Keeping It Simple Try keeping it simple, honest and even a little humorous if you don't want to go into details and had a run-of-the-mill reason for leaving. For example, if you left because of a required relocation, you could say something along the lines of, "My morning commute went from 20 minutes in traffic to a cross-country flight." You're offering the reason with minimal details and giving the interviewer a light laugh, which often leaves a positive impression. Sticky Situations You’ll need to tread carefully if you left your job because of something negative on the employer's part, such as ethical violations. You don't want to badmouth your former employer in an interview because you may get the dreaded "troublemaker" label. Look for other reasons to say why you left your job, particularly other real concerns you had. For instance, if your ex-employer was experiencing financial difficulties, you may mention a fear of layoff or concerns about the impending restructuring as reasons for your departure. Personal Circumstances If you left because you needed to care for or spend time with an ailing loved one, say it. How much detail you're willing to go into is up to you, but you don't need to hide it. Most interviewers should relate to and understand why you'd make that decision for a family member. Prepare to give the information beforehand so you're not struggling to answer during the information. Set limits on how much information you want to disclose but adjust according to your comfort level with your interviewer. Staying Positive No matter how you choose to answer the question of why you left your old job, you need to stay positive. Focus on your skills and put your personality into the interview. Prospective employers don't want to hear how horrible your old job was because they fear you'll bash them down the line if you’re hired. Interviewers usually won’t press for details after you’ve given a brief reason, so don't keep offering details once you've said your piece. What Positive Words Can You Say to a Friend Who Has Lost His Job? by Rebekah Richards, Demand Media Job loss not only deals a financial blow but also can affect a person's sense of self, daily routine and social connections. You might struggle for the right words to say to a friend who has unexpectedly lost his job. But while it might feel awkward to discuss the situation, being encouraging and supportive can help your friend cope with the layoff and move forward. Stages of Grief According to Heidi Liss Radunovich in "Coping With Stress During a Job Loss," people often experience several stages of grief after a job loss: shock, anger, resistance, sadness and acceptance. However, not everyone goes through all stages or experiences them in the same order. You can't force your friend to move on more quickly, but you can ask how he is doing in order to help determine what type of conversation might be helpful. For example, someone who is still in shock or very angry might just need a sympathetic listener, while a person who has moved on to the sadness stage might be more open to encouraging words or job hunting advice. Encouraging Words It's normal if your friend feels angry or depressed after losing his job, but your positive attitude can help him recover his spirits and begin to think about the future. For example, tell your friend that "this is only a temporary setback" or "there are so many people who look up to you." You might also remind him of other challenges he has overcome or discuss his strengths. For example, remind him that he's an excellent public speaker or has marketable computer skills. Looking Forward Discussing your friend's dreams and long-term career goals can also help him move forward. Although he might not be immediately ready to start thinking about his next career move, try to encourage him to consider the future instead of focusing on what went wrong in his past job, suggests Idealist Careers editor April Greene. In addition, consider whether you have any contacts in your friend’s field or know of any job opportunities. For example, say "I'll ask around and let you know of any openings" or "I'll pass along your resume to some relatives in the field." What Not to Say While honesty is usually the best policy, there are some sentiments you should keep to yourself. For example, don't speak up if you're jealous of your friend's new freedom; while free time is nice, he'd probably prefer a paycheck. Discussing how difficult it is to land a job or how everyone is getting laid off might also cause your friend to feel more pessimistic. Finally, don't nag about his job search every time you talk or spend too much time giving advice. Your friend might sometimes prefer to have a break from the stress of the job search and enjoy your company.
PROCESSING, PLEASE WAIT...