Tips for Talking About Your Previous Job During the Interview

 

You have worked hard, filling out application after application. The process has become frustrating. Then one application finally pans out, resulting in an interview. Things are going well until a question comes up about your previous job. If things ended on a good note at your previous job, it might be fairly simple to answer this question, but if things did not go as well, you might find yourself spouting off an answer you will later regret. Since the previous job question is likely to arise during the interview, you should be prepared for this question. There are a few things you can do to prepare for this question.

Focus on the Positive

Instead of bashing your previous boss or your coworkers, focus on what went right, particularly skills you gained from your previous job that can carry over to your new job. Maybe you learned better time management skills, or you were able to learn how to work with people from a diversity of backgrounds.

When talking about your previous job, be sure to highlight career accomplishments. Did you help to implement a new program? Did you get special recognition for your efforts? In what ways did you contribute to your previous job in a positive way?

Highlight What This Job Offers

It is important to avoid focusing on the negative of your previous work experience, but it is alright to admit that it was no longer a good fit for you. Highlight how this job will be a better fit. Maybe you did not feel a challenge at your previous job and you feel this one would offer that challenge. Perhaps you found that you want to work for a smaller company because you like the close-knit feeling that comes from knowing all your coworkers.

Of course, it is important to practice how you are going to answer this question before you go into a job interview. Then you will be able to answer the question with confidence and without having to pause to plan your answer in your head. If you are looking for a job, or you need more interviewing tips, contact us.

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