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How Do I Explain Why I Quit My Job — Without Criticizing My Ex-Boss?

Source | Forbes : By Liz Ryan

Dear Liz,

You always say “Don’t say anything negative about your last boss on a job interview,” but what if your last boss was a creep and a bully? What if you had to quit your job (like I did) to get away from him?

How do I explain why I quit my job without getting into the awful things my boss said and did to me? I don’t want interviewers to think that I just randomly quit jobs for no reason.

Thanks for your help Liz,


Dear Shawna,

What a tough experience! I am glad you got out of that situation.

You left a bad boss behind.  Now you are out on the job market again, or preparing to hit the job search trail. No one needs to know about your bully ex-boss, and sharing the details of your mistreatment at his hands will only make your job search harder.

It is human nature to wonder about the professionalism of a job candidate who relates the story of their bully ex-boss to someone (like a job interviewer) they are meeting for the very first time — even if the story is 100% accurate.

A simple, general answer to the question “Why did you leave your last job?” is best. What is your objective in a job interview, after all? The issue of why you left your last job is not central to the conversation.

You are not in court.

You are not relating your side of the story so that the interviewer can decide whether or not your boss’s bad treatment was a good enough reason for you to leave your last job. People quit jobs over far less every day.

Read On…

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