How do I answer "Why did you leave your last job?"

  1. I'm a new grad nurse who has spent the last 8+ years working in fast food (the last 6.5 of those as an assistant manager.) My boss is the main reason I went back to school, the reason I worked so hard to pass nursing school, graduate, and pass my boards.

    He doesn't think before he says things, and sometimes is just the meanest/rudest person I've ever met. He says things that makes you feel like you are scum, the biggest idiot ever... (I dealt with it because until graduating, all I had was a GED and I made really good money that I wouldn't have made he worked around my school schedule & I loved my coworkers like family.) All through school he would tell me "I hope you fail" when I would say how worried I was about an exam, "Maybe they'll kick you out" when I had clinicals...things of that sort.

    Long story short, after I graduated, I was talking about how worried I was about NCLEX & was stressed out, and he told me "I bet your husband is so depressed having to wake up next to you." That was the last straw! I was over it; my husband had already said if my boss said one more negative thing, to just put in my 2 weeks notice. So I did. Let me just say, best feeling ever & I have not regretted it once.

    Anyways, I don't know what to say when this comes up at a job interview. I know better than to bad mouth my ex-boss to my potentially new one. My husband tells me to just say "I wanted to focus 100% on finding the perfect facility to begin my career as a RN" but I just don't know how that would come across.

    I've thought of telling them something along the lines of: "My boss wasn't very happy when I went back to school because he knew I would be leaving eventually. Once I graduated, his attitude made the work environment negative, so I felt it was best to put in my 2 weeks and focus on finding a positive place to begin my career as a RN."

    ??? What do you think? Any other ideas?
  2. Visit Peppermint_RN profile page

    About Peppermint_RN, ADN

    Joined: Jun '13; Posts: 185; Likes: 189


  3. by   JMEMNRN
    Go with the husbands idea....
  4. by   elprup
    Yep, husbands idea is a good one. Do not say anything negative about your previous boss. Short and simple, your husband rocks.
  5. by   Peppermint_RN
    Thanks y'all!
  6. by   KelRN215
    A prospective employer can deduce that the reason you left your fast food job was because you graduated from nursing school and wanted to get a nursing job. It may not come up during an interview at all. I was never asked anything like that when I was a new grad since my previous jobs were obviously college student jobs.
  7. by   schnookimz
    I think it's obvious to just say you are a nurse now and left because you want a nursing job. The boss issue should never come up. Anyone could easily list ten reasons why you'd not want to work in fast food anymore.
  8. by   joanna73
    No one will even ask since employers understand that people change fields for various reasons. Consider how some of your transferrable skills will be an asset to nursing and focus on those to sell yourself.
  9. by   green34
    My usual is that I am looking for new opportunities. That way when you find a job, you will be available immediately.
  10. by   Peppermint_RN
    Quote from green34
    My usual is that I am looking for new opportunities. That way when you find a job, you will be available immediately.
    I really like that! Thanks! I think I will use that idea and what my husband suggested. Thanks everyone for the just got to get an interview
  11. by   BrandonLPN
    "no room for advancement" is vague and innocuous enough to work in a pinch.
  12. by   texasmum
    Won't even be asked. If you went back to nursing school it is obvious that you would be leaving your fast food job : ) If it is, go with your husband's answer or simply say you left to give yourself more time to prepare for and take your NCLEX so your could get started on your nursing career.
  13. by   monkeybug
    I don't think I was even asked why I'd left my last non-nursing position at my first nursing interview. Of course you're going to leave fast food, you have a shiny new degree you want to use.
  14. by   SaoirseRN
    It's pretty simple without any need to get into the details. You left your last job because you were focusing on school.