“Why did you leave your old job?” 4 Ways to nail this question during a job interview

When being interviewed for a new job, you will have to answer some “not so fun” questions. Among all of the uncomfortable questions you will probably have to answer, “Why did you leave your old job” is probably one of those candidates rarely know how to answer. No matter how prepared you are, this question always seems to catches us off guard. – During your interview for a new job, you should highlight the positive reasons for considering a new position and avoid talking about any negative ones if you can.

Here are a few answers you could give:



This will show your recruiter that you are always seeking for growth opportunities, which is a quality most employers are looking for in a candidate. This will also challenge them to think about how you could grow and evolve inside the company. The problem is, some recruiters simply see you as an executor and do not think about growth opportunities when they hire you. It is up to you to show, through your interview that you are not expecting to be stagnant inside the company but that you are willing to learn new things and reach higher potentials.  The general rule is to always make it clear that you are running towards new opportunities and not fleeing bad situations.



People change and grow…so does their interested. After working at a certain position, it is normal to develop curiosity for new things. Of course, you do not want to leave the impression that you are unstable but rather, ready to experience things that will allow you to acquire meaningful experiences. You do not want to give the impression that you will leave them as soon as another opportunity presents itself.  By giving concrete examples of your new interests and how they are based on what you have learned before will be a message to your recruiter that you are not looking for anything monotonous.



Do not say that you did not get along with a particular coworker, as this might cause your recruiter to perceive you as being prone to starting conflicts in the workplace. Simply say you were looking for a different type of environment. It will be a great opportunity for you to let your recruiter know that you have been attracted by this particular company’s culture and work environment, which has the power to put the chances on your side. Do not be afraid to give details about what you are looking for: smaller place, bigger place, more relaxed, more dynamic?



Say you left because you wanted a career in the position you are applying for! Of course… This is exactly why you are here right now. This is a great way of showing that you really care about this particular position and truly believe that it is the best thing for you in terms of “next step”. This will make your recruiter even more interested in your profile.

Never under any circumstance bash your old boss. I am not saying that you should be insincere about your bad experiences. However, try being as objective as possible. Present facts, not emotions.


7 interview questions you DO NOT need to answer

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How can I stay calm during my job interview?


Getting ready for an interview is a very important part of the job search process. If you want to nail your interview, it is crucial that you feel well prepared. Many candidates focus on the formal part of this preparation: paper work, review emails etc but neglect the internal part, which is feeling great on the inside in order to feel well and alert during the interview.

Get enough sleep the previous day

Get enough sleep so that you feel awake and alert for your interview. Suffering from fatigue will make you nervous and moody the next day. Get  8 full hours of rest, stay away from the noise and get the beauty sleep you need to nail your interview.

Wear comfortable clothes

I order to look relaxed and comfortable, you need to actually FEEL comfortable. Wearing clothes that are too tight or that simply do not make you feel good in your skin will have a negative impact on your performance. find what works best for you while still comforting the the company’s standards. Make sure you can breathe and move properly. Nobody wants their pants to rip as they reach out to shake their recruiter’s hand.

Boost your energy level

Find natural ways to boost your energy such as vegetables, fruits and nuts that will make you feel more focused and alert before your interview instead of stressed and exhausted. Feeling great will tremendously impact the way you carry yourself through the interview. The better you feel, the better you will be able to answer the questions and be yourself.


Avoid stress

Avoid exposing yourself to things that stress you out: news, noisy kids and more. Make sure you have all the peace and quiet you need to feel energized. You might not realise this right away but your brain stocks up a lot of information that will later on reflect on your overall health. If you want to feel great for your interview, filter the information you let in your mind.



Interviewers also need to get ready to interview their candidates: Also Read>

3 ways interviewers can prepare themselves to interview their candidates

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Asking these unusual questions will help you pick the best candidates


The point of interviewing candidates is to get to ask specific questions that will allow the recruiter to know them better and truly see if they are the right fit for the position they are applying for. The problem is, most candidates, with a minimum of of preparation, will have a chance to look up common questions and prepare for them. While this is completely normal and not a bad thing, the danger is that you will most likely get a lot of similar answers that won’t necessarily truly reflect their real personality and motives. If you want to really make sure you hire the right candidate, here are a few questions you, as an employer, can ask your candidates that will help you pick the best fit.


What would you consider to be your biggest professional mistake till this day? How did you deal with it?

Candidates love to talk about their strengths, what they did well and how they can contribute to their company’s success. What is not always easy is talking about our failures and mistakes. Do not simply ask “Talk about a time when you were under pressure and had to get the job done” because it gives your candidate the chance to look like the hero who saved the day. Instead, ask about a situation when they have failed to deliver, sent an email by mistake, did not meet an important deadline or caused the company to lose a client. This is what will allow you to see what they are really made of. It is important for employees to own up to their mistakes and find ways to get back up after a failure. Knowing how they do so will reveal their character and let you know if they are people you can truly count on.


Describe a situation where your boss/supervisor really pissed you off. How did you deal with it?

Let’s face it: the work place is not always a place with rainbows and unicorns. Your employees will have to manage conflicts. Asking the question so boldly will give you a better idea of their personality: Do they handle conflict well? How are they when it comes to working in team or respecting authority?Because at the end of the day, this is what really matters. Not the times they got along with everybody.


How would your current boss or a team member describe you? What would he/she say are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?

Challenge your candidate to take a step back and talk about how his colleagues see him/her. This will allow them to give more honest answers than when they talk about their own strengths and abilities. It is also a great way for them to acknowledge weaknesses that they would not have the courage to admit if the question had been “Can you talk about your weaknesses?” When they try to look at themselves through their colleagues and bosses’ lenses, it will allow them to remember certain comments they have received through evaluations and more.


What do you think you won’t like about this job?

It is easy for a candidate to say why he/she wants to work for you: Experience, Company values and more. However, there are also things that your future employee won’t like about the company and it does not always require them a few months in to have an idea of what these things are. Employees talk and share their experiences with one another. Your candidate probably heard about that supervisor who is so difficult to work with or heard that employees often need to work overtime to get the job done at your company. Do not be afraid to ask your candidate if there is something in particular that he/she is not looking forward to. Remember asking this question is not to learn about the gossip but to have a better idea of the image candidates have of your company and how, you, as an employer can make it better.


Besides acquiring experience, what is the main reason you want this job?

Every candidate is looking for “experience”. Asking them why they want the job is not challenging enough of you truly want to get to know them and their motives better. By asking why they want the job besides experience, you open the door for them to share their personal story. Some candidates might have dreamed from a young age of working for the company, some might simply be looking for a job to feed their family and some might still be trying to figure out what they truly want in life.


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Ann-Sophie Ovile, Writer, Short Stints

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Personality traits that will overshadow your lack of experience during a job interview

While you might think that your lack of experience disqualifies you for the job, it is important to know that many recruiters are very personality-oriented. Your personality has the power to trump your lack of experience. During their conversation with you, they need to hear more about you and your experiences in order to know if you will be able to execute the tasks or not. Thankfully, through the interview, there are many personality traits you will be able to show.


Professionalism: A study conducted by Universum revealed that 86% of employers say that professionalism is a top requirement when looking for the perfect candidate. The recruiter should be able to tell whether or not you have professionalism the second you walk into the room. Take the time to make your research so you know how to dress for your interview at this company. Make sure your posture communicates a sense of confidence, do not use your phone while in the waiting room and make sure you approach them with a smile and firm handshake.

These 4 habits will make you seem very unprofessional in the workplace

Leadership: Recruiters want to feel that you are able to take the lead when necessary and motivate the team. You might be asked questions like “Talk about a time when you had to motivate the team so the job could get done” or “Do you see yourself as a leader? If yes, why?”. These are all questions you should practice before the interview. Always focus on real stories and practical examples that will help your recruiter match these traits to your job description


4 traits of a good team builder

Interpersonal skills: Get ready to answer questions about a time when you had to work with a difficult employee or client and explain what you did to get the job done despite the situation. Recruiters want to know that you won’t let your feeling get in the way of you delivering the work. They will need to clearly see that you are someone who can avoid and resolve conflict in the workplace. Also, it is very important to show on your resume that you have communication skills


5 ways job seekers can show their communication skills to employers

Flexibility: One of the best employees are the ones who can adapt to change. In a world where things are constantly changing, recruiters need to make sure they are hiring a candidate who will be able to keep up with client’s and market’s needs. You need to understand that the word ‘flexible’ might sound good to write on your resume but provides absolutely no proof if not backed up with concrete example. During your interview, you can give an example of a time you had to deal with a client who changed his/her mind at the last minute. You can also show more of this trait by being flexible with the time and date of the interview.


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Ann-Sophie Ovile, Writer, Short Stints


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3 ways interviewers can prepare themselves to interview their candidates

When we think of interviews, we often focus on the fact that the candidate being interviewed is the one needing preparation. However, it is important to remember that, just for the interviewee, the interviewer needs certain factors to be aligned in order to be able to conduct a successful job interview.

Here are 3 easy tips that will help you conduct better job interviews:

Make sure you are comfortable

Most of the time, interviewers are advised to make their candidate comfortable. Truth is, in order for the interview to go well, both the interviewer and interviewee should be comfortable. Before you prepare yourself to interview your candidates, make sure you pick the right environment. The noise around you might cause you to lose focus and stress you out. Choose a quiet room and eliminate anything that could make you nervous like your phone for example.

Also let other people at the office know when you are going to conduct interviews so you do not get interrupted. You can send out emails if necessary, to make sure everybody is aware of it.

Prepare your clothes in advance and make sure they are not too tight. You want to be able to breathe properly while conducting this interview.

Be prepared

The best way to avoid failure is preparation. Take the time to think about the best questions for this interview and write them down on a sheet of paper you will use throughout the interview. Have a list of qualifications and job responsibilities for the open position. Also make sure you prepare answers! The candidate will ask questions about the company culture, benefits and more. It is important to be able to provide clear answers.

Be interested in the candidate

Do not simply read the questions listed on your sheet of paper. Take the time to truly get to know your candidate. Do not monopolize the conversation during the interview. While the candidate needs information from you about the position and the company, it is also important that you ask about their hobbies and other things that will allow you to know them better.

Leave room for spontaneous questions and listen carefully. The more natural, the better it will be. While preparing questions and other information of an interview is important, do not rehearse so much that you appear robotic. Remember this is someone you will work with. It is important to get to know them.


Useful tips to conduct succesful job interviews

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How to make your business portfolio stand out?

A portfolio is a collection of documents and/or samples of work (pictures, videos, writing…)  that you assemble together to show your future employer that you have the experience, skills, competencies and talent needed to do the job. A portfolio is meant to give the extra push your resume did not have the power to do alone. It is what will differentiate you from other candidates. It gives you an unexpected edge in interviews and lets the interviewer get a much clearer idea of what you can bring to the company.

A portfolio is necessary, especially when applying for creative positions such as: Writersbloggers, Web designers, because it:

  • Adds value to your application
  • Provides tangible proof of your skills
  • It differentiates you from other candidates
  • It allows you to show your personality

Make sure you mention, at the beginning of the interview, that you brought your portfolio with you. Then let the interviewer let you know when he/she is ready to see it.

How can you make sure your portfolio increases your chances of getting hired?


Keep it organized

A portfolio needs to be focused on a certain type of work. You might have multiple passions and more than one portfolio but it is important that you make sure each portfolio presents one field of expertise or separate them in sections. This will allow your recruiter to find exactly what he needs, when he needs it without having to go through multiple other things. Use categories. When you’ve got a lot of work to show off, placing everything on one page can be overwhelming.


Present your own projects

Employers like to see that you can go after what you want/need. Having personal experience besides your degree has the power to strongly impress your future employer and show that you have character. Find projects in your field that will benefit you and your portfolio. Contact clients, tell people about your services, start a blog about something you are passionate about. Portfolio documents could be items like: newsletter or blog articles you have written.


Make sure you update your portfolio regularly

A portfolio is like a resume. The more experience you acquire, the more your portfolio will change. Make sure you portray your newest work so that your portfolio can match the current demand and trends on the market. It is ok if at first, your portfolio does not have much to show. The most important thing is to start right so you can get off the ground.


Be original

Present your work in an original way, with boldness and confidence. Find ways to make it attractive and different. Never underestimate the power of visuals. Make sure you present something that will be easy to remember. If you are looking for ways to impress recruiters and employers with your career portfolio, it is important to incorporate your personal brand.


Make your portfolio digital

As technology continues to evolve, it’s crucial for job seekers to provide a digital copy of their portfolio. Online portfolios can be created with WordPress or you can publish your portfolio as PDF file. A digital version of your portfolio will make it easier to share!


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Ann-Sophie Ovile, Writer, Short Stints


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Useful tips to conduct succesful job interviews

The success of the interview depends just as much on the interviewer as it does the candidate, so it’s important to be prepared and confident before you evaluate someone for a job. Here are a few important things to keep in mind when you’re conducting an interview.

Successful recruiters understand that employees don’t just perform a job; they solve at least one critical business need. Take the time to identify that critical need and determine how you measure success in the position. If you do not take the time to think this through, you are just rushing to fill up a void without really making sure the needs of the company will be met.

Establish a list of criteria for your candidates

How will you make sure this person is who you need? Take the time to identify the criteria that should influence your decision: diplomas, years of experience, ability to speak in public…? Remember you are not looking for the person with the most talent, but rather, the person who’s ability and talents will fit perfectly for this specific job.

Tell your interviewee what they should expect

Interviews are like tests.They are not meant to trick the interviewee but to allow them to share things they already know to a person (or a group of people) in a position to make a decision. That being said, the candidate should have the right to prepare himself. Make sure there are no surprises, no tricks and no uncertainties. Candidates selected for interviews should know exactly what to expect: when they will interview, where they will interview and who will be involved in the interview.

Do your homework

Make sure you do your homework. There are important information that you should gather about your candidate before you meet them. Take the time to not only screen their resume but also dig in information. If your candidate is a freelance blogger, perhaps you will want to check out their articles and learn more about their writing style. If they are photographers on their free-time, maybe you could check out their portfolio. Doing so will allow you to feel like you know them a little better.

Make the interview a conversation

Take the time to create an environment that will make your candidate comfortable. The more you know about the candidate ahead of time the more you can ask questions that give the candidate room for self-analysis or introspection.

Allow them to ask questions

It is important to let your candidate ask questions. It will put them at ease and give you a better idea of what their expectations are. Ask open-ended questions and give the candidate an opportunity to answer. You should also give him or her time to solicit information from you as the interview goes on.

Related: Job Interview Hacks – Top 5 Questions to Ask During Every Job Interview

Describe the next steps

At the end of the interview always describe the rest of the process. Explain what you will do and when you plan to do it. Give them an estimation of when they will get an answer and let them know if there is anything they can do in the meantime.

Follow up

You should always follow-up, even if the candidate is not selected. Failing to follow up is not right, especially to people who pay your business the highest compliment of all by saying they would like to work with you. Show your candidates that you value their time by following up after the interview no matter the outcome.


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5 ways job seekers can show their communication skills to employers


Between the application process and the interview, you have many opportunities to showcase your talents. However, many job seekers do not invest enough time to make that valuable and positive first impression. Almost three-quarters of hiring managers say they offer jobs to who showcase results from previous roles. How good are you at providing evidence, and are you highlighting the right skills?

Email communication 

Employers use email to ask for more information, request interviews and provide status updates. This is a chance to highlight your strengths in communication. Make sure you answer to every single question. As tempting as it is to respond as quickly as possible, avoid replying too hastily, and always double check your work. Make sure it is error-free and that your tone is as formal as possible

Show samples of work.

The best evidence of writing skills are samples of your work.

You could use:

  • Your case study summary
  • Your recent business book review
  • The summary of key points from a professional meeting you attended.
  • If you are a blogger, this is also an excellent way to show your writing skills

While you are in the job search process, take the time to see if you have anything you could use to show your writing skills. If not, instead of being passive, it might be the time to volunteer or find activities that will help you create a useful portfolio.

 Your cover letter and résumé must be error-free. 

First impressions are lasting impressions. While not all employers are as discriminating, some will instantly reject candidates for careless errors within your resume. Make sure you proofread your documents and that the format is very clean. Keep in mind that these documents are what will represent you during the selection process. Find ways to make sure you are not eliminated before they can actually meet you and discover how amazing you are!

But even when you get to meet them,

Keep them engaged during the interview process

During your interview, speak with a clear voice and make sure you give direct answers to their questions. Avoid being too vague and spending too much time on a question. Also, make sure you ask smart questions that are linked to your interview questions. This will help your interviewers see you as someone who knows how to speak his/her mind, who will not be afraid to speak in public and who knows how to get what he/she wants.

Take the time to listen

When you meet with a potential employer, take the time to listen without interrupting, show interest in what they are saying by nodding and commenting. Our ability to communicate is often linked to our ability to listen.

Shortstints is glad to give you tools that will help you make a better impression during your application process for short term and temporary jobs. More importantly, we want to increase your chances of finding the right job for you. Sign Up today for FREE and get connected to a network of recruiters all over the United States.

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7 interview questions you DO NOT need to answer

During interviews, you are put under the spotlight. You have to answer so many questions and sometimes it can get a little overwhelming. What you might not know is that some common interview questions are actually illegal and you do not need to answer them. Woufff... What a relief.


Your age

Although this information will probably be known, you employer is not allowed to directly or indirectly ask you about your age. If you feel comfortable answering the question you are entitled to do so, but if not you can query whether or not your age is relevant to your application before answering. Just make sure you respect any specific requirement stated in the job description so that no unexpected conflict arises in the future.


Your matrimonial status

Answering a question like this can disclose a lot more information than you realize, and that information can easily be used to discriminate. If you are asked this question, it is ok to tell your employer you do not feel comfortable discussing these topics in a professional environment.


If you have been arrested before

Employers can conduct independent research into your background online, so you may find it beneficial to be honest and open about your past if you have been arrested prolifically in your youth. However, They are not entitled to enquire about your arrest record.


Questions about physical appearances

Questions related to your general health can be tricky. While employers cannot ask you questions about sicknesses or disabilities, they can ask questions that are directly related to the job you will have to perform inside the company. They might ask if you are physically able to carry certain weights or work past a certain time. Just make sure the questions are strictly professional.  You do not need to answer if they ask you about the scar on your face for example.

Questions about your drinking habits

There are laws to protect recovering alcoholics under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Under the terms of these laws, recovering alcoholics are not compelled to reveal any information that may hint at their status and the same principle applies to anyone who has suffered with substance abuse in their lives. You cannot, however, refuse to comply to the routine drug tests that the company may ask you to do.


Questions about your religious background

Unless you are applying for a job at a company that is very transparent about their religious views and practices, an employer cannot ask you questions about your own religious background. These types of questions have the power to discriminate as employers might try to figure out if your practices and obligations will interfere with he work. There are, however, ways to go about this. Employers can simply ask if you are available to work on sundays or saturdays without getting in details.

Your origins

Employers can’t legally inquire about your nationality, but they can ask if you’re authorized to work in a certain country. Oftentimes, it might just be a casual question if you have an accent but remember that you are under obligation to answer.

ALSO READ > 7 of the Strangest Interview Questions Ever Asked
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Things to do 10 minutes before a job interview

Job interviews can be stressful. Especially these last few minutes before they start. That is when the hands start getting sweaty, your mind starts  going crazy and you want to run back home. Job interviews do not need to be so stressful. Here are things you can do minutes before your job interviews other than over thinking:


Check yourself in a mirror

Make sure you do not have any crumbs left on your face from the chipotle you just ate. Before your job interview, it is the time to check yourself out in the mirror, make sure your makeup is on point, that your hair looks good and that your teeth are clean. This is also a great time to wash your hands and make sure your fingernails are clean and your palms are dry. Stop by a little shop to make sure you are looking sharp!

Get off social media

Now is not the time to get distracted by random things. 10 minutes before you arrive to your job interview, disconnect yourself from the outside world. This means, not checking your emails, not watching YouTube videos and stopping any texting activities. Stay focused!

Be nice to receptionist and security guards

Think of the other employees as your future colleagues. Might as well make a good first impression on them! Take the time to smile and exchange a few words. You could ask about their names or what they do at the company. Avoid asking too many questions. Remain brief and simple.


Stop rehearsing and start relaxing and decompressing. Take the time to breathe. Put your notes away and give your brain the time to think about absolutely nothing. This will help you feel more confident and relaxed.

Think as if you already got the job

Remain positive! The key is to act as if you already got the job so keep your chin up, your shoulders back and eyes smiling. Do not focus on what might go wrong but stay concentrated on positive thoughts.


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