Explaining your reasons for leaving a previous job during an interview shouldn’t be challenging or uncomfortable. As expert career coaches who are solely dedicated to the field of dermatology, we know questions about previous employment can be tricky for job candidates to navigate.
Physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants across the country have shared with our professional recruiters that explaining the reasons for leaving a previous role and job-hopping is one of the most challenging questions they face during interviews.
Luckily, with a little forethought and preparation, you can craft an honest answer to these questions that won’t detract from an excellent resume or outstanding elevator pitch. Use these tips to respectfully describe your reasons for leaving past jobs in your next interview.
There are several sound explanations that, in general, will satisfy a potential employer when describing why you’ve left a position in the past. These include:
1. Life circumstances
Personal emergencies—such as needing to take care of an ill relative, or having your own medical situation arise, can be a good reason to leave a place of employment. Staying at home to raise a child or children is another example of a life circumstance that can end a job.
2. Changes in work atmosphere or environment
Just like people, organizations change over time. The work environment or atmosphere changes as coworkers and bosses come and go.
Stating that you left a position because a mentor or leader left and, consequently, the work environment was no longer supportive is an acceptable reason to leave a place of employment for most employers.
3. Your role’s responsibilities changed
Sometimes an employee’s responsibilities change within an organization, especially in a new, fast-growing practice, or in a practice where accountability is lacking. If your position started to include tasks you weren’t hired to do, it would be acceptable to leave that role.
4. Continuing education
Making the difficult choice to end a job with the hope of advancing your career in the future is understandable. Balancing your personal life while working and going to school is challenging. A dermatology practice manager is likely to understand if you ended a job to further your education by taking on a fellowship.
5. Growth was no longer possible in your position
We’ve all been in positions before where we feel stuck. Without room to advance in a career and reach your goals as a dermatology professional, you’ll become complacent. If a previous role had you feeling stuck, ending that role is plausible. Seeking a job that is more challenging and offers an opportunity for growth is another logical reason to leave a position.
6. Pursuit of a better opportunity
In this competitive field, practice managers work diligently to prevent competitors from stealing talented dermatology professionals from their teams. Leaving a position to better yourself or your career is feasible. However, it shouldn’t be the reason for a history of job hopping. A practice manager won’t want to hire an individual that continually seeks a new, different or better opportunity.
Sometimes even with the best intentions, a job ends poorly. It may not have been your fault or something you could have prevented. However, your interview with a potential employer should never turn into a gossip session describing how terrible a previous employer was to you.
Although you may be telling the truth, never say these things to put down another practice manager, dermatology physician or colleague. You never know who the potential employers know, and putting others down in an interview only makes you look bad.
Honesty is the Best Policy
An important thing to keep in mind while preparing how you will explain leaving past jobs is that an employer is not looking for an excuse. Don’t be dishonest. The person interviewing you is likely someone you will work with day in and day out. Don’t start off on the wrong foot by telling a story that will likely unravel later—getting you into trouble or making it difficult for others to trust you. The world of dermatology is quite small, and having a reputation for dishonesty is likely to make an impact on your career.
These recommendations are meant to help you think through a statement offering a clear and concise reason for leaving your previous employment that will satisfy a curious interviewer.
If you need additional support from a team of experienced recruiters that know more than just a thing or two about dermatology, call us at 636-239-1787.
MyDermRecruiter currently represents practices in 48 states actively looking for a candidate just like you to join their team. There is never a fee for job seekers, and your career search always remains confidential. Learn more today!