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Have you ever taken a role in a company that hasn't fit into your long-term career plans?

11 Answer Examples

By: Rachelle Enns

How to Answer

Most people have taken on a position that was not a fit for them in the end. It's the best top openly discuss any jobs that you have held that were not a fit. This answer will assist the interviewer in being able to place you within their organization correctly. Be sure to end your response on a positive note, discussing how you bounced back from the misstep.

Professional Answer Examples
General
Answer example

"Yes, you will see that from March to May 2007 I held a role as Executive Business Development Manager at Company XYZ. This particular role was not what I was expecting and had little to do with management and more to do with cold calling onto C-suite level clients. This job wasn't nurturing my plan to grow the management side of my career, so I resigned after just two months. Luckily I landed a wonderful job immediately after and grew with that company for the following six years."

Admin
Answer example

"Sure, when I was younger and just starting out on my own, paying the bills was very important. You can't sit around and go bankrupt waiting for your dream job. That said, I have never taken a job where I did not tell the hiring manager up front that it was temporary."

Manager
Answer example

"I have not taken a position simply to have a job. I am cautious who I work for and am happy that my discretion has worked well for me and my career path into management. I would certainly not wish for a new hire to use my job opening as a stepping stone. For that reason, I would never do the same."

Marketing
Answer example

"I have not taken on a role, knowing it would not be the right step for me. The marketing industry is a small one, and you have to be very careful who you work for because it can make or break your career. I have been passively seeking a new role for the past six months and will only take on a position I know will be mutually beneficial."

Retail
Answer example

"I took a role with a company a couple of years ago that ended up being a pretty terrible decision. The organization was in receivership at the time, and they did not disclose this to me in the interview. So, essentially, I left a pretty good gig to jump on a sinking ship. I learned my lesson that research is imperative. Since then, I have worked only for highly successful organizations."

Sales
Answer example

"When I was new to the workforce, I was easily sold into the dream of making six figures through online sales marketing. Boy, was I wrong! As I grew older and more experienced, I realize how naive I was at that time. Other than that, I have not had a significant career misstep since. I suppose it's a right of passage for any 17-year-old dreaming of making it rich!"

Teacher
Answer example

"My career path has been very straight and narrow. I knew from childhood that I wanted to be a teacher and I entered university immediately after high school. I even worked as a tutor to help pay my way through university!"

Secretary
Answer example

"Yes, you will see that from March to May 2007 I held a role as Executive Assistant with Company XYZ. This particular role was not what I was expecting and had little to do with administration and more to do with cold calling from the phone book. This wasn't nurturing my plan to grow the admin side of my career, so I resigned after just two months. Luckily I landed a wonderful job immediately after and grew with that company for the following six years."

Meteorologist
Answer example

"I originally went to college for reporting, but after a few years, I realized that there was too much stress involved in the career path. While I do not regret being a reporter for those few years because it taught me how to be in front of a camera and interact with the public, I am glad I have learned from my mistakes and found meteorology along the way."

Multimedia Journalist
Answer example

"My first job was as a painter. Although it helped me develop my creativity, which helps me become a colorful writer today, it did not allow me to tell other people's stories and travel, which I hope to gain in this job."

Nursing Aide
Answer example

"I have never had an issue with a supervisor that was something that we couldn't resolve together. I always try to put myself in the other person's shoes, so to speak. We never really know what kind of day someone is having and I try to remember that a stressful day, whether it has to do with work or something outside of work, can make us all react in different ways. Knowing that, if I feel there is tension between myself and anyone within my work team, I always approach that person with a kind word and ask if there is anything I can do to make the day better."

Written by:

Ryan Brown
Ryan Brown, is the creator of MockQuestions. He has over ten years experience creating interview questions. His website has helped over 10 million job seekers in their interview preparation.
Rachelle Enns
Rachelle Enns is an executive head-hunter and job search expert. Utilized by top executives from Fortune 100 & 500 companies like Fitbit, Microsoft, General Electric, Nestle, and more, she helps professionals position themselves in a competitive marketplace. Rachelle founded Renovate My Resume, a company that focuses on helping job seekers get their edge back. Renovate My Resume creates stand-out resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles and professional summaries for new grads, all the way to corporate executives. Rachelle spends much of her time training career coaches, recruiters, and resume writers. She also holds interview workshops for students and interns, globally. For great tips and tricks, follow Rachelle on Instagram @_rachelle_e or @renovatemyresume.
First written on: 01/05/2017
Last modified on: 11/29/2018

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