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Job Interview: Practice Questions and Answers

Why Did You Leave Your Last Employer?

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When answering this question, do not convey negative feelings about your former employer, whatever your reason for leaving.

If you have decided to talk about your health to a prospective employer even though you do not legally have to, you could do so in response to this question. If you do, be sure to focus on your abilities.

If you do not wish to talk about your health, but it is in fact the reason for leaving your former employer, focus on other issues if possible. Possible scenarios:

  • You can explain that you were dealing with medical issues and are now healthy, fit and ready to return to work.
  • You can say you were dealing with a family illness.
  • If during your disability you spent time working on a hobby such as writing or painting, you may wish to indicate that you took time off to pursue other goals.
  • You may also think about a similar response if you did volunteer work while on disability.
  • Perhaps you made enough money from your previous job to take some time off to do some things for yourself and your family. Then describe what you were doing during the employment gap that links to how it will help you with the job in question.
  • If you choose to say no more than "I needed some time off," you should be prepared to give a little more information about what you did with the time. The goal is to present yourself to the employer as a focused individual capable of handling the job for which you are being interviewed.

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