them aloud. You can also record yourself so you can hear yourself later.
You have to keep your answer short and positive.
Here’s a sample answer:
The Company decided to close down the entire department, which impacted 8% of its workforce. Unfortunately, I was one of them.”
2. Be honest and avoid negativity
According to Ms. Esther Kamau, a professional interview coach, when answering this question, you need to be honest.
She says the worst way to handle the job loss in an interview is by lying.
‘You may be tempted to lie, and before you know it you are already caught,’ Ms. Kamau says
You can point out that there was no opportunity to grow and so you got frustrated in an effort to advance your career and so you let it go.
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3. Do not talk ill about your boss or company
Ms. Kamau says that if you speak badly about your boss, supervisors, managers, colleagues, or the organization, you will put yourself in a bad light.
Remember you are talking to someone who may potentially become your employer hence why they will be wary of someone who talks ills of anyone.
No matter how it ended, whether it was through your fault or had a terrible boss, don’t bad mouth them at any cost.
4. Close with what you have to offer to the new employer
This will help you to make your interest clear and most likely you will end the interview on a positive note.
At this point, you can mention the best things you feel you can deliver to the employer before you leave the interview room.
Make it very clear that you can deliver what the company needs and that you have acquired the needed skills to do so.
Here’s a simple answer:
I worked with the company for three years and learned a lot from working with a great sales team.  I have acquired great skills and experience to maximize them in a more challenging position. This position really matches my abilities and appeals to me because it would allow me to work with a bigger team.”
In the end, you have to ensure that whatever answer you give doesn’t open room for more discussion about the same thing. So be prepared, be honest, be brief and avoid negative statements.
For more details about handling behavioral interviews, panel interviews, and phone interviews, contact a professional interview coach today to help improve nail your next job interview.
Tobias is a Content Writer at Career Point Kenya. Got any elated queries? Email them to tobias@careerpointkenya.co.ke or leave a comment below.