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Job Interview Tips - How to Handle Questions About Why You Left Your Previous Employment


When you become one of the many job seekers out there you know that you are going to be asked a lot of different questions. Some of the hardest questions there might be to ask are the ones about why you left your previous place of employment. Below you'll find a few pointers on how to answer some of those difficult questions when they arise.

Getting fired happens to the best of us. We all at one time or another have probably lost a job by being fired, whether it was justified or unjustified it still has happened and can happen. So, if you were fired from your last job it's a really good idea if you do whatever you can to avoid saying the word “fired” or “terminated”. Neither word sheds a very good light on you. It might be a really good idea to call your former employer, preferably the human resources department if there is one and find out what is going to be said about you if someone calls to check. You don't want to say who it is, you would be better off saying you are calling for a reference to see what kind of information you can gather. You may discover that they don't say anything bad or even mention being fired. If they don't you should then be able to get away with saying you were laid off.

If you can't however, use the term laid off you might then want to try and use something like “involuntary separation”, but probably the best way to handle the situation to move onto the next question is try and tell them that you simply decided to seek a bigger challenge with a company that's more interesting.

It's important to remember to never say anything negative about any of your employers that you have worked for in the past. Just simply be polite about your past employers and just say your last job was a great learning experience where you were able to gain a lot of skills that has prepared you for the job you are interviewing for.

If you happened to have quit your job, it's important to only state that you only wanted to be able to find something better. Although there are a ton of different reasons for quitting a job, the potential employer really doesn't need to know why. No matter what the reason, it's not a lie to say that you quit because you desire a job where you feel that you can better utilize your skills. You want to come off as a self starter and not someone who is unreliable and can't be relied upon. Make sure that you explain that you felt you had gone as far as you could go at your other job and you felt you needed to move on in order to find a bigger challenge.

If an employer questions why there are any gaps in your employment history it's a good idea to be well prepared to answer that question. Whatever you do, if a job really ended bad and you want to leave them off your resume, don't try to fudge the dates of other jobs to cover the space you created by not listing that job, you may eventually be found out and that is simply not going to get you a job.

Good reasons for gaps in your employment history would be staying home with the family such as taking care of someone who is sick or raising the kids. Other reasons could be for moving to a different town. However, even if you really did take time off to say travel or say write a book, may to you sound OK, it may not sound so good to a perspective employer so you might not want to use that as a reason, even if it is true.



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