How to answer - Why did you leave your last job? Tips and samples

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Have you already left your previous job and looking for a new job? Get ready to face the interviewer’s question - Why did you leave your last job? / Why did you leave your last job after few months?

Sometimes, it is easy to answer this HR interview question, but sometimes a candidate needs to think a lot before answering the same question. Easy, when you have just completed your internship of 6 months/1 year of contract based job, but, difficult, when you have been fired from your last job due to some reason.

Reason behind asking this question by hiring manager

Through this question, the hiring manager gets to know many things about you,
  • Performance and integrity of yours in the previous company – Presents, how effective you will be for the current job position and the company. 
  • Numbers of years you have given to your previous company – Shows, how long you can be at one particular company. 
  • Attitude and relationship (good/bad) of yours with previous company employees and hire managers – Presents, how characteristically good/bad you are in building a relationship with team members and other employees.
  • Show your good relationship with previous company employees at the time of filling the job application form, add the name of two to three employees of your previous organization in the employee reference list, also, best if you give their phone numbers along with the reference.
  • The values you have given to your work - Show, your positive attitude towards work and you are not going to leave a particular project when you feel hurt or when you are not appreciated.


Tips to answer the question - "Why did you leave your last job?"

Let’s see, how you can handle this question effectively,

Reason for leaving a job – Previous job was not very challenging

Job Role – Business

My name is Alex. I have done MBA from symbiosis, Pune. After completing the MBA, I joined my last firm after assessing various job offers. I enjoyed working there at the beginning, but after a year, I felt, there are no big challenges of my work that can make me learn a lot. Also, I was not able to leave my mark there. Because of these reasons, I decided to move towards corporate world, and now, I am here, sitting in-front of you for giving interviews.

Why to like this answer: A candidate is honest and a decision maker. Many times, the company's employees have to take their own decision instantly to do something good.

Reason for leaving a job – Can’t bear Stagnation

Job Role – Assistant Manager at Fair Prices

Answer: I am Vikas, worked for Fair Price as Assistant Manager. For four years, I have worked on the same profile, every year, the company was awarding me for the best performance, but not recommending me for the next level. All of the employees who had joined with me are in the higher position than me just because they know how to convince seniors in another manner (apart from work). I don’t want to work at a place where I am not rewarded for my hard work, that’s why, I left that job.

Why to like this answer: Interviewer likes a candidate’s sincerity and his dedication towards work because the company always wants people who can give full effort to their work to complete the task on time successfully.

Reason for leaving a job - They didn’t like my open thinking

Job Role – System Administrator

Myself Joy, worked at a System Administrator profile for 4 years. Learning different ideas for maintaining system and resolving network related issues is my hobby, that’s why, while working at the company too, I was determined for putting new techniques in order to make things better. But, in my previous company, instead of encouraging me in my open ideas and thinking, they were making me do stuff exactly in a manner how company’s bosses say to do. if, I give my own ideas, either they ignore it or scold me for that.

For career growth, everyone needs to learn new technologies and try to implement the new concepts at work for the betterment of company and oneself. But, instead of learning new things, I was doing the same thing every day, so, I didn’t have any other option other than tendering my resignation.

Why to like this answer: Many companies, like open thinkers who can think more and better than what company is offering for adding value to the company.

Reason for leaving a job – Want to improve my growth prospects 

Job Role – Software Tester
Myself Manish, worked as a software tester for ABC Advisory. In ABC Advisory, my job was to test the components of the application with the help of the manual testing process. Since, company was unable to afford automated testing tools, after knowing the implementation process too, I was unable to use those tools to test the applications easily and efficiently. I worked there for one year, then after I resigned. I always wanted to enlarge my prospect by doing something innovative which I was not getting at my previous company.

Why to like this answer: Companies always like to appoint people who can think ahead to discover something good that can be advantageous for the company in all prospects.

Reason for leaving a job – I wanted to move from a smaller company to a bigger company

Job Role – Software developer

Many candidates wish to start their career by working with a smaller company to gain experience on multiple technologies/business aspects. My line of thinking was also same at the start of my career; I started my career by working in a small company as a software developer. I worked there for two years, those two years were very precious for me, apart from working on the main platform “Java”, I have learned many other technologies like; .Net, JavaScript, C#, and C. After gaining some knowledge, I thought, now it is the right time for me to move on from there to become a part of a bigger company for knowing the work culture of a bigger company.

Why to like this answer: Big companies like to appoint people who have come from smaller company because by working in smaller companies people not only work on their own platform simply, also learn many other things from there.

Reason for leaving a job – I left my previous job to continue my further studies

Job Role – Technical Support Engineer

I am Sunil, worked as a Technical Support Engineer with HP for 3 years. I am a B.Sc graduate and to get a promotion, a management degree was required. That’s why, I have decided to leave my job in order to continue my further studies to gain an additional degree for better career opportunities. Now, I am an MBA graduate and I wanted to start working again with my full power and enthusiasm.

Why to like this answer: Nowadays, having higher educational qualifications is a must to get into some higher position. Interviewer likes his self-decision making nature for the better future. While working at a company, on many occasions taking self-decision will come in handy.

Reason for leaving a job - The office was too far from my residence

Job Role – Store manager at XYZ

Myself, Sam, worked as a Store manager for XYZ Group. Even though, the store was far away from my residence, I joined the company because it offered pick and drop facility. First 6 months, the company provided cab facility, but after that company stopped the cab service. As, my store is a far away from my home, rushing to the store and coming back from my store waist my 3 hours a day. So, I have decided to resign from there.

Why to like this answer: The company always likes to appoint people who can come to the office easily and flexibly in less time, that means; whose houses are nearby their offices. Reason behind hiring those people is – company can reach easily to the employees of the company for any work related assistance.

Reason for leaving a job – Work has not been appreciated

Job Role – SAP Developer

I am Vishnu, worked as an SAP Developer for XYZ Company. I am passionate about my work and believe in hard working, but at my previous company, I haven’t been appreciated for my work by my senior bosses. At the completion of every project, my boss asks says that the “the work has to be done better than this, try to do better next time”. I got fed-up of listening same sentence at the completion of every project. I was loosing my self-confidence which was not good for my career growth, that’s why, I have decided to leave from there.

Why to like this answer: The interviewer knows that, employees should be appreciated once or twice for their good work otherwise they may go into depression.

Finally, while answering the question, speak in a manner that look real. Your words should enforce interviewers to think “you left the job due to a genuine reason”.