Tough Interview Question - Have you ever quit a job? Why?

Have you ever quit a job? Why?

Similar interview questions:
Why did you leave your last job?
What is it about your current job which makes you want to leave?
Why are you currently interviewing?
What are your top reasons to quit a job to move on to another?

Why the interviewer is asking this question:
This is a back-end question. In other words, the interviewer is asking you about the back-end of the job, not the front-end. Why would you leave a job that you previously agreed to accept? Do you simply get bored after 12, 24 or 36 months? Or was that your way to get a pay increase when you could not get it internally? Or are there other reasons which would motivate you to make a job change?

The best approach to answering this question:
If you haven’t yet quit a job (which is often the case for candidates in their first job after college), the answer is “No” and the interviewer may move on to the next question. However, the interviewer might come back to ask why you are leaving your current job, so be prepared. In answering this question, you should focus on moving forward in your career in a way which was not possible at your employer. If you were proactively recruited for the new role, say so.

An example of how to best answer this question for experienced candidates:
"I did quit my last job to take on my current role when I was recruited specifically for that role. I wasn’t looking for another job at the time, but I was approached by a recruiter who felt I would be a good fit for the role. It offered an opportunity for growth and advancement that wasn’t available with my prior employer…"

An example of how to best answer this question for entry level candidates:
"I haven’t actually quit a job, but I did complete my internship last summer successfully and left there on good terms. They made me an offer to return after graduation, although I am still considering my other options…"

An example of how you should not answer this question:
"I quit my last job because of the way they treated me. Have you ever heard the song Take This Job And Shove It? Well, that’s what I wanted to say when I left, but didn’t. I guess the downside is that I ended up unemployed for over a year after I quit. But I just couldn’t take it anymore…"


Remember to answer each interview question behaviorally, whether it is a behavioral question or not. The easiest way to do this is to use an example from your background and experience. Then use the S-T-A-R approach to make the answer a STAR: talk about a Situation or Task (S-T), the Action you took (A) and the Results achieved (R). This is what makes your interview answer uniquely yours and will make your answer a star!


Further review: know the answers to these Fifty Standard Interview Questions to be fully prepared for your interview!

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