I have been working for a startup for over six months now and some drama occurred where they let go of a backend engineer that the tech lead, myself and others were warning was not on the up and up.

Since they let go of this engineer, the two young leaders decided that nepotism would be the best hiring practice moving forward. So now the company is getting filled with their friends which is uncomfortable for obvious reasons (under-qualified, not knowing their domain of expertise that well).

Then there is a situation where a colleague sends me a PR for review after months of not doing so in a company that does not encourage standard practices such as git workflow. I gave some constructive feedback to a very small change, the guy got offended and wrote back in the PR an indefensible response. My tech lead backed up my feedback with a response, the colleague in question went ahead and merged his own work anyway without the changes. Neither of the two "owners" did anything about it, but instead gave the keys to the store to this guy and made him de facto supervisor of everyone including the tech lead.

So, clearly there is not going to be any room for growth at this startup and this colleague in question has decided to target me by making cryptic comments about me to the team at standup on my days off.

I am currently looking for work, I am considering resigning from the job in the next couple of weeks because it's affecting my health and this individual is targeting me for dismissal and I know he will try to use on the grounds that I cannot perform my duties due to incompetence or something like that.

How do I address the question of "why did you leave your last job?" at my next interview?


2 Answers 2


"How do I address the question of "why did you leave your last job?" at my next interview?"

I'm sorry you have to face this situation, however your answer need not be dependent on your current situation.

You can never go wrong with the regular one: moving on looking for new challenges and broader set of opportunities for growth.

  • 2
    That is a non-answer and any half-way decent interviewer will start digging.
    – Hilmar
    Commented May 6, 2022 at 12:37

You could tell an interviewer that you had challenges with a culture fit in a startup environment. Any person (assuming you don't go to another startup) worth their salt in this business will already know the negative aspects of such a culture, and you probably need not explain anything further. You could frame things positively, and say that it was a good lesson for you. Don't worry!

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