How to Explain an Interviewer Why Did you Quit your Last Job

When you are going to a job interview you should be prepared for following question “what were your reasons for leaving previous job”. Theoretically, it is simple question, because usually you clearly understand why you did that. However, wrong and inaccurate answer can worth you the desired contract.

HR specialists will certainly pay attention to how you speak about your boss and, in general, about the company you worked for (or work with), and what you criticize in the corporate culture. Based on your answers, they will draw conclusions.

It is better to avoid feelings and formulate the answers in advance, so, it will not ruin your chances to get a new position. We have prepared 5 the most common reasons why people quit their jobs and detailed tricks how to explain it at the interview.

Horrible boss

Interviewers know that the world is full of horrible bosses and it can be a serious excuse to look for another place. But the problem is that they do not know you well enough to believe in the objectivity of your assessment. If you criticize the boss at the interview, they will think about the other side of the story.

In addition, one of the main interview rules is never criticize ex-employers. It is considered immodest and unprofessional. Most interviewers will prefer to postpone your resume if you mention a bad leader, even if it’s true.

Briefly, even if you leave your work because of the boss, it is better to give an answer that does not concern him. Say that you are “ready for new challenges”. Important point: you can not use these answers if you have been working at the previous place for only a few months. Interviewers may think that you are not interested in permanent work.


It means that you were not fired for your work performance. So you can give an honest answer. Redundancy is a normal phenomenon, and there is nothing to be ashamed of. Answer is very simple and clear: “The company was forced to cut their funds, and my position was one of those who fell under the reduction.”

However, if you can share more detailed information, it will be good for you. Interviewers will certainly be interested in why exactly you were cut and not someone of your colleagues. You can answer like this: “they fired everyone who was hired last year” or “they reduced the whole project team”. Thus, it will emphasize that the decision was not based on the results of your work.

You were fired

Some people try to hide that they were fired. However, it is pointless, because HR manager can easily find out the truth by contacting your former employer? Moreover, sometimes people start going into a detailed explanations of the reasons. But this strategy is also wrong. Usually such monologues are about excuses and criticism of your previous employers and it can cause negative reaction.

Just tell the truth and stop explaining yourself. Many people are fired and find work again; it is not the end of the world. So speak concisely, calmly and without making excuses.

Your were not satisfied with your salary

Some coaches may advise you do not refer to money as a reason to quit your job. However, if you were really underpaid, and this is the main reason for finding a new job, it’s quite normal to tell the truth.

For example: “I like the work I did, but for a long time our salaries were not competitive. I have learned a lot, so now I want to increase my income considering my professional level.”

It is also a good idea to mention the lack of bonuses, such as medical insurance. Usually interviewer will consider it as a practical motivation.

You just did not like your job

Here openness is in your interests, because if you don’t like your tasks at previous work, honesty will help you to avoid work that will annoy you.

The main thing is not only to designate what does not suit you, but also to confess what you want to do. For example: “My position required solving problems in the field of marketing, but I always wanted to do research work.” Or: “I was on a business trip 75% of my work time, and I would like to get a place with fewer trips.”

So, we have mentioned and discussed the most common reasons why people leave their job. Hopefully, this article will be useful for you. Good luck at your interview 🙂

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