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How to answer the question 'Why Do You Want To Leave Your Job?' in an interview

Updated on July 16, 2011

Why do you want to leave your current job?

When you apply for a new position, you are more than likely to be working somewhere.  Your application gets shortlisted and you are called for an interview.

Once you know you are appearing for an interview, you must prepare.

Quick pointers:

- Read about the company

- Get your facts in order - education, employment history etc.

- Get your wardrobe fixed

- Check the location of the interview a day prior.  Dont want to be late to the interview, do we?

So lets say you did all that.

Your interview was great. they loved you, you think the job is perfect.  Now the difficult question. 

'Why do you want to leave your current job?'

There could be plenty reasons, but the most important is the one that is true.

What is it that you are missing at your current job?  responsibility? camaraderie? growth? money? prestige? learning enviorn? Challenges? multi-location exposure? 

What ever it is, that should be your leading answer.

Just one thought though, dont make your current employer look bad.


  • 'I have been fortunate to be a part of XYZ company for the last NN years.  However, I do beleive it is time for me to look for a larger role and higher responsibilities.  The role at your firm looks very challenging and I am eager to take it up'
  • 'The time I have been with XYZ has been very rewarding.  Over the last NN years, I have learnt a great deal.  I do feel though that the company is stagnating and a refusal to enter new markets/products lines or pursue growth strategies hampers one's ambitions'
  • 'My current position is great, the job role is great, but I do have to travel a lot'
  • 'Everything is fantastic, except the salary.  My salary there is 20% below the industry average for my position.  In fact for most positions they pay lower than what the industry pays'
  • 'My direct supervisor.  Although he is very hands on and willing to share his knowledge, he tends to ignore any feedback or suggestion.  I am looking forward to working in an atmosphere that values my inputs'

All the very best!

Please do not lie in the interview, but at the same time please, I repeat, do not make your ex-employer look bad.

feel free to write to me to discuss specific issues with your current job and how to put it across in an interview.

Prabhjot Bedi |


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    • prabhjotbedi profile image

      Prabhjot Bedi 7 years ago from chandigarh

      @Scott_Grigg LOL! you are so right. I think the amount of effort that candidates put in to prepare for an interview, the interviewers should double that for themselves.

      Some questions though are what we call filler questions. While I am scrutinizing the resume or thinking about something more I want to go after or maybe want to confirm the candidates communication skills, I may choose such questions, including a fav I have seen used everywhere.

      'Tell me something about yourself'

      I wrote about it here

      But here is a simple simple strategy:

      This answer to question should do 3 things:

      1. Showcase your communication skills

      2. Showcase your individual talents and uniqueness

      3. Lets you control the interview

    • Scott_Grigg profile image

      Scott_Grigg 7 years ago from Midwest USA-Southeast

      What about the old question, what are your weaknesses? Last time someone asked me that question I paused for about two seconds and said simply, "brevity." There was a pause of about four seconds until I laughed and asked the interviewer why anyone would even answer that question honestly. Seriously. Like I'm going to tell them I have constant temper tamtrums and scream at employees, LOL.