Ask an Expert INTERVIEWS / JAN. 15, 2017
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How do I answer ‘why are you leaving your current job?'

man holding paper with i quit written on it
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Dilemma:

I need your help. I finally got called for an interview with a company I want to work for, but I’m wondering how to deal with the ‘why are you leaving your current job’ question.

I’m leaving my current job because I’m not happy and I am pretty sure that I’ll never get a promotion, salary increase or grow professionally. I also don’t enjoy my work and feel that the company isn’t going anywhere.

But what do I tell the interviewer? Surely, I shouldn’t focus on the negative points? The company I’ve applied to is growing, and although they hire new people all of the time, they only hire the best of the best, and I don’t want to blow my chance just because I work in a company that I hate.

Can you help me?

Kyriaki says:

Of course, we can help. That’s why we are here! First of all, I should congratulate you on getting the interview. It requires skills and shows that you won’t struggle to find another job if you need to.

Feeling that your job can no longer offer you what you want in terms of professional development is a valid reason to quit. You have to do what is the best for your career, right? But, before you make a hasty decision, you have to ensure that this is what you need at this stage in your career. Once you send that resignation letter, there is no going back. Well, not easily at least.

A sign that tells you it’s time to go is the fact that you don’t enjoy your work, which might mean that you no longer find it interesting. However, I suggest that you investigate this further before doing anything impulsive. Not enjoying your work could also be a sign of stress or an unstable work-life situation.

As far as it concerns interviewing, employers often ask this question – or variations of it, to find out if they can trust you or if you are a responsible, honest and loyal individual. It also helps them find out more information about your performance at work, personal values and how good an employee you are in terms of maintaining professional relationships with colleagues.

Coming up with a good answer isn’t difficult, and there are a couple of easy ways to handle this question. These are your options:

  • You can say that you want to work for a bigger company that offers more opportunities for growth where you will have the chance to take on more responsibilities (this is the truth).
  • You can say that you are interested in a career change and would like to challenge yourself by entering a different industry (if this is the case).
  • You can talk about your desire to improve your work-life balance in an attempt to look for a job with more flexibility.
  • You can say that your personal and professional requirements have changed and you are either relocating or searching for a job that is closer to where you live.

Don’t forget that your answer needs to be positive and neutral so that it doesn’t look like you are badmouthing your current employer. Even though you hate the company you work for, you can’t say any of that during the interview because employers tend to empathise with your current boss and it won’t make you look good.

I hope that this gives you the answer you need. If there is anything else you want help with, let us know by sending us your problem! In the meantime, check out the following articles to find more help:

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