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

why are you leaving your current job

While I am sure there are a handful of people who love job interviews, the list of people who hate them is much longer. After all, who likes having their career, and often their character, put under a microscope for judgment? Regardless, a job interview is a necessary step in your path to a new career, and with some insight and study, it’s the perfect place to demonstrate why you’re the right candidate for a job. The questions asked may differ interview to interview and industry to industry, but there are a number of mainstays that are worth brushing up on.

Chances are good that the job you will be interviewing for is not your first job. It’s even more likely that you are currently employed elsewhere, and this interview itself is another step closer to your exit from your current employer. So, don’t be surprised when they ask, “Why are you leaving your current job?” or, “Why did you leave your last role?”

Employers ask this question for several reasons. The entire purpose of the interview is to gauge your skills, but it’s also to get to know you better and gauge your fit at the company. Why you decide to leave can paint a clearer picture of things like what drives you and how you deal with confrontation. They also hope to detect and avoid serial job hoppers, who are becoming increasingly common in this economy and the hot job market.

How Should I Answer?

There are a few answers that are red-flags to a hiring manager that, when given, are often deal-breakers. Even if the interview has been great up to this point, saying anything relating to hating your boss or the compensation being too low raises too many questions. Without knowing you or your situation outside of this interview, the hiring manager will assume the worst about you. There are often two sides to every story and a situation where you are perfect, but your boss was the worst, is hard to swallow.

Instead, focus on positives. Does this new position offer better professional growth or opportunities otherwise not available to you in your current role? Does this new company’s mission align more closely with your core beliefs and values? Maybe it’s closer to home? Whatever your answer, make it clear that you’re looking to create a more positive experience in your life and in the lives of those around you.

You also shouldn’t just list self-serving reasons. Employers want team players who will mesh and build their existing company culture. If someone only identifies with examples that benefit them, this is again a red flag that could have you walking out of this interview, and right back to your job search or old role.

So hopefully you’re a little more prepared to answer why are you leaving your current job in your upcoming interview. And if you need more help prepping for your interview, check out some of our job interview pointers.