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HOW TO ANSWER: Why Are You Leaving Your Current Job?

This question might seem like an easy one to answer but you need to be careful about how you respond.

There are many reasons why the hiring manager may be asking you this and it’s important to respond professionally. By asking this question, the interviewer can get a good idea of why you are looking to move on and whether there were any issues in your previous role that they should be aware of. Although your answer should be informative, you don’t want to bore the interviewer with every little inch of detail about your reasons for leaving. So in order to craft the perfect answer, you may want to first know WHY they are asking you this…

What happened?

One of the reasons why they may be asking you this question is to get to know you and how you will fit in with their existing team. It’s so important for employees to get along so if they can spot a problem candidate before they hire them, it’ll save them time & money re-hiring in the future. If you start bad-mouthing employers and employees, it’s likely that they will avoid hiring you. How can they trust that you won’t do the same to their company when you leave?

Alternatively, if you have been asked to leave, they may want to know why in order to see if this will affect the position you are applying for and whether you will be a risk to their company. (Read more on this answer)

Remember: they are not asking you this question to get you to start gossiping about who you work with or what you don’t like about the company. Stay professional! 

What are you looking for?

The employer will be able to get an idea of what you are looking for in your next role based on the reasons that you are leaving your current role. Whether it’s due to workload, responsibility, salary, location or many more factors, they will be able to judge whether the role they have to offer is right for you. For instance, if you are looking for a role with less responsibility than your current role, they can weigh up both roles and see whether the new role will match your desires. This applies to other responses too, for example, if you are leaving your current role due to a long commute to work, they can decide whether the journey time will be just as bad as your previous role or whether it’ll be easier for you.

Top Tip: If it is less responsibility that you are looking for, avoid complaining about how much responsibility you currently have and instead speak positively about what you learnt from the experience but that you are looking for a bit less responsibility in your next position. 

Have you familiarised yourself with their company?

The hiring managers can judge whether you have done your research on the role and the company by whether any of your reasons clash with their role or company. By this we mean, if you are there discussing how you want to work for a bigger company with growth opportunities and they don’t offer any of these opportunities, they will immediately know that the role isn’t right for you. Save yourself the embarrassment of looking silly and underprepared during the interview by doing your research beforehand. Not only will you be able to see whether the role and the company fit into your criteria but you can prepare impressive answers based on what you have learnt about them.

Researching the company beforehand will prevent you from wasting your time interviewing for something that isn’t for you. 

There’s lots more where that came from!

We know how much of a struggle it can be preparing for an interview and trying to guess what questions the interviewer may ask. This is why we have created a selection of ‘How To Answer’ blog posts and videos to help you prepare for your next interview. Good luck!

One Comment

  1. Seema

    Excellent blog !!!!!

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