How to Answer, “Why did you leave your last job?”


We guarantee you will get this question at a job interview. The hiring manager wants to know your reasons for leaving because it will tell them a good deal about you. For example, if your decision to leave was a spur of the moment thing, the result of an emotional reaction, it will tell them about your maturity and responsibility. If you were fired, this is information the hiring manager wants. Knowing whether you are still on good terms with your former employer also tells him a lot.  

Your answer to the question should vary slightly depending on whether you are still employed or not.

If you are still employed

The important thing to keep in mind when answering this question is to stress the fact you are leaving for new opportunities and challenges – not because you are running from a bad situation.

You want to make the hiring manager feel the opportunity his company is offering is so good it enticed you away from your current job. You want to talk about how good the new job is, rather than talking about how bad your current job is. It is important to let the hiring manager know you consider the position a step up, a better offering. Even if you are leaving because of layoffs or mergers, stress the positive aspect.

If you are currently unemployed

In this situation, your answer is even more important because of the prejudice some employers have against people who are unemployed, and the longer you have been out of work, the more important the answer becomes. In this case, you cannot rely on the answer for the first scenario because if you are out of work, odds are it is more compicated.

If you were laid off for reasons that had nothing to do with performance, make this clear to the hiring manager. Again, keep things positive, emphasize your achievements and don’t go into a lot of detail about the reasons for the layoffs.

If you were fired because of your performance, it can be tricky. If there were any extenuating circumstances, be sure to mention them. You also want to emphasize the lessons you learned from what happened. You need to impress on the hiring manager this was an anomaly, something that won’t happen again. 

Looking for a new insurance job?

If you are an insurance professional looking for work, Insurance Relief can help you. We are your ally in the job search, a company that understands your unique skills and needs because we specialize in the insurance industry. We take the time to work with you and find out what your goals are, and then we work to place you in a fulfilling job. Give Insurance Relief a call today.