If you’re currently working and looking for a new position, this question will definitely come up. It can come in different formats, but you will be asked essentially the same thing. The key is to have a tactful and honest response prepared ahead of time. You’ll need to consider why you want to leave and how to answer the question without appearing unprofessional.
None of the following reasons require you to say anything else other than the actual reason:
- You’ve relocated
- Looking for a career change
- Company reorganization led to a change in your current job role
- A shorter commute to work
- Work/Life Balance
Don’t Badmouth Current/Past Job or Employer
According to several online sources, the number one reason most people voluntarily leave a position is because of a bad boss or supervisor. You may have a grocery list of reasons why you want out of your workplace, but it’s best to avoid discussing anything regarding low compensation, poor management, company finances, poor morale, or any other negative aspect of the job. Anything negative comes across as unprofessional and is usually enough of a reason for managers to not hire a candidate.
Highlight a Success
If you’re currently employed and looking for something else in the same industry, use a recent job success to promote yourself. For example: “After increasing sales by 25% and building a team of strong salespeople, I’ve reached the extent of what I can do in that department and I’m looking for a new challenge. Your company’s last project looked just like what I’ve always wanted to do and I’m ready to make that move in my career.”
Do Express Ambition
If the reason you’re looking for work is your boss or the work you do, it’s always safe to say that you “feel ready for a new challenge”/”new role” or something similar. Perhaps you’ve reached the farthest or highest spot you can attain, in which case you have to move on for new growth.
Craft your clear answer ahead of time, choose your wording carefully, and you will be able to give a professional answer. Be sure to know what kind of reason you want to give and realize that this question is definitely going to come up. Prepare ahead of time and you will have aced this interview question!
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