Job Interviews

This topic contains 12 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  KitKatKitty 3 years ago.

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    Why does the interview for a job seem like you are being drilled to make up a lie. When I was asked why did you leave your last job. “I responded by saying I resigned”. I did however resign. But what is the best way to tell why , when you don’t want to give out the details and to keep it real and honest. :zip:


    Well, this is a Very good question! I don’t know the answer myself, but am also hoping one of the forum members will help us understand. These sort of questions seem like a catch-22. If you were fired, then you will come across as a poor employee, and the interviewer will not want to hire you. If you resigned because you thought that your management or co-workers were acting unprofessionally/unethically, you will come across as a whistle blower and a possible threat, and the interviewer will not want to hire you. Even if you were simply laid off due to downsizing, your interviewer will question why your company saw yourself and not another employee as expendable. And if you left due to a pregnancy, and you are still fertile…good luck!!

    I once had to answer two questions on an application that had me a bit stuck. The application asked, “What is your greatest strength? What is your greatest weakness?”

    It seemed a no-win question to me. What greatest weakness would get me hired in an economic crisis? “I’m consistently late and irresponsible”? “I shoot up heroin on my lunch breaks”? “My body odor could take down a rutting hippopotamus”?

    But, I had the feeling my interviewer was a curmudgeon, so I wrote, “My greatest strength is my generosity of spirit. My greatest weakness is my generosity of spirit.” I got the job.


    Thank you Gingersnap, your second answer was closes to the “why”. However, I do hope someone has an answer, because I have been trying to find work and it seems to be very difficult these days. And the crazy thing about it I have over 17 years of experience. I even tried in fields different than the one I was in. The last interview I was in I pass the test and still didn’t get an offer. I’m very discourage right now.


    You must sound positive and make both yourself and your last employer look good. If you would be comfortable elaborating on your last job and how you left, I can try to help you put your resignation in a good light for your interviews. Feel free to PM me if that is more comfortable for you : )

    Without knowing the details of your job or resignation: Is there any way to say that you were originally hired to fill the position for a specific amount of time or a specific project, and that you resigned when that project was completed? Is it possible to say that you resigned to work independently? Basically, is there any way to show that you performed well at your last place of employment, still have a good relationship with your recent management and co-workers, and that you left because of an agreeable situation? (They didn’t fire you, and you didn’t just leave them hanging.) You must show that you can commit to this new job- that they can invest in you.

    I wish I could give you more ideas, but it’s difficult without knowing your job or how you left. If you do feel comfortable giving more information, I will try to help you more : )))


    I always look at ever interview as though I am interviewing them to see if they are good enough for me (yes and some do fail) also if askd why you left the last job just say I felt I had reached my limit of progression with them and was being held back. Any other questions you can always use the I cannot say as it would involve disclosing confidential information that usually shuts the up and shows you can be trusteed with such stuff.


    I think we should be honest with our answers, if we can’t be truthful just to get the job, maybe the job is not right for us.


    I agree with you annelee: if the person has to fake it then what happens when it becomes real? Pretending I’m good at German in an interview is no good if the job requires being fluent in German. A person has to be real: and not just in job interviews. For their sake, really.


    Also, another sign is: if the appointment time is 8 and they make you wait for 30 minutes without saying anything. That’s another sign, don’t bother to go through the interview.


    I was asked to sit in an interview today. Since my son is graduating from college this May ( fortunately already got an offer a few months ago to start in June), I have plenty of compassion and sympathy for these new grads who are still seeking jobs.

    I noticed the manager kept asking how “proficient” the candidates are with this and that….How would they react to this situation and that situation….all of this refreshed my memory of an article I wrote a few years ago and I am hoping managers would stop asking a lot of those questions.

    First of all, working is a lot easier than studying so don’t scare them. When you interview a new grad, you have to come into the interview thinking they have never worked in their field of study and even if they did, it would not help much. Think about taking piano lesson. First, you need to learn how to form you fingers correctly before you can press the keyboard. These kids just learned how to form their fingers. Secondly, you need to think that they are like a beginner painter, they have the imagination and creativity but you still have to train them on how to master the technique they learn. If you guide them right, maybe they will paint you a beautiful picture.

    The manager was a little shocked when I gave him my inputs. He thought I should have given him inputs on the candidates not him, but I directed 70% of my input on him and 30% on the candidates. I also need to remind the hiring managers that, don’t think we are doing them a favor by giving them a job, these candidates might be the future of this company. We are in Silicon Valley, don’t we that has been the case so many times already? I am a great believer in training a generation of compassionate, creative, helpful, happy, fulfilled, sociable, responsible people. They need to learn from us so that they can pass them on.

    So, if you are a hiring manager, I hope you will take my advices. I am sure they will do well.


    That is a really interesting perspective Annie.

    Do you ever feel like people in managing positions are protective of their title and always trying to make sure no one can “replace” them? Therefore, possibly keeping the new hire at a distance for success. I’m a firm believer of empowering people to make confident and thought out decisions but I don’t always see that from managers and wondering if perhaps it’s because they don’t always want everyone to succeed.

    I mean look at how our government is running lately. People are purposely setting each other up for failure it is so strange.

    To answer the original question on this post. I think sometimes the questions are asked point blank why did you leave just so they can learn more about your history. Maybe you left for medical reasons, family reason or maybe you were just unhappy at the last job so it would be important to know why and how the next job would fit into fixing that etc.

    I certainly agree that this is your moment to interview and make sure that not only are you a right fit for the company but they are for you. The interview goes both ways.


    Nicely put Annie 🙂

    I can see where you are coming from Kiwi, in that managers may be worried that someone will replace them. My experience is similar in that I feel that several managers I had at various times in my last job (I was there for quite a few years) were worried about being upstaged by things I did. They liked to keep a very tight control on the reigns, whereas I am always thinking of new ideas and often lateral thinking (out of the box). They were happy if it coincided with the way they wanted but on the odd really bright idea I had it just fell on stony ground no matter how brilliant I have later found it to be. I know a lot of my thinking is so abstract as to be impractical but to be met with stony silence is very offputting!

    It was interesting not long before I left the job. Due to my manager having resigned I was tasked with someone from HR to conduct some interviews for new staff members (the department was expanding). One of the most interesting things I had done in a while. If anyone has the opportunity I would say ‘take it’. It is a bit daunting at first but is very interesting looking from the other side. One of the interviews, this one with a senior manager as well as the two of us, was for my new boss. I was amused to feel that I was interviewing my boss, but in the end she did not take up the post so it never happened!


    Thanks Kiwi and Jen for your notes.

    I was fired once and when I was asked during the job interview why I left that job, I told them point blanked I was fired.

    What happened was I offered my idea to the management, they were so lazy they did not want to add another product/service so I asked my boss, the president, if I could do it. He said yes, I went out and built a successful business within 2 years while still working at that job. My own company’s revenue was almost twice as much as the revenue of the company I worked for, then the Chairman of the Board called me in one morning and fired me for competing with the company. My spineless boss was not even in the meeting to fire me because he knew I would throw it in his face. The COB of course, listened to his right hand man.

    I hired a lawyer to countersue them, got all my stock options and went back to building my company again. I later sold that company and came to work for this current company since.

    For those managers who feel insecure to the point that they are afraid of hiring competent, great people to work for them, it’s a pity. Don’t they realize if they feel that way, it’s time for them to try to get better? Don’t they feel inspired surrounded by intelligent, creative people? Don’t they take satisfaction in training and mentoring a fresh young mind to become a fulfilled, confident and responsible individual? I like to think that everyone who works for me, when they leave, they are ready to move on to a bigger role knowing that they are technically and mentally prepared for it.

    Another thing that people seldom think about, karma, especially when they have children. My son is the most important thing in my life and every time I do a good thing, I am hoping the karma will pass on to him and that’s enough to motivate me.


    I have read all the posts and find them all really interesting. Reading different perspectives is an eye opener. I suppose the most often asked question by an interviewer is “why did you leave your previous job?” There is no good answer. Either way you get burned! Anyhow, definitely lots of interesting points of view on here.

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