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March 2009
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Talking About Leaving A Job
Filed under: General
Posted by: John Hadley @ 10:30 am

“Thank you for your advice on career development. I have a question and need your suggestions.  My current company is merging with another company. My position will be cut in a couple of months.  I am wondering how I deal with this topic during interviews with my future employer.
Should I tell the interviewers directly about my current situation (for example, if they ask why I am looking for a position with their company)? Or should I not mention it if they do not ask specifically?  My concern about not telling them directly is this topic may come up during small talk such as “did you take today off for the interview”, etc.
Would there be any significant downside of talking about my position being cut?”

Your focus needs to be on the future - what you can do for your future employer, and particularly what sorts of results they should expect for you.  Don’t worry about the past, other than having a professional, concise answer.

  • Unless you are responsible for your position being cut (eg, you do shoddy work, and they are cutting it to get rid of you), the fact that it’s being cut isn’t any issue.
  • The question of why you are seeking a position with them will definitely come up.  (It would come up even if your position weren’t being cut.)  There’s no need to hide the fact that your position is being cut, but there’s also no need to dwell on it.  You need to focus on why you are interested in that employer in particular, and that job in particular, and why you would be an outstanding addition to their team.  Your answer should communicate that.
  • Here’s one way to describe the package you bring to the table:

    If there were issues with your performance, or anything else that you contributed to the reason you are being laid off, then review this prior blog entry:

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