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Human Resources/Interview question



I have a question relating to an interview i will have.  I have bben contacted for an interview with a company to which i had appled for a year previously.  Due to company restructuring the hiring process was suspended.  In the meantime i got another job offer, however the job i took proved to be a bad mistake on my part.  The company has a very toxic environment and management is autocratic and work staff in an unreasonable way.  

To cut a long story short i want to leave my current job after 7 months.  I have been working in this industry for over 13years and do not job hop.   For the new company i will be interviewing with they have my old CV which does not contain information on the job i have been in for 7 months.   I want to give them my updated CV but i want to do this in a way that does not put this in a negative way.

Can you help with some advice on how to answer the probable question that will come up in the interview - why do you want to leave a job after 7 months?

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance.


Hi Access36,

Interesting name you have there!  I can help you. Here you go.

It is all about the company and job you are going to.  So in the interview, you focus on the following:
•   You applied previously but that did not work out…. Give reasons, etc.
•   You accepted a job in your present company but it was not your first preference.
•   No matter how the interview goes, you never say anything negative about your present company.  If you are pressed for information, always respond positively but move the conversation back to the company you are interviewing with….
•   Read up on the company… know its history, products, markets, sales, operating profit, changes in cash flow over a couple or three years, maybe acquisitions, etc.  All this info is available in the company’s 2011 or 2012 annual report.  2012 may not be published yet.  But 2011 will do nicely.
•   Focus your conversation on why you wanted to work with the company 7 months ago…the job, the culture, maybe career path opportunities, the company’s reputation, maybe civic work the company’s has done, etc.
•   Read up on competency based interview questions… just Google “Competency based interview questions”.  A bit more on this below.
•   Practice your interview, answers and so on out loud at home.  Be prepared.

Again, and this I know is repetitive, but the point here is you need to have sufficient information about the company, so you can always bring the conversation back to why you want to leave the 7 month job and work for the company.  The reason and conversational answer needs to always come back to the company you are going to… in short, you are “running to, not running from”.

Competency based interview questions examine work place behaviors, how you acted and reacted to work related situations, issues, colleagues and so on.  Companies are interested in behavior as it is the best “forecaster” of how you will fit and perform in the company’s culture, in the job you are interviewing for, and also gives some indication of your future capabilities.

I hope that helps Access36.

I am always interested in continuous improvement so if you have a minute it would be greatly appreciated if you would evaluate this answer on the website.  I believe there only four multiple choice questions.

Best of luck with your interview !


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Mark Eichinger


Any type of question related to domestic and international Human Resources work. My H.R. passions include Compensation design and systems in competitive markets, Health and Safety in Industrial Environments, Performance Management, Talent Management (Hiring, Selection, Employee Development, Compensation, Creating Space, etc.), Communications, Coaching, Counseling, Leadership, and Management. Questions I cannot answer: I am sure there are questions within these categories that I may not be able to answer but my experience below would suggest those would be few.


I own International Human Resources Coaching and Consulting, LLC. Previously, I successfully held corporate executive and management leadership positions from 1979 to 2007 in two $9B+ multi-national corporations. Positions included: Vice President, Human Resources for the Asia Pacific Region, Eaton Corporation; I was based in Shanghai, China. Prior to that assignment, Vice President, Human Resources International and Operations, Eaton World Headquarters, Cleveland, Ohio with global responsibility for Eaton’s Human Resources practices, international assignee management, and Regional Human Resources Directors in Asia Pacific, Europe, and Central and South America. Specifically, my experience spans work at domestic and international locations at the operating plant, division, business unit, and corporate levels and most business scenarios to include startups, closedowns, restructurings, integrations, and ongoing operations. I am an Eaton Business Excellence Assessment Examiner (Malcolm Baldrige based system). I introduced processes and process mapping into the Human Resources environment. I have extensive experience with and working in domestic and international organization matrix structures. In the Asia Pacific region, my responsibilities included, leading the regions H.R. team and processes, managing the H.R. relationship with the corporation, creating and leading the professional and general manager development programs, China’s university relations program and managing the Asia Pacific key leader’s process. I have coached managers and leaders. I am a professional listener, my style open, direct, and focused on leader accountability and employee engagement. In Summary, my career responsibility included more than 60,000 employees, 60 union and union free operations, and 45 countries. I also lived in Korea for two years while in service with the USA’s armed forces.

SCORE – Counselors to Americas Small Business; at various locations I have also belonged to Rotary, Lions, Kiwanis and the Chamber of Commerce. I have served on Boards of medical, community and institutional organizations.

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Youngstown State University. MBA work Youngstown State University, and University of Bridgeport. University of Tennessee, Lean Manufacturing Certified. Thunderbird School of Global Management, Management Certified.

Awards and Honors
Corporate level awards for compensation systems, communications campaigns.

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