Why Did You Leave Your Previous Job?

ngo career left

One of the questions that is guaranteed to be asked whether you are in a United Nations jobs or in an NGO job interview will be about why you left the last job. Should you be honest or strategic in answering such a tricky question? The answer to this question is so critical that may even affect your employment.

It can come in various shades. “Why are you looking for a new job?” is a softer version where “Why did you leave your last job?” can make you terrify for a moment. These questions are very likely to be asked in the interviews. Whatever the question is, there are a few things to keep in mind as you answer it.

Be a professional

It may be against you to talk about the personal reasons why you quit your job. The distance from the workplace, the boss or the manager factor, or problems with colleagues might be the answer. These are, of course, personally valid reasons; but it is not something that recruitment experts would like to hear. Therefore, instead of talking about personal discomfort, talk about the issues that fail.

Avoid general answers

“I'm looking for new opportunities” won’t save you. The general answers do not interest the recruitment manager. Be specific. Explain why you want a new opportunity and make him/her believe.

No negative

Negative comments about your previous job, employer, manager or colleagues makes you a negative candidate too. One of them may be the reason for quitting; but you still shouldn't point them out. Your answer should be constructive, not critical. A negative answer puts a big minus on your resume. You should avoid saying anything that can be interpreted as a complaint.

Do not lie

Sometimes you can leave work out of your control. If you lost your job due to the downsizing of your company or never coming promotion that you wait for a long time, you can tell. If you're fired or left because of performance issues, tell what this experience has taught you. It would be in your favor to be honest about a particularly negative situation.

Give a concise answer

Keep your answer short and clear. Give enough detail to draw a clear picture, but don't give much explanation. Entering too much detail can do more harm than good.

Positive negatives

You may not like one aspect of your previous job. Draw the boundaries of this answer, you can say:

In my previous job I was responsible for doing A, but my strengths / passions / interests are more suitable with B and C.

Don't overestimate your interest

The position you're interviewing may be your dream job. As a job seeker you may not want to miss this job since conditions are exactly what you want, but you should not focus on it as the only reason for leaving your previous or current job. Although it is important to talk about the enthusiasm for starting a new career, you should not overdo it. There are tons of job openings waiting for you in unchannel.org.

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