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How will my reason for leaving be viewed?

#1 How will my reason for leaving be viewed?
26/08/2011 13:06

Darren Seymour

I left a small (30ish consultants) management consultancy around 6 months ago, having been there for only 7 months. I left because I did not think the prospects for the firm looked healthy (i.e. difficulty in getting new work, half the company "on the bench" etc). I have been contracting for the past 6 months as an interim move, whilst looking for my next perm consulting position.

When asked in an interview, "Why did you leave your last perm role?", if I give my true reason for leaving, will the interviewer think that I don't have the "stickability" or that I "give up" to easily?

Would appreciate some constructive feedback/advice on what I should say...

Many thanks,


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#2 RE: How will my reason for leaving be viewed?
26/08/2011 13:27

Tony Restell ( to Darren Seymour (#1)

Darren - my own initial reaction on reading this is that you're switched on and proactive. You didn't bury your head in the sand and hope things would work out, you were decisive and chose to take your destiny into your own hands. So I don't think the fact that you moved on after such a short time needs to be a major sticking point in interview and can be explained in a way that reflects positively on you. Rather I would expect this to be more an issue in terms of securing interviews - as people may see the short timespans on your CV and simply not invite you to interview. But if you're asking this question maybe you already have the interviews lined up and it's not been an issue...

The other thing to be aware of is that permanent recruiters tend to be wary of people who've done a stint of contracting - and are still in contracting. They frequently get burnt by contractors who make applications for permanent roles, but who really want to remain as contractors and are only making the perm applications as an insurance policy. Contractor pay is usually higher, flexibility / being your own boss is something people are reluctant to give up, etc. So I would definitely spend time finessing the reason you want to go back to being a permanent employee - both to use in your interviews and potentially also to reference in your CV / cover letter.

Hope this helps and good luck

Tony Restell

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#3 RE: How will my reason for leaving be viewed?
01/09/2011 14:05

rj104 to Darren Seymour (#1)


As a manager involved in a large number of interviews at present I can tell you that I'd usually ask you the question about your reasons for leaving but that a well-thought through response such as yours will be absolutely fine, especially if backed by positive action post the event (e.g. finding a new role or proactively and constructively using the time between roles). I myself have had two breaks in my career due to a messy divorce and the birth of a child at the end of a contract but being honest about both events has never harmed my prospects.

The only times such issues have caused me any concerns are either when this is a repeating occurrence (e.g. a candidate recently had had 4 "permanent" roles, none of which had lasted more than 15 months) or where gaps have not been used productively (e.g. a candidate once told me they had "just dossed around, doing a bit of clubbing" during a career break!!!).

Best of luck.

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