Your Last Job can Kill Your Interview… If You’re Not Ready!
It can be hard to explain why you lost your last job. In this market, so many of us have been put on the bench with no real explanation. Massive layoffs can leave anyone feeling like their performance just wasn’t good enough. Even worse an oversight, accident, or poor performance is very hard to explain and can put anyone on edge when questioned.
During the interview for your next job, your answer could just kill your chances at the next position. However, a little bit of preparation can turn the table and make your last disappointing job a positive point in the interview process.
Avoiding the question can make your history look fishy. However, you don’t want to appear to dwell on the past either. Have a brief answer to this question that is positive and does not seem to bad mouth the company or dwell on your failures. For instance: The downturn in the market led to a number of layoffs.
List your accomplishments:
Long before your interview, you should compose a list of accomplishments at each job, not just your last one. Then memorize them. In any interview, you should already be ready to list your accomplishments confidently and naturally as soon as your explain the reason for ending the job. Then when you’re asked why you left your last position, you can quickly include 2 or 3 relevant accomplishments to bring the attention of the interview back to your qualifications.
Close with a need:
After listing your accomplishments close with a need. For instance, after accomplishing everything the company needed, I was ready for a new challenge. This will reassure the employer that you can get the job done, and won’t leave until you have.
If you have a structured, well prepared response to the question, you can turn it into an opportunity to show your strengths. Don’t let “Why did you leave your last job?” kill your chances at this job.