A prepared job seeker will have thought about questions that will be asked at the job interview. One of them may be: ‘Why are you leaving your job?’ As you think about a response to this question, also consider how the interviewer may interpret that response. It’s important to take caution with how questions are answered at the job interview because when it’s not framed properly, it can be interpreted negatively and cost you the job opportunity.
There can be many reasons to why you want to leave your job. They could be:
- You hate your boss
- You’re bored at work
- You want more money
- You want more challenge
- You don’t want to work in this particular field or industry
- Or an assortment of other reasons
Whatever your reason is, it’s not always appropriate to tell it like it is to the potential employer. Think of a response that will impress the employer, but that still comes off as an honest reason.
Here are some tips to help:
1. Answer positively.
Communication at a job interview should always come off positive. To start off, you may talk about the great opportunities you’ve been given and how much you’ve learned through your current employer, before giving your reason. Employers like to hear things like this because 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 the people you work with.
2. Don’t add information about what your current employer isn’t offering you.
There may be multiple reasons to why you want to leave your current job, but you don’t need to include information about what you’re not being offered. The reason for this is because potential employers can interpret it as action you may take against them if hired.
For example instead of saying, “I don’t feel challenged at work anymore,” re-frame the message to say, “I’m looking for new challenges in the area of XYZ, which I can see this job offers,” and then go into exactly 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.
3. Focus on the future.
Talk about what you’re heading towards – what you want to experience and achieve to continue growing professionally. It works best when you can also tie in how they have that to offer. When you answer in this manner, it informs the employer that you are an individual who seeks self-improvement and that you have real interest in the company because of the specific offering. It tells the employer you are someone with great potential for hire who will be dedicated to employment with them for a reasonable amount of time.
Your reason for choosing to leave your current employer is only one out of many questions you will be asked at the job interview. Knowing how to respond positively and framing it in a way that informs the employer you make a great fit ensures you stay in the running for the job and it helps move you on to the next stage of the interview process.