How to Answer ”Why Are You Leaving Your Current Job?”  

Best answers and examples on "why are you leaving your current job"

common interview question - why are you leaving your current job

Many people that look for new jobs are doing so because they want to grow, expand their salary, or even because they didn’t like their old boss. These are all valid reasons for leaving a job, but, not all of these will satisfy an interviewer who is asking you “why did you leave your last job?” This sounds like a straightforward question, but it is actually a bit tricky to know how to answer why are you leaving your current job without jeopardizing your new one. Fortunately, you can find the best way to answer why did you leave your last job below!

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Why Employers Ask the “Why Did You Leave your Last Job” Question

For employers, they are analyzing your “why did you leave your last job” answer for clues on how good of an employee will be at their company. They want to know that:

  • Your old employers liked you enough to keep you on at the job
  • You didn’t have problems with your past co-workers or bosses that lead to termination
  • You weren’t accused of a serious crime such as stealing, or had issues such as workplace harassment and discrimination
  • You keep an amicable relationship with your older supervisors, and will likely have one with them should you leave this job too
  • You’re able to hold down a job long enough to be worth the investment 

Because finding a new employee is time-consuming, takes up a lot of funds, and takes up a lot of energy, employers want to hire the very best of the best when it comes to new employers.

If you were the boss of a company, would you rather hire an employee that has stellar skills, but was fired for being unable to work on a team, or would you rather hire an employee whose skills are okay, but who has a great reference and stronger team work ethic? 

Put yourself in the employers shoes, and understand that they are looking for someone who is an investment, who can play well with others, and who will not turn against their future employer. 

How to Give a “Reason Why Leaving Job” Answer

When preparing your answer for “Why did you want to leave your current company,” there are a few things to keep in mind, including:

DO be honest if you were fired due to a crime, such as theft or vandalism. Your employer will have access to all of your police records when doing your background check, so there is no point in trying to hide this information.

DO try to be open about your past, and admit to any mistakes you have made with your old employer. Explaining yourself is much better than having to be confronted about a lie.

DO explain issues with the company in a professional manner. This let’s your employer know you are serious about your position and are seeking professionalism. For instance, say, “My old company was a bit smaller, and had issues with lack of staffing, causing hazardous situations,” instead of, “We were overworked and underpaid.”

DON’T badmouth your former employers. If you’re willing to badmouth them to your new employer, you’ll likely do the same with subsequence employers, causing your prospective job offer to go out the window.

DON’T admit to your weaknesses. This is not the time to state these. For instance, never say, “I wasn’t good enough at my last job,” or, “I didn’t meet sales quotas.” Instead, say that you wanted to learn other skills, and have done the work to do so and are now looking for a new position to refine those skills. 

Why Are you Leaving Your Current Job Examples

“I found myself needing to be more challenged, and felt that my older job was too entry-level. I am seeking a new position where I can put my skills to the test and help my new employer to the best of my abilities.”

“I felt the work culture was not on par with my professional standards. My old employer tried to hire on new talent, but felt pressured to stick with family friends and relatives, which brought down morale and contributed to my decision to leave.”

“I wanted to work somewhere that is more open to ideas and suggestions, and know that your company has a real knack for listening to talent and implementing new procedures. I feel I would do better creatively here than in my old position.”

Alternative Why Did You Quit Your Last Job Questions

  • Is there a reason you left your employer?
  • Would you ever return to work at your old employer?
  • What do we have to offer that your other employer didn’t?
  • Have you ever had any problems with your past employer or bosses?

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