5 ways to describe your old job in an interview

In any job interview, you’re going to be asked why you are choosing to leave your current role. The way you answer it can reveal a huge amount about your attitude towards work and your personality, so think about what you want to say before you even go to the interview. This is the question that will really sell yourself, so take these five things into consideration beforehand.

1. What you actually did
Have a think about how your current role will help you land this new one. What responsibilities have you had that could be easily applied to the role you’re wanting? Draw similarities between the two to make yourself appear qualified for the job. If you can’t make yourself sound a good fit for the role, why would they offer it to you?

2. The challenges
Employers understand that you will have come across some difficult times at your old workplace. But it’s all about how you turn these challenges into a positive and how you dealt with them. Don’t tell them that you ran to the toilet and hid from your desk, tell them about the time you smashed a deadline, despite many hurdles.

3. Your colleagues
In the interview, the employer may ask about the people you worked with at your last role and how you all worked together. This is because they want to see how friendly you are and if you will fit in with the people already working for their brand. If you describe the people positively, you will appear like someone who can make friends easily. You want to make the employer recognise that you are a good person to be around.

4. Turning the negatives around
Chances are the interviewer is wanting to know what you least liked about your previous role, as it could well have had something to do with the fact that you started searching for a new job in the first place! Be very careful with this question, as you don’t want to disrespect your old company as that won’t do you any good. Avoid being personal too – it’s much better to say that there weren’t the right opportunities in the organisation than complaining that you got passed over for promotion because your boss has his favourites.

5. Be positive!
It’s really important to stay positive about your previous workplace and remember what they have done for you. Even if you hated the time you worked there, it was all experience and you can now move onto bigger and better things. But by bringing up how terrible the place was, you will not come across like a committed member of the team and someone that is willing to roll with the punches.