“Why are you leaving your current job?”– How to Answer and Examples

May 25, 2021 -

If you are transitioning from one job to another, you have probably also been researching common interview questions and came across the dreaded question of “why do you want to leave your job?”.

To answer this question, begin to look at not why you are leaving but what are you searching for that another company can offer? And if you have put in your notice and received a counteroffer, how has that swayed your decision? If you are still adamant about leaving your job, here are some reasons and ways to respond to the infamous question.

Although this question seems like a trick, it’s not. Hiring managers ask this question to understand your career goals and what kind of work environment suits you best.

When answering this question, be positive, be honest and keep it short and sweet. There is no need to dive into all the troubles you faced at your previous job but be truthful. No hiring manager wants to hear a candidate complain about how terrible their former boss was. Demonstrate how you have grown as a professional and what you continue to strive for.


Poor relationship with employer

Maybe you and your boss butt heads. Or perhaps they are just an absolute jerk. Rather than speak poorly about your boss, take a neutral approach. Feel free to highlight something positive about your current workplace. Underline skills you have acquired that will help prepare you for success in this potential new role.
Example: “While I loved the mission of the company, I have realized that my employer and I have different work styles. This circumstance has led me to look for a position that involves tackling tasks with a team rather than one individual.”

Career growth

Sometimes you get to a certain point where you can no longer progress in your current position. Even if you still love your job, it is understandable to strive for further growth in your career. Having long-term goals is a sign that you want to be invested in your position and are trying to better yourself. In your answer, include these goals you have to help the hiring manager understand what skills you want to enhance or gain.
Example: “Over the past four years, I have gained an abundance of knowledge about the industry. I have taken the time to reflect on myself and my professional goals. I am now seeking new challenges and opportunities to further grow my career. A goal of mine is to be able to oversee company projects.”

The company has undergone reorganization

If your company has experienced cutbacks, layoffs, or is under new management, you might find you no longer agree with the company’s new structure. Try not to focus on the negatives. Illustrate ways you have attempted to create a better work environment. Demonstrating how you face a challenge shows you are committed to your job even if it didn’t work out. Outline positive experiences. Explain what philosophies you are looking for and hope to see through this position.
Example: “I really enjoyed my time working with the company; however, I feel I no longer fit in with the company’s culture with the recent restructuring. I value teamwork and collaboration, and I am looking to find a company that can share these same values.”

Change in industry

Another reason for leaving your current company is crossing over into a new industry. There can be many reasons you no longer feel passionate about your industry, which is perfectly okay. Wanting a career change indicates your desire to find work that is meaningful to you. Your past experiences can still apply to your new role and should be emphasized in your answer. Explain your career goals and your plan to achieve them.
Example: “Through this position, I have been able to acquire management and leadership skills. However, I have realized that my true passion is in the cosmetic industry. I believe the experience I gained from my current job has set me up to lead projects that I am truly passionate about.”

Need a better work-life balance
If you have a family or want to begin a family, you might seek a better balance between work and personal life. This could involve finding a position with a shorter commute or one with regular or flexible hours. Be sure to convey to your hiring manager precisely what you need. A balance between work and personal life creates happy and productive employees.
Example: “Unfortunately, the commute to my current job takes many hours out of my day. Because of this I want to find a position that will allow me to fulfill my love for customer service but also allow me to spend time with my family.”

To recap:
• Avoid speaking poorly or complaining about your previous employer
• Have a positive attitude and focus on your professional goals and needs
• Give honest answers, but remain professional



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