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#1 LouisMoore16

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 23:30

I have a telephone interview for Aviva tomorrow and I need some help regarding the question 'Why did you leave your last job'.

Basically in October I quit my job in a telesales role after about a month. For people who have worked in cold calling roles or have ever received a cold call, people generally hate you for calling them. I worked on behalf of charities and people make up many excuses to get out of the call. People generally didn't care. This made me very frustrated about my job and after a while I hated my job. It was just the fact that it was outbound calling which I hated. However I can't tell this to a potential employeer, as I would be sure not to get a job.

The role I have applied for at Aviva is an inbound customer advisor. I feel a lot more comfortable taking inbound calls as the person on the other end of the call want the outcome of the call and so it's a lot easer. The job has a bit of sales to it via up-selling, which I can do. I really want to get this job as Aviva is a massive employeer in my area and it would look very good on my CV.

I'm just unsure what to say when they ask 'Why did you leave your last job'. Previously I had said in a interview for a similar role at a different company that 'I enjoyed talking to people and I enjoyed working on behalf of charities, but I didn't like cold calling'. This then ended up being the reason why I didn't get the job.

I want the employeer to know that from my previous role that I was happy to talk to people, could up-sell which is part of this new role, to show i can do this new role, but I just didn't like cold calling/out bound. I've thought about saying 'it was commission pay which I didn't like' or 'the training wasn't good and made me feel unconfident in my role'. The company has gone downhill since I left and all of the senior management have left which I could purhaps play on somehow.

Does anyone have any suggestions?


#2 Enron

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 23:34

Last time I was asked that question in a job interview (2 months ago), I honestly said "because they were still running Windows XP"

I got the job.

#3 Lord Method Man

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 23:37

Last time I was asked that question in a job interview (2 months ago), I honestly said "because they were still running Windows XP"

I got the job.


Amen to that.

#4 OP LouisMoore16

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 23:39

Last time I was asked that question in a job interview (2 months ago), I honestly said "because they were still running Windows XP"

I got the job.


Very good! Doesn't quite answer my question though :/

#5 Enron

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 23:42

Very good! Doesn't quite answer my question though :/


Just be honest. If your reason for leaving was because they had green walls, and the new place has green walls too, you won't be happy at the new place either. I'm happy because I have a Windows 7 system at work now.

#6 Auditor

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 23:42

I read many job books and in each book they had same advice to never bad mouth about previous job or employer. If I were you, I would say " I really had very exciting job previously and enjoyed it most,but after doing it for a while I found that there was not much opportunity for advancement in career. I would like to work for your company since it is very big and well established company and like to see much potential in moving far ahead in future. you can say something along those lines. I will say, just give a brief description about leaving the job then quickly focus on why you like to work for your new company. Don't simply avoid the question as It will show you have something to hide and avoiding the answer but don't keep ranting about that job as well. Sometimes too much information is not good information. Talk more about your positive skills and divert the question after answering it to about what you can do for their company. Don't forget to tell them that you have excellent experince in dealing with clients on phone and you can bring lots of sales with your effective dealing and interacting with clients. Tell them what you can do for them rather than what you want in a company. Present yourself as problem solver and give the impression that by hiring you they will benefit. I will say take one example of their product and explain them how you will market that product with the prospective clients and how to sell them. . Good luck with your job hunt. I know its really stressful as I had been in same situation as you are in past.

#7 OP LouisMoore16

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 23:46

I read many job books and in each book they had same advice to never bad mouth about previous job or employer. If I were you, I would say " I really had very exciting job previously and enjoyed it most,but after doing it for a while I found that there was not much opportunity for advancement in career. I would like to work for your company since it is very big and well established company and like to see much potential in moving far ahead in future. you can say something along those lines. I will say, just give a brief description about leaving the job then quickly focus on why you like to work for your new company. Don't simply avoid the question as It will show you have something to hide and avoiding the answer but don't keep ranting about that job as well. Sometimes too much information is not good information. Talk more about your positive skills and divert the question after answering it to about what you can do for their company. Don't forget to tell them that you have excellent experince in dealing with clients on phone and you can bring lots of sales with your effective dealing and interacting with clients. Tell them what you can do for them rather than what you want in a company. Present yourself as problem solver and give the impression that by hiring you they will benefit. I will say take one example of their product and explain them how you will market that product with the prospective clients and how to sell them. . Good luck with your job hunt. I know its really stressful as I had been in same situation as you are in past.


Thanks! I liked your idea a lot

#8 +Nik L

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 23:54

Never say negative things, if there's a negative then structure it into a positive.

So, you found call-centre work to be akin to a modern sweat-shop (to paraphrase my wife's thesis)...

I would suggest something along the lines of "I was making calls that were unwelcome. I found that while I want to be helpful and, I was perceived as invading people's time."

#9 Garry

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 23:58

Tell the truth.

Everybody hates receiving cold calls - including the people interviewing you. Tell them you're not a salesperson and you enjoy providing excellent customer service and that you weren't able to do that in your previous role.

A heartfelt, convincing, thoughtful truth is much better than any lie or attempt to dodge the question.

#10 Rich-E

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 00:17

Never say negative things, if there's a negative then structure it into a positive.

So, you found call-centre work to be akin to a modern sweat-shop (to paraphrase my wife's thesis)...

I would suggest something along the lines of "I was making calls that were unwelcome. I found that while I want to be helpful and, I was perceived as invading people's time."

This.

It's never a good idea to go bad mouthing the old company you worked for; being seen as a worthwhile employee who makes intelligent decisions regarding their career and chooses good organisations to work for is important. Turning negative reasons for leaving into positives can help that, e.g. you felt that you were not being challenged enough and there were minimal opportunities to develop yourself in your role.

#11 Cute James

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 00:44

As others have suggested, accentuate the positives of your previous job first before explaining the reason(s) for leaving. I would be a little cautious about stating that you disliked the cold-calling nature of your previous job as this may be a requirement of future roles at Aviva. Instead, I would pursue the 'limited career opportunities' route, stressing your ambition and desire to work for an international company.

Best of luck with the interview!
(from a fellow Naridge lad)

#12 Growled

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 00:59

Just be honest. If your reason for leaving was because they had green walls, and the new place has green walls too, you won't be happy at the new place either. I'm happy because I have a Windows 7 system at work now.


Exactly right. It's beneficial for both sides to start out knowing what each sides expect.

#13 +chconline

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 01:06

When in doubt, just give a generic response to that question. "I wanted to seek new opportunities" :p

#14 OP LouisMoore16

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 10:29

Thanks guy! Just had the interview and I think it went pretty well.

They didn't even ask me about it in the end but its good to know what to say in the future

#15 Haggis

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 10:54

Good luck with the outcome

I work in Financial Services too :)