Interview question: Why did you leave your previous role?

  • The title would make you believe that this is a generally useful question.
    • However, the content is very specific to one individual's situation.

Isn't this question too localized?

2 Answers 2


Not Quite Too Localized

Rarity made some edits to narrow it down a bit, which makes it a bit more readable. Reading it now, the situation is about a specific interview question, but it's something that a lot of people can probably relate to in a more general sense.

Additionally, some of us may have left jobs in the past in less than favorable circumstances. Therefore, it's quite possible that there is a large audience out there in the worldwide Internet that may benefit from the answers given to the question. After all, many of us have been asked a similar question in an interview before and many of us have probably had some bad employment experiences in our past.

However, I strongly suggest anyone who answers the question to try to generalize the information so that it would apply to anyone in this situation. The more broad and generalized the answer, the more likely it is to be helpful to others.

With that said, I think Jim's suggested edit could also be helpful to dispel further doubt as to whether or not the question is too localized.

Can a question be edited after it has answers?

I believe that 12 hours isn't too late to edit a question to make it fit the guidelines a bit better, despite answers. Anyone who answered will learn that the correct course of action is to seek clarification before answering, edit, vote to close, or flag, if a question doesn't meet guidelines.

Answers can't exist without questions, we've learned this from sites that have low questions per day. The way I see it, anyone who answers a question that should be closed is responsible for editing or deleting their answer if it no longer fits the question. I sort of see that as the cost of waiving one's responsibility to flag or vote to close. :)

I don't mean this to be harsh or disrespectful to anyone who answered, just that with the editable nature of our site, one has to understand that the goals are to make the content better, and that generally starts with the questions themselves.


As it's worded now, it is pretty localized. I think that it could be altered to be more general if it started with a modified version of the last line, perhaps something like

How can I explain leaving a company because of negative experiences/interactions/people without sounding bitter or trite?

and used a (much) briefer version of the rest of the question as an example.

However, I'm not sure if editing it to fit that would be too drastic (I think it might be a bit late here since there are several answers already). If we are going to close it as too localized, though, I think it would be best to go ahead and make such an improvement, biting the bullet as far as invalidating whatever answers it may.


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