Tricky Interview Questions: “Why Are You Leaving Your Job?”

Let Visium help you prepare for your next interview with 3 tips on how to answer the tricky question: "Why are you leaving your job?"
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Put your best foot forward at your next interview

As a prepared job seeker, you should be thinking of questions that may be asked at your next job interview (and perhaps read some of our other articles on the topic). One of the most common queries you can anticipate is: “Why are you leaving your job?” For this question, it is important as you think about a response to consider how the interviewer may interpret your answer.

It is important to be cautious with how you answer questions during a job interview because if not framed properly, your response could be interpreted negatively and cost you the job opportunity.

There can be many strong reasons to why you want to leave your job. They could be:

  • You don’t get along with your boss
  • You’re bored at work
  • You want more money
  • You want more challenge
  • You no longer wish to work in this particular field or industry
  • An assortment of other reasons

Whatever your reason is, it may not always be appropriate to tell it exactly like it is to a potential employer. Try to think of a response that is truthful but highlights the reasons you would be a good fit for the position and will impress the employer.

Here are some tips to help:

Give a Positive Response to the Question

At a job interview, you should always try to stay as positive as possible, as no one wants to hire a negative employee. To start, you might want to talk about the great opportunities you’ve been given and how much you’ve learned through your current employer, before giving your reason for leaving. Employers like to hear things like this because it helps you come off as professional and respectful of your existing employer even though you have made the decision to move on. Regardless of your real feelings and the situation at work, never bad mouth the company or your co-workers at an interview.   

Don't Dwell On What Your Current Employer Isn't Offering You

Of course, there will most likely be multiple reasons why you want to leave your current job, but you should focus on what the potential job is offering rather than what your current job is not. The reason for this is that it will frame you as a candidate looking to learn and grow, excited about joining their team and mission.

For example, instead of plainly stating, “I don’t feel challenged at work anymore,” try to re-frame the message. Say: “I’m looking for new challenges in the area of X, Y, and Z, which I can see this job offers,” and then go into the experience and skills you have to offer to further impress the interviewer. Re-framing your response in this manner makes it less likely that the employer will take the information and interpret it negatively.

Focus On The Future

In interviews, it is often better to talk about the future—what you want to experience and achieve to continue growing professionally. This works best when you can also tie in how the potential employer could offer ways for you to move towards that future. When you answer in this manner, it helps the employer that you are an individual who seeks self-improvement and that you have a real interest in the company because of what they specifically offer. It tells the employer you are someone with great potential for hire who will be dedicated to employment with them for the long term.

While “Why are you leaving your job?” is only one out of many questions you will be asked at the job interview, knowing how to respond positively ensures you stay in the running for the job and can help you move on to the next stage of the interview process.

If you are searching for your next position, check out Visium Resources Open Jobs and talk with one of our recruiters today! We are here to make sure your employment search is as simple and easy as possible, and you find the perfect opportunity for you!

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