What to Tell Your Employer After Quitting Your Previous Job on Bad Terms

What to Tell Your Prospective Employer After Quitting Your Previous Job on Bad Terms

Career Advice, Changing jobs, Interviews stage, Job Search, NEED ADVICE

While job hopping might not be the best idea, but the truth is that there are times when quitting is unavoidable. Sometimes it is not actually your personal decision and leaving is not always an easy decision to make when you need some security in your life. But there are occasions when people have to quit their jobs to allow them to take care of their family members who are in need – for instance, a child, family illness or ageing parents. After all, family comes first. However, the most difficult explanation is when you quit a previous job due to unfavourable working conditions, mistreatment, or ethical reasons.

Obviously, your answer will be dictated by the circumstances of your departure from the company – what kind of terms are you on with your ex-employer? How did you leave the role?


It is very important to tell the truth.  You need to be careful not to speak ill of your former employer, even if you quit for ethical reasons. They could be a small FMCG manufacturing company or a worldwide food manufacturing brand.

Every candidate dreads being asked why he/she left his/her former employer, particularly if they left while on bad terms.  It is a tricky affair. Unfortunately, this is a common interview question that cannot be avoided and is of great importance to potential employers. They usually ask it to determine how risky it is to hire you. After all, they do not want to bring in a bad apple to their team. This question is so crucial that the answer to it will either enhance the rest of the interview or bring it to an instant end.

So what do you say to your prospective employer if you left a job on bad terms?

Don’t Ever Badmouth Your Former Employer

First, avoid being negative about your previous employer. You actually have nothing to gain by badmouthing them. This only undermines your presentation. Depending on the industry, they might personally know the person you are currently tearing into.

It matters less that you had every reason to leave; human resource managers are not willing to risk investing in a new worker who might turn around and leave shortly afterwards. That is why you should be diplomatic when it comes to talking about leaving your previous job.

You can diplomatically tell your potential employer that you left your job since you had “no prospects for future growth” in that firm.  Alternatively, you can say you left because you thought it necessary to invest your career in a firm whose mission “matched” your passion.

This also counts to a Food Recruiter! they could be good friends with the manager you just slated!

Differentiate Between Personal from the Professional

In case you quit your previous job due to a personal issue or disagreement, you should avoid bringing it up during your interview. You need to demonstrate to your potential employer that you can maintain your professionalism in his or her company. Even though you may feel totally justified, broaching a personal issue into an interview tends to raise a red flag. Human resource personnel want you to focus on what you are capable of doing as a professional. They want you to show how you can help their company.

Control Your Emotions

It is a fact that quitting a job on bad terms is unavoidable emotional. People tend to feel angry and think they had a right to walk out because of being mistreated, etc. Such feelings boil up the moment a person starts to talk about negative work experiences.  Some interviewees have even cried in such conversations. As much as emotions are unavoidable, you should not allow them to control your future openings.

It Is an Employee, Not the Company as a Whole

Any time people feel aggrieved, it is normally at the hands of either a specific person or a set of people – not the company. Most of your colleagues are probably nice people. This means that if you portray everybody working at your company negatively, you might end up offending and hurting innocent co-workers who actually have no connection with your woes. Your attitude will be questionable.

The Professional World is Small 

All present day employers are internet-savvy, and nowadays it is common for both human resource personnel and recruiters to check on your online credentials to find out whether the image you have created for yourself in cyberspace is positive or not. Any indication that you are speaking ill of your ex-employers will certainly make such individuals to try and look for confirmation. Besides, there are chances that former colleagues will leave your former employer to join companies in your industry and become potential employers, business partners or clients. A time may come when you may want to get hired by them. There are several individuals who have found themselves overlapping with people they worked with in the past.  The world has become infinitely small, thanks to the internet. So you need to be careful.

Who Likes Complainers Anyway?

Complainers are the worst people and nobody wants to hire one. They are known to gather together and complain about why they never got a pay rise or promotion, and speak ill of their other workmates who they feel are not fit for pay raise or promotion. Managers know very well that there is something that is making a whiner disgruntled, and this always worries them. They are aware that when it comes to complainers, their tendency for quitting jobs is higher. Complainers have a wanderlust syndrome, always looking for greener pastures. Thus, investing in training such a person only to lose him or her to a competitor is very frustrating.

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