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There are many reasons people have for wanting to leave their current job. But do candidates ever consider that the reasons that they give during an interview may come across as “good” or “bad” to the potential employer?

Even if they are true, there are some “bad” reasons you shouldn't use during an interview. It's never a good idea to bad mouth your past jobs, bosses, or companies or to share too much personal information. Sharing these reasons for your departure would not reflect positively on you.

Some of the most common“bad” reasons are:
  • You didn’t like your job/boss
  • You don’t like working overtime
  • Office politics
  • The company turned out to be disappointing
  • You were fired
  • You left for legal reasons
  • Your targets were too hard to achieve
  • Your job got boring
  • Childcare issues
  • You didn’t like the schedule

Instead of these bad reasons which focus on the negative aspects of your previous job, take a look at some of the most common “good” reasons for wanting to leave (according to employers):
  • Wanting professional growth opportunities
  • Needing better career prospects
  • Looking for a change in career direction
  • Looking for new challenges
  • Looking for better salary
  • The company underwent a merger or acquisition
  • Your job duties were reduced or outsourced
  • Travel is too frequent
  • You want to study/travel
  • You were on a short term project/contract

Many of the “bad” reasons for leaving are indeed “good” reasons but just worded poorly. For example, you may want to leave your current company because you feel that the company turned out to be disappointing. However, if you say this in an interview, it is likely this will make new employers uneasy. If this same reason is phrased “I want professional growth opportunities” it takes on a whole new spin, putting your reason into a positive light as opposed to taking a negative tone, something that is much more likely to sit well with the new employer.

Giving “bad” reasons for wanting to leave a current job isn’t the only way interviewees can fall flat at interview stage though. A number of employers were surveyed and a list was compiled of other things that can put them off a candidate. These included:
  • A bad handshake
  • Talkativeness
  • Arriving too early/late
  • Talking rudely to the receptionist
  • Asking about salary, holidays, and work benefits
  • Appearing for an interview unprepared
  • Lack of/excessive eye contact
  • Conflicting communication styles

With all of the things that can go wrong, it may seem that getting through an interview is almost impossible! However, it really isn’t as difficult as it sounds. Here is a a list of the must-dos for before, during and after an interview which are guaranteed to give you more success:
  • Research the company & interviewer
  • Prepare questions
  • Bring important documents
  • Dress smartly
  • Make sure you eat something beforehand
  • Arrive 15 minutes early
  • Keep answers short, concise, simple and honest
  • Ask for an estimated decision time if one isn’t given
  • Follow up with recruiter 24 hrs later and send a thank you note to employer

What do you think? Am I missing any major turn-offs for employers? Are there more tips you have for candidates about to attend an interview? We would love to hear from you!



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