Daily English
Cultural English
Practical English

2 Why did you leave your last job?/Why are you looking for a new job?

访问量:
SUMMARY OF TIPS:

Your Goal: To minimize any problems and to show that you had positive
reasons for leaving previous positions

! Mention positive reasons for leaving.
! Never criticize supervisors, co-workers, or the company/organization.
! Don’t mention major problems with management.
! Tell the interviewer about any neutral reasons for leaving.
! Stay positive no matter how bad the situation you are leaving may be.
! Use the right words so you don’t sound self-serving. Instead of saying “I
left to seek better opportunities” say “I'm looking for a situation which will use more of my skills and experience.”
! Avoid sounding like a “job hopper.”
! Turn this into an opportunity to tell the interviewer about your skills and abilities, if possible.
! Keep your explanation short or the interviewer may think you’re making excuses.

SAMPLE ANSWERS

Sample Answer 1:

I’ve been with Lotadoe for over five years and I’ve enjoyed working there. I learned a lot about software development and how to work effectively with my
colleagues.

About two years ago, I began getting interested in other aspects of design and started learning about new ways that the field is creating and developing new
designs. I completed training that qualifies me to oversee other types of projects than the ones I work on now at Lotadoe. That’s why I’m now looking for
a company that will allow me to more fully utilize my new skills and where I can take on new challenges. What I see in this position is also the opportunity for growth and advancement. I think that my current skills and abilities are a good match with the current needs of this company.

Sample Answer 2:

The primary reason I left Michmuney Company was because the company went through a restructuring and my position was eliminated. Up to that point,
however, I had a very good track record and received positive employee evaluations each of the three years I worked there.

Leaving Michmuney actually allowed me to make a career change that I had been thinking about for some time and that is more aligned with my career
goals. Although I’ve worked successfully in sales for the past several years, my education and my interests are more closely related to marketing. I’d like to find a position that would allow me to use my knowledge and skills to do challenging work. This position would also give me more responsibility than I had at my last company and more promotion opportunities. I think that my skills and abilities are a good match for this job.

GLOSSARY

colleague – co-worker; the people one works with
* Tam often brings home-baked cookies to work to share with his colleagues.

training – opportunities to learn new skills or improve old skills to do one’s job better.
* Susan has excellent spreadsheet skills, so her boss asked her to organize a training to teach the other people in the office.

to qualify – to meet a minimum level of skills or abilities to a job
* Jack is the most qualified to do the job, because he has 15 years of experience in this area.

to oversee – to supervise; to have responsibility for a project or for someone else’s work
* Nobu is overseeing textbook sales to high schools in the western region of the United States.

to more fully – to better; to more thoroughly
* Roger speaks four languages, but in his current job he only needs to know English. He’d like to find a new job that would more fully use his talents.

to utilize – to use
* We didn’t utilize all the funds that were available for the project, so now we have extra money for the next project.

growth – personal or professional development; becoming better
* Her plans for professional growth this year include taking a computer class and learning how to type more quickly.

advancement – promotion; working in higher-ranking positions
* Her advancement through the company was incredible! She began as a mail clerk, but just two years later, she’s the vice-president of sales.

a good match – complementary; suitable; something that combines well
* Juan and Marita are a good match. They go to the same church, they like the same kinds of activities, and they both want to have a lot of children.

needs – the things that a person or a company requires; the things that a person or company doesn’t have right now
* Parents know that teenagers have different needs for privacy than younger children do.

restructuring – a period of time when a company is reorganizing within the company, usually to become more efficient
* When the employees heard that their company was going to go through a restructuring, they all became very worried about keeping their jobs.

to eliminate – to get rid of; to remove; to destroy
* I’ve heard that eating nothing but fruit for three days will eliminate bad chemicals from the human body, but I’m not sure I believe it.

up to that point – until then; prior to that moment; before that point in time
* When Kathy’s father died, she became very depressed. Up to that point, however, she had always been a very happy child.

track record – one’s history of doing something well or poorly
* He has an excellent track record for getting his projects done on time.

employee evaluation – a written assessment or official opinion of an employee’s performance in a job
* Employee evaluations are often used to determine whether employees should receive raises.

career change – to switch from a career in one field to a career in another field
* After years of working as an economic analyst, Greg decided that he would like to make a career change and become an economics professor at the university.

to be aligned – to be in line with; to be in a correct position in relation to something else
* These products weren’t aligned with what customers were looking for, so the company stopped making it.

career goals – what one wants to do professionally; what one wants to do professionally in the future
* I know you want to be a doctor, but what are your specific career goals? Do you want to have your own office, work for a hospital, or do medical research?

responsibility – the duty and expectation to take care of someone or something
* Mailing the invitations was your responsibility. I can’t believe you forgo to take them to the post office.

promotion opportunity – opportunity for advancement; opportunity to begin working in a higher-ranking position
* Five managers quit in one week, and suddenly, there were a lot of promotion opportunities for everyone who had been working under them.

COMPLETE TRANSCRIPT

ESLPod.com presents "Interview Questions Answered," episode two.

Hello, I'm your host, Dr. Jeff McQuillan, coming to you from the Center for Educational Development in beautiful Los Angeles, California.

This series is designed to teach you the English you need to know to have a successful interview. We'll first listen to some tips on how to answer these
questions, and then we'll listen to and explain two sample answers for the question.

Our questioned in this episode is: "Why did you leave you last job, and why are you looking for a new job?" Let's start with some tips on answering this question.

Your goal in answering this question is to show the interviewer that you had good reasons for leaving your last job - your previous position. You want to minimize any problems that you had; that is you don't want them to think that you were a bad employee or that your old boss hated you. That would not be a good reason for leaving your job because it may indicate to them that you will not be a good worker for them. So, the important point here is to look for the positive reasons for you wanting to leave your job right now and look for a new job.

So, the first tip is to mention the positive reasons. These could be things like "I want a new challenge," "I want to use my skills in a different way," "I want to have more responsibility," things that indicate that you are, perhaps, ambitious - that you want to get ahead - that you want to be successful.

The second tip in answering this question is to never criticize supervisors, coworkers or the company. It's not a good idea to say, "Well, I'm leaving my job because my boss is an idiot." Your boss might be an idiot; that might be true, I know mine is, but that's not a very good reason to give the employer that you are interviewing with because they will think negatively of you. So, don't say anything bad about the people you worked for or the people you worked with - the other employees. You also want to avoid saying negative things about the company that you work for. Again, you need to be positive. You don't want to mention any problems with the management, or the supervisors, or the bosses of your company right now.

You could also tell the interviewer what we call "neutral reasons" for leaving. For example, your wife got a new job in a different city, and so now you need to get a job in that city. Or, there maybe some other personal or professional reason why you need to move from one job to another or from one part of the country to another. These aren't necessarily things that are going to help you get the job, but they explained why you are getting a new job - why you are looking for a new job. Maybe your company is closing its office in the city where you live and you have to find a new job. Those would be neutral reasons, not positive, not negative, but neutral.

The next tip is to always stay positive no matter how bad the situation you are leaving. Once again, don't be negative about your current position.

You want to use the right words in your answer to this question so that you don't sound too self-serving. In other words, you don't want it to be that you are doing this change in jobs just for you. So, instead of saying, "I'm seeking better opportunities," you might say, "I'm looking for a situation that will use more of my skills and experiences," so that company sees that you are trying to offer something to them.

Another thing to avoid - to not do - is to sound like a job hopper. Someone who is a job hopper, "hopper," is someone who moves jobs frequently. Every year, every two years, they have a new job. You want to show your employer that you have some commitment to your job; you're not going to leave your job in a year or two years. Employers usually don't want to hire people who are going to leave them in a short amount of time. So, don't talk about the ten jobs that you had in the last year; that would not make you look very good.

Use the opportunity of this question to tell the interviewer more about your skills and abilities. Even though the question is "Why did you leave your last job," you can include in your answer more information about why you are a good person for this job. As always, you want to keep your explanation fairly short, otherwise the interviewer might think that you are making excuses. You don't want to give a long list of reasons why you left your last job; you want to be honest, positive and brief in your answer.

Let's listen to a sample answer now, then we will discuss the answer and listen to it again at a normal speed. Here we go.


[Start of sample answer]

I’ve been with Lotadoe for over five years and I’ve enjoyed working there. I learned a lot about software development and how to work effectively with my
colleagues.

About two years ago, I began getting interested in other aspects of design and started learning about new ways that the field is creating and developing new
designs. I completed training that qualifies me to oversee other types of projects than the ones I work on now at Lotadoe. That’s why I’m now looking for a
company that will allow me to more fully utilize my new skills and where I can take on new challenges. What I see in this position is also the opportunity for
growth and advancement. I think that my current skills and abilities are a good match with the current needs of this company.

[End of sample answer]

In answering the question "Why did you leave your last job, and why are you looking for a new job," our first sample answer begins by the woman saying that she has worked that she has worked for her current company, Lotadoe, "for over five years, and I've enjoyed working there." Notice that she's positive right away. "I've worked here for x number of years" - two years, five years, ten years - "and I enjoyed it" - it was a good job. So, she starts by saying something positive.

She also says that "I learned a lot about software development and how to work effectively with my colleagues." Notice that she uses this answer to give more information about her skills and qualifications. She says, "Well, I worked at this company for five years, and I learned a lot about software development, and I also learned how to work effectively with my colleagues." A colleague, "colleague," is the same as a coworker - a fellow employee - someone else who
works with you at your company.

So, she give an answer here that says how long she's worked at the company, that she's enjoyed it, and that she has learned these new, important things. She
then goes on to say that "About two years ago, I began getting interested in other aspects," or other parts, "of design and started learning about new ways that the field is creating and developing new designs." She's saying here that "I got interested in other things," and again, this shows creativity - this shows initiative - this shows ambition - that she wants to get better - that she wants to improve her skills.

She then says that she "completed training that qualifies me to oversee other types of projects." Training is the same as education. She maybe took a course, or read some books, or went online and got training. She learned new information, and that information qualifies her "to oversee other types of projects." To qualify, "qualify," means that it gives you the ability to - it gives you the skills to. So, she did this training, and that training gave her the ability "to oversee other types of projects." To oversee, "oversee," (one word) means the same as to supervise - to have responsibility for someone else's work.

Once again, she's giving the reason why she left her last job and she's saying that "Well, now I have these new skills" - I have these new qualifications because I studied, and this is a reason why she's "looking for a company that will allow" her "to more fully utilized my new skills and where I can take on new challenges." So, now that she has these skills - these new skills - that she can't really use at her current job at Lotadoe Industries, she says, "Well, now I'm looking for another company that will allow me to use," or utilize. The verb, to utilize, "utilize," is the same as to use. So, she wants to "more fully utilize," meaning she wants to use them completely - she wants to use all of the skills that she has.

She finishes her answer - and remember you want to keep the answer short for this question - by saying "What I see in this" company "is also the opportunity for growth and advancement." Here she's complimenting the company. She's saying, "Well, I like this company. I want to leave my job because this is a good
company." She uses two words that would be common in describing a company that you might want to work for. One is that there is opportunity for growth,
"growth." The word growth comes from the verb to grow, "grow," which normally means to get bigger or to get older. In this case, the noun, growth, is really
talking about becoming better - becoming better at something, either personally or professionally.

So, she says she's looking for "the opportunity for growth" - the possibility that she can get better at what she does. She's also looking for "advancement." This is an important word, advancement, "advancement." Advancement is the same as promotion - getting a higher level job - getting a better job. If you're looking for opportunities for advancement, you're looking for a company that can give you a better job - a higher level job. This shows the employer that you are ambitious - that you want to succeed; you want to be successful.

She ends her answer by saying, "I think that my current skills and abilities are a good match with the current needs of this company." When she says her "skills are a good match," "match," she means that they're a good connection - a good fit between her skills and what the company needs so that they complement each other - they combine well. She says they're a good match with the current needs of the company. The needs are the things the company requires. It's a noun; it can also be a verb, to need something. Here it means this is what the company needs - this is what they don't have now, and I have some of those things.

Now let's listen to the sample answer, this time at a normal speed.

[Start of sample answer]

I’ve been with Lotadoe for over five years and I’ve enjoyed working there. I learned a lot about software development and how to work effectively with my
colleagues.

About two years ago, I began getting interested in other aspects of design and started learning about new ways that the field is creating and developing new designs. I completed training that qualifies me to oversee other types of projects than the ones I work on now at Lotadoe. That’s why I’m now looking for a company that will allow me to more fully utilize my new skills and where I can take on new challenges. What I see in this position is also the opportunity for growth and advancement. I think that my current skills and abilities are a good match with the current needs of this company.

[End of sample answer]

Now we're going to listen to another sample answer to the question: "Why did you leave you last job, and why are you looking for a new job?" First, we'll listen to this at a slow speed, followed by an explanation of the answer and the vocabulary, and then again, at a normal speed. Let's get started.

[Start of sample answer]

The primary reason I left Michmuney Company was because the company went through a restructuring and my position was eliminated. Up to that point,
however, I had a very good track record and received positive employee evaluations each of the three years I worked there.

Leaving Michmuney actually allowed me to make a career change that I had been thinking about for some time and that is more aligned with my career goals. Although I’ve worked successfully in sales for the past several years, my education and my interests are more closely related to marketing. I’d like to find a position that would allow me to use my knowledge and skills to do challenging work. This position would also give me more responsibility than I had at my last company and more promotion opportunities. I think that my skills and abilities are a good match for this job.

[End of sample answer]

In our second sample answer, we have a slightly different situation. In our first answer, the person was leaving their job because they wanted a better job. Here, the main reason this person is leaving his job is because his company had decided to eliminate, or fire, or get rid of, some of their employees.

He says, "The primary reason I left" the company "was because the company went through a restructuring." The word restructuring, "restructuring," is a
popular word in American businesses that means that the company decided to reorganize - to become more efficient. Usually this means that they fire or get rid of some of their people. In this answer, the person says that his "position" - his job - "was eliminated," meaning they no longer were going to have his job at the company - they got rid of it.

So, this is a polite way - a nice way of saying that I was fired. However, you can be fired - you can be removed from your job because you do a bad job or, in this case, because the company changed itself and got rid of your job. So, this person is saying, "Well, I didn't do a bad job. The company restructured and they eliminated" - got rid of - "my job."

He then continues by saying the good things that he did at his job - why he did a good job, or evidence that he did a good job. He says, "Up to that point," meaning before the company restructured and eliminated his position - that point in time, or up to that time, he "had a very good track record." A track record, "track record," (two words) is your history of what you did on a job. It's how well you did something or how badly you did something. So, if you say, "I have a good track record at sales," or "I have a good track record in selling things," that means that I have a good history - I have done it successfully for a certain amount of time.

He also said that he "received positive employee evaluations each of the three years" he "worked there." Notice that he also says how long he worked there: three years. Employee evaluations are when your boss usually writes a paper - a report - on how good of a job you've been doing, or what his or her opinion is of how you have performed at your job - how you have done your job. And, he says I "received positive employee evaluations," meaning my bosses liked my work.

He then, instead of stopping there, he then gives other reasons why he's looking for a new job that are more positive. The fact that his job was restructured and eliminated, that is a neutral reason; not positive, not negative. This, now, is a positive reason for him looking for a new job, he says leaving his company
allowed him "to make a career change that" he "had been thinking about for some time," or for a long time. A career change is the same as taking a new kind of job. Your career, "career," is the kind of work that you do. You could be a university professor. You could be an auto mechanic. You could be a lawyer.
All of these are different careers.

So, he's saying that he wants to have a different, or new, career and he's looking for something "that is more aligned with" his "career goals." Your goals, "goals," are your objectives - what you are trying to accomplish. Your career goals are what you want to do with your work life - what you want to do in terms of the work that you do.

When he says that he's looking for a job "that is more aligned" his "career goals," he means he's looking for something that is closer to what he wants to do. The verb to align, "align," means to put things together - to combine things so that there's a good match.

So, he's looking for a different career that is better matched to what his goals are. He says, "Although I’ve worked successfully in sales for the past several years, my education and my interests are more closely related to marketing." So he's saying, "Well, I know I've worked in sales, and this is a different job," a different kind of job, "however, I have education in this area and I'm interested in this area." This is an especially good way to answer this question if you're moving to a different kind of job - from a software engineer to a manager position. When you are changing your career, you want to say that you still have experience or education related to this new job.

He says he'd "like to find a position that would allow" him to have "more responsibility than" he had at his last position. Once again, he's showing his
ambition - he's showing his desire to succeed - to do better. He's looking for "more responsibility." Usually, when we talk about responsibility at a job, we
mean the person is looking to be a boss - is looking to be a manager or a supervisor, or someone who has more important work to do.

He's also looking for "promotion opportunities." Promotion opportunities are the same as advancement opportunities. Remember, advancement is when you want a better job - a higher level job. This is what this person is also looking for, and again, American businesses like that. You say that because it shows that you have energy - that you have ambition - that you want to do better, and that's an important characteristic - an important personal quality that many US businesses look for in their employees.

Now let's listen to the sample answer at a normal speed.

[Start of sample answer]

The primary reason I left Michmuney Company was because the company went through a restructuring and my position was eliminated. Up to that point, however, I had a very good track record and received positive employee evaluations each of the three years I worked there.

Leaving Michmuney actually allowed me to make a career change that I had been thinking about for some time and that is more aligned with my career goals. Although I’ve worked successfully in sales for the past several years, my education and my interests are more closely related to marketing. I’d like to find a position that would allow me to use my knowledge and skills to do challenging work. This position would also give me more responsibility than I had at my last company and more promotion opportunities. I think that my skills and abilities are a good match for this job.

[End of sample answer]

That concludes episode two of "Interview Questions Answered."

This course has been a production of the Center for Educational Development, in beautiful Los Angeles, California. Visit our website at eslpod.com.

This course was produced by Dr. Jeff McQuillan and Dr. Lucy Tse. Copyright 2006.