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During your interview, you’ll undoubtedly be asked about your previous job. Why are you leaving? What made you look for something new? If you had a negative experience with your past employer, it may be written all over your face—and this is something you’ll need to get under control. It’s much easier when you know what to say and can practice in advance.

Three tips for discussing your past job

The key is not to be negative—you’ll want to focus on moving forward with a positive attitude. Here’s what you should say:

  1. Talk about yourself. When describing a past job and your reasons for leaving, make it all about you. What YOU want from the future, what YOU need to get there and how YOU plan to find it. Sure, maybe you had a negative experience, but you describe how it was time to move on and take steps to get closer towards your future goals. The previous employer didn’t have opportunities available that would allow you to grow.
  2. Describe your success. What went well at your past job? You had roles, responsibilities and assignments—what did you accomplish and how did you help your boss, your coworkers and the company overall? By steering the conversation towards your success, you can help yourself frame your past employment in a positive light. Sure, you may not have been happy there, but you did your job, and did it well!
  3. Explain what you learned. Let’s say your previous job ended in termination or layoff. You’ll have to be transparent about this. It never benefits you to hide how a job ended because it’s easy enough for a potential employer to find out. Be upfront and explain—in as upbeat a manner as possible—what happened. Then, explain what you learned from the experience and the steps you took to improve. Your own resolve to rise above a stumbling block and get better at what you do is a noble trait.

Always keep it positive

Keep the mood light, upbeat and positive during your interview. Even if you have some residual bitter feelings about a past job, try to let them go. After all, you’re at an interview on your way to a new beginning! And that’s something to be happy about.

Looking for a new job?

Once you’re ready to discuss your past employment, it’s time to schedule an interview or two. The professionals at Inter-Connect place qualified candidates with office/clerical, industrial, technical and professional/managerial experience! To learn more, contact Inter-Connect today.

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