In any interview, you’ll at some point have to explain why you left your past position. It’s a simple question but isn’t without its potential pitfalls! Luckily, this is a question whose response can remain relatively the same from one interview to the next.
Trouble with coworkers and/or supervisors
Naturally, you don’t want to imply that you are blaming someone else or that you are difficult to work with. Tell the interviewer what you did from your end to alleviate the problem. Trying to address the issue yourself shows that you take proactive steps to solve interpersonal issues. The effort you made in addressing the issue shows you’re a solid candidate of good character. Of course, you’ll want to keep your language positive and always fight the urge to make a list of complaints.
Job wasn’t a good match
This is most effective if you spent 90 days or less in the role. Many of us have experienced this scenario before. You are excited to get to work in your new job. But within a couple months’ time you realize it’s not what you thought it would be. Maybe your skills weren’t a solid match. It’s possible the office culture just didn’t jive with you. Perhaps some aspect of the job couldn’t fulfill your needs. These reasons are perfectly acceptable.
Just remember that if you site this as the reason you left your last position, you’ll have to explain the wherefore and why. Also important, be sure you have a clear idea of what the job you’re interviewing for entails. If the job you left is nearly identical to this one, it’s going to raise some confusion.
Ended in a termination
First let me say that I have interviewed many candidates whose employment ended badly and/or who had disciplinary issues. It did not mean I could not or would not work with them. Here, it’s best to be up front. While it’s not ideal to have this in your work history, you can turn that around at least a bit by owning the outcome and the errors that lead to it. Learning from your mistakes is a sign of intelligence and maturity.