Job Interview Question

Why are you looking to leave your current job?

How To Answer Interview Questions Series

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It’s very important that you think about this job interview question well before you set foot in an interview.  Interviewers always want to know why you want to leave your current job, and you must have a good answer ready to go.

This can be a delicate subject, because most people don’t leave a job that’s a positive situation for them.  The sticking point is that you never want to appear negative about anything in a job interview because it reflects so badly on you, so you absolutely can’t say anything negative in this answer.

This is not where you start talking about all the things you don’t like about your current job or your current boss.  First of all, it doesn’t matter, and second of all, it will only make you look like a whiny complainer to this person.  And it will make them think, “Wow, if he’ll dish all this dirt about them, what will he say about us?”

If you must give a reason, make sure it’s something neutral (by ‘neutral’ I mean:  not negative) that is a factor in your old job and is not a factor in your new one.

For instance, if this job requires no travel, you could say, “There’s a lot of travel in the old job and I’m ready to be at home in my own bed more often.”

Or you could say, if you’re moving from a small company to a big one:  “I’ve loved my time at XYZ company and learned many skills, but there’s just not much room for growth at higher levels there and I’m ready to move up.”

Or if the new job is in another city, you can say, “I hate to leave that company; they’ve been very good to me, but I am moving to this area and need something that’s closer to home.”

Be as brief as you can.  Mostly what you want to do here is focus on how it’s not that you’re running away from that job, it’s that you’re running to this job. And give them a reason you’re running to this job:  it is such a great fit, it offers so many things you’re looking for, and so on…  Be as specific as you can about what it is that you’re running to with this company.  Why do you like them?  Why is it a great fit for you?  Tell them that, and you’ll have a great answer.


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