What should I say when asked why I left my last job?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 30,163
    Career counselor Karen Chopra advises focusing on the positives when explaining why you left your previous employment.

    Host: What should I say when asked why I left my last job?

    Karen James Chopra: This can be a challenging question if you left your last job under a cloud or you left your last job because the boss was difficult and what we are looking for here is an answer that is truthful and doesn't have any conflicts with the facts, but at the same time, doesn't provide lots of information about how difficult it was working in your previous company and most specifically, you don't want to say anything negative about the last company. So you may say, "I have run out of running room at that company. I have been there for 10 years and I had a wonderful experience and there is no room for me to grow any longer and so I decided to move on.

    " Or the company offered a buyout and it was an opportunity I didn't want to pass up. It gave me an opportunity to think a little bit about what I wanted to do next and that's what I have been doing for the last six months.

    " It maybe because of personal reasons, "I left to take care of an elderly parent," or "I left to take care of the child and now I am returning to the world of work.

    "What you are looking for here is a pretty short answer that just answers the question but doesn't provide a lot of detail. You are not obligated to justify why you left your last company. They are just looking to see if there is a problem here. So with your answer indicate that there is not, smile and move on.