Weekend Questions: What Do I Say In An Interview If They Ask...

I want to answer some questions that I hear frequently about interviews.  Interviews can be really tough if you have no idea what is coming or if you  have not spent some time thinking about how to answer a certain question.  And sometimes you just can't come up with a good answer on your own.  I get asked all the time, "How do I answer this kind of question..." so I'd like to address one of those for you today.

Question: "Why did you leave/Why are you leaving your last employer?"

Yes, this is a tough one!  Interviewers ask this question because they want to know if you are going to stick around if they hire your or if you're going to be on your merry way again in 6 months!

Possible answer #1: "I didn't like my boss/the people I work with."

This is one of the least desirable answers you can give.  It's telling the interviewer that you are not really a team player, that you'd rather leave than work things out, and that you  may not play well with others.  Don't use this response.

Possible answer #2: "I wasn't being paid enough."

Another answer to avoid.  If the interviewer thinks you are all about the money they will not likely hire you because they will assume that you are going to be asking for raises all the time.  It is best to leave money out of the equation until they are offering you a job or until you are directly asked about it.

Possible answer #3: "I'm looking for new challenges."

This is your best option.  You could tell them about new skills you have developed that you were not able to use at your current/last job or you can tell them that you had reached a limit of how far you could move forward.  Focus on the skills that you have and how you would like opportunities to use them in a future job.