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At interview, answering “Why did you leave your last office?”

I am currently interviewing and I know this question always comes up: “why did you leave your last office” I know you’re not supposed to bad mouth previous employers but mine was pretty bad! The dentist was expecting me to diagnose decay by myself, without her clinically checking, she also used to yell at her employees in front of the patients. This was my first office out of school and I stayed there for 1 year and left because i didn’t feel it was a good and safe environment to work in. My other dilemma is that she is known to be very vindictive I know she was hurt when I left and I’m afraid that out of spite she will twist the situation and won’t say nice things about me if the interviewer does call her. Please help I’m very frustrated!



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3 Answers

I feel that any good practice will understand your reasons for leaving if you are honest with them. About the diagnosing, I would be forthright about that and say that you were not comfortable putting your license on the line or putting the patients best interest aside. If a practice is on the up and up, they should appreciate that you are an ethical, honest person.
With that said, I would be cautious about going into too much detail or sounding like you are only complaining. I would say that it was not a good ethical fit and that you felt that patient care was compromised and then when/if they ask for an example, pick a situation that is unambiguously unethical.
Good luck in finding your new professional home. 🙂

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You can always just be ambiguous and say it wasn’t a good fit or just lie and give a benign reason, like you needed more or different hours, or it was too far from home.

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I had a similar experience, I was upfront and honest with my new employer… my main statement was “we didn’t share the same views on office policy and patient treatment” and then followed up with “everyone deserves the best treatment, employees included”

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