“Why Are You Leaving Your Current Job?” Interview Question

Why are you leaving your current job

It’s best to prepare for the “Why are you leaving your current job?” interview question if you’re still working. It is a legitimate question if you’re still working and looking. If you’re in that situation, 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.

Another way it could be asked is “why are you looking for work?”. Either way, your latest boss will want to know why you’re resigning and your new boss will want to know why you’re looking for work. That’s why today we’ll break down how to get the best answer to “Why are you leaving your current job?”.


Best Reasons For Leaving Your Current Job

None of the following reasons require you to say anything else other than the actual reason:

  • You’ve relocated
  • Looking for a career change
  • You’re looking for additional compensation
  • You’d like more responsibility
  • Company reorganization led to a change in your current job role
  • You need different hours
  • A shorter commute to work
  • Looking for a better work/life Balance
  • You’d like to learn something new
  • Your current job has changed your responsibilities


Reasons That Will Make You Sound Like a Bad Employee:

  • I hate my boss
  • The work was too hard
  • I was reprimanded or spoken to too many times
  • They don’t understand me


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. It can be tempting to unload why your current boss is terrible to work for, but that conversation needs to be kept to family and friends, not in a job interview. 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.

Unless your current workplace is part of an extremely publicized merger or implosion, it’s essential that you stay positive in your reply. Speaking poorly of a past company or boss is always a bad idea, no matter what the circumstances. It also gives the hiring manager the impression that you will speak badly about their company if you’re hired, which no one wants. Stay positive, no matter what!


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.

It’s important for you to show enthusiasm because hiring new people is generally expensive for a company, so they need everyone to be a good investment. Expressing your interest in working there, at doing that particular position, and how your past experience could benefit them will make a great impression.


Sample Answers

“What I really like about this company and this job that’s different from my current one is…”

“I’m interested in learning more about (list something this job includes that old one doesn’t) and this job offers the opportunity to also use my past experience to combine the two for strong and successful results.”

Make sure your answer is positive and accurate by researching the position ahead of time. If you’re nervous that you’ll forget something, print off the job description and re-read it right before the job interview. It will have the keywords of what skills and keywords they’re looking for, which will help you explain why you’re leaving your current job.


Final Note

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!


Check out some other interview questions we can help with:

Answer for “How do you prioritize your time?” Interview Question

How to Answer the “Why Should We Hire You?” Interview Question

Why Job Seekers Should Use a Staffing Agency