Interview Questions


Mike Staver: Hi, everybody, I’m Mike Staver. This is Mondays with Mike, a weekly video series where I answer questions from people just like you. Here’s this week’s question. 

“I recently left a job where I had been for over 10 years. The culture deteriorated, I quit. I’m pretty sure in my interviews I’ll be asked why I left my previous job. Do you think telling the truth as I just described it is wise?”

Johnny: I think this is a great time for those political answers where you can tell the truth without telling the full truth. “There was no more room for growth for me, we grew apart.” That sort of thing. “It didn’t really align with my ideals anymore,” or something like that where it doesn’t have to be placing blame or admitting fault in any way, or anything like that.

Mike: Or make an accusation or blaming.

Marty: Yes, I couldn’t agree anymore with that. Yes, I think especially when you’re in an interview situation, you don’t want to necessarily say bad things about where you were employed because God forbid the job you’re applying for if you were to ever leave that, then you’re going to say bad things about the company. The person interviewing you is not going to probably respond positively to that. I think Johnny had the nail on the head there that say what you need to say in a general way. If that makes sense.

Mike: Yes, it totally makes sense. I think if I’ve been there for over 10 years– If you’ve been there for over 10 years, that says a lot about your loyalty. If the culture deteriorated, you can have conversations like Johnny and Marty mentioned and say, “Hey, it just wasn’t a fit. It was time to move on. I need to expand my career.” I totally agree. I always say this, if you’re going to talk about them, if they’re going to talk about somebody else, they’re going to ultimately talk about you and that’s how any boss I think would evaluate it. I do think that I would have the conversation, but I would not have it. You ask the question as I just described it wise. I don’t think that would be wise.

I don’t want you to lie, but I want you to say, “I was there 10 years. There came a time when it was time to go our separate ways and that’s exactly what I did. I opted out for a better opportunity and I’m hoping that if you and I can work something out, this will be an opportunity.” Just like that. You see how that’s forward-focused as opposed to focus in the rearview mirror. All right. I hope that was helpful. Take care.

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