Nearly every job interview or employment application asks this question. Laura McMullen has the proper answers.
- Never, ever, ever bad-mouth your current or former employer. “Even if you were miserable, save it for happy hour — don’t dump that in the interview
- Be honest. OK, maybe don’t choose the I-was-a-lazy-jerk-so-I-got-fired degree of honesty, but never lie about being fired. In fact, that’s about the worst thing you can do.
- Remember that it’s not all about you. Discussing how your current or former position didn’t provide opportunities for growth, for example, is fine. But avoid answers that revolve around your wants.
- Practice your answer. Practicing for interviews is (hopefully) a no-brainer… this particularly tricky answer warrants lots of rehearsing.
I’ve gone on job interviews to companies that I had no desire to work for just to get real world, real time practice for interviews. It works.