“Why are you leaving your job?” is a question that may seem intimidating at first. Especially if the circumstances of your leaving are not the best, this might almost seem like a trick question. However, hiring managers mainly ask it to determine your values, priorities, and how you handle challenges. Moreover, your answer helps them understand your motivation for looking for a new job and why you want to work for them in particular. Preparing a well-thought-out reply will help you answer this tough question confidently and increase your chances of getting hired.
Table of contents
- Why do interviewers ask, “Why are you leaving your current job?”
- Best answers to “Why are you leaving your current job?”
- The worst answers to “Why are you leaving your current job?”
- 1. You didn’t like your job or your boss
- 2. You don’t want to work overtime
- 3. You did not get promoted
- 4. Your job is boring, no longer challenging
- What to avoid when answering this interview question?
Why do interviewers ask, “Why are you leaving your current job?”
Although it may seem that way, interviewers don’t ask, “Why are you leaving your current job?” to expose you or make you look bad. Instead, learning about why you’re leaving your job can help the hiring manager understand more about you as an employee. From what your career goals are to what you’re looking for in a new role, your answer gives away a lot of valuable information. It also shows the interviewer what a satisfying, fulfilling work environment may look like to you. And, subsequently, they can determine if the job you’re applying for can offer you that.
Best answers to “Why are you leaving your current job?”
When speaking about your previous or current job, ensure you are positive. Give the interviewer the information they need. Frame your answer to highlight your positive traits and problem-solving skills.
- Looking for career growth
Seeking career growth shows your ambition and motivation to move forward. The opportunity for growth has its limits within some companies. Frame your answer to highlight your desire for challenging tasks. Mention that you want to perfect your skills by progressing in your career. If you have already left your previous job, explain that you did not want to divide your attention between your job search and your existing tasks.
- You want a more flexibility
“Why are you leaving your current job?” is the perfect conversation opener for you to bring up how well you perform remotely or in flexible work positions. Especially now, employers are becoming more and more open to a home office and remote work. By bringing up your past success with working from home, you can easily explain why this is an essential benefit for you. Specifically, you should highlight the perks that remote work brings you and how these can positively affect your productivity and results.
- You want to take on more responsibility
This is an excellent chance for you to present yourself as a responsible, highly motivated job candidate. Explain that you’re excited to take on new challenges and responsibilities. However, make sure that your answer is reasonable and that you’re not offering to take on responsibilities that you can’t handle. A good response can demonstrate the maturity, confidence in your skills, and level-headedness that many employers look for.
- You want to make more money
It is common to leave a job due to financial reasons. The interviewers understand this. Still, try not to be demanding about your financial expectations during the interview. Frame your answer to link the monetary rewards to your skills and the tasks you want to take on. Highlight your growing knowledge and the motivation that according to rewards bring.
- Your company went out of business
Especially in these uncertain times, this has become a common reason for searching for a new job. The key to a compelling answer here is to be truthful and remain optimistic. Of course, the interviewers are likely to understand this reason, so try to make your answer stand out by putting a positive spin on it. Explain what you learned from the situation. Then, redirect the conversation toward the future and what makes you a good fit.
The worst answers to “Why are you leaving your current job?”
Sometimes, the reasons for leaving your job may not be the best. Keeping your answers professional and showing discretion is crucial during your interview. To make the best impression, it is best to avoid the answers below.
- You didn’t like your job or your boss
Speaking badly about your previous job or employer can give off a problematic vibe. Avoid lengthy explanations of the problems at your last job. Instead of focusing on the negatives, highlight what the experience has brought you. Clashes may occur in the workplace. Still, avoid going into details or bad-mouthing your colleagues. This may be a red flag to the interviewer and will make you seem unprofessional.
- You don’t want to work overtime
Having a balance between work and life is important. Yet, mentioning the working hours in the interview may make it seem like you are not willing to work hard. Avoid talking badly about the workload at all costs. Instead, re-frame your answer to focus on your time management skills. Explain the importance of a healthy balance between your professional and personal life.
- You did not get promoted
Getting promoted is a great motivation for many. Yet, avoid mentioning a lack of promotion as your reason for leaving a job. It may make the interviewer think that you expect unreasonable rewards for your work. Rather than explaining why you failed to get a promotion, steer clear of this answer. Shift the focus to the hard work you have put in and your desire for career growth.
- Your job is boring, no longer challenging
Your job may seem boring if it doesn’t fit your skills and abilities. If you no longer enjoy the work you do, think about why first. It may be because your tasks no longer challenge you, or you are looking for experience in new areas. Rather than saying your job was boring, explain how it could have been better. Focus on the future, your expectations, and the opportunities you are seeking.
What to avoid when answering this interview question?
- Don’t be negative
A positive attitude can make the interview more enjoyable for both sides. It is crucial to turn negative experiences into positive lessons. Interviewers are impressed by problem solvers who can work through complications. Focus on the experience, knowledge, and positive relationships you have built.
- Don’t bad-mouth the company
Refrain from speaking badly about your boss or coworkers. You may mention that you disagreed with the direction in which the company was moving. Always frame your answer to highlight your positive attributes and expectations. Do not shift the blame onto others. Avoid getting too personal in your answers.
Remember: When the interviewer asks, “Why are you leaving your current job?” don’t panic. It is important to remember that leaving a job is very common. The interviewer will understand your reasons as long as you explain them well. When answering the question, remind the interviewer why you are the perfect fit. It is also your opportunity to speak about your bright future and expectations at your new job. Take this chance to sell yourself based on the lessons you learned at your previous job.