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I left a job to start remote work for an IT consulting firm. And honestly, I'm not a huge fan already. I have my reasons but I just don't think it's going to be a good fit for me.

The job that I just left: I was looking to leave anyway because the commute was killing me and the job duties weren't ideal in terms of long term career growth for me. I had already been looking for a different position elsewhere already. Lastly, I left that job on extremely good terms with everyone.

I had 2 interviews at 2 separate prospective employer at some points before my last day at my previous job and honestly I think either one would be a 100% better fit for me. I had one today and the other a week or so ago. Right after I left the interview today, the director called me but I missed it and will plan on calling back tomorrow. I suspect he might be calling to ask if I am still employed at the most recent job on my resume because one of my references is my manager from there. This is pure speculation as I obviously do not know yet what he was calling about but I need to be prepared on what to say if he asks.

I'm guessing there is always the possibility my manager had said I don't work there anymore and left for another opportunity, who knows. I hadn't disclosed that I left my current position for a new one because I wasn't really asked and I didn't want to unnecessarily hinder my chances.

If this is what he is asking, what is the best thing to tell this director? I want to be honest but I need to be able to word it in the most effective way possible.

I was thinking of simply saying one of two things:

"I recently just left to pursue a remote consulting opportunity but learned the nature of the work is not an ideal fit for me".

The other thing I was thinking of saying is how I was looking for opportunities before the consulting gig was offered to me anyway and ideally wanted work in the public sector (which is what this prospective job is in) but the opportunities to interview came a bit too late with regards to the consulting opportunity. The on-boarding for the consulting opportunity wasn't like any formal job I was used to so I was essentially instantly offered the job since my friend works there and he just had his hires up "approve" me instantly without any super formal interview or selection process.

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First off, dont make assumptions as why the director is calling you. There can be any number of reasons why he may be calling you.

Secondly, never lie to a prospective employer. If for some reason the truth comes out, regardless if they see it as negative or not, your credibility becomes questionable. If you are asked if you still work at XYZ, then answer no, as you do not. You do not have to elaborate, unless they ask for more information. If they ask you why you left, tell them. If they ask you if you are working somewhere else, it is in your best interest to reveal you have a consulting job that you are not tied to and you can leave at any time.

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Tell them you're no longer with firm XYZ and the remote position you have now is not meeting your expectations. Don't lie.

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If this is what he is asking, what is the best thing to tell this director?

As you said, it's best to be honest, but also no need to over-complicate the answer you give.

Honestly, there are many things he could have called you for, but let's assume the reason was "to ask if I am still employed at the most recent job on my resume"

A truthful answer to this would be "No." ... that's it. He isn't asking you for the reasons yet, and we don't know if he will, so no need to complicate the answer if he actually asks you this.

Also, if he asks for the reasons you left there is no need to mention anything about the current remote work you are doing, as that is not what he would be asking. If he asks for reasons, I think that the way you phrased is quite ok:

I left because the commute was killing me and the job duties weren't ideal in terms of long term career growth for me. Still, I left that job on extremely good terms with everyone

Now, if he asks what you are doing now, then that would be the time to mention this remote job, and if asked the reasons you have for searching a new job, the way you phrased it, again, would suffice in explaining:

I already feel like it's not turning to be a good fit for me. But I feel 100% identified with your company.

If you stick to the truth, while being polite, and answering what they are asking you I am sure you will do great in your job-hunt.

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