When interviewing while still employed elsewhere, one of the first questions you’ll hear is, “why are you leaving your current role?”. It's important to know how to explain this to interviewers in order to present yourself as a highly qualified candidate.
Rather than focusing on any negative aspects of your job or company, the best way to answer the question of why you're leaving is to focus on the positive aspects a new job will bring to you. By explaining your reasons for leaving in a concise and professional manner, you will demonstrate your professionalism to potential employers.
Take a moment to consider
List out your reasons for seeking a new position and have them memorised before your interview. Your response to this question will give you a chance to showcase your knowledge of a prospective new employer and demonstrate your enthusiasm for the position. You should describe the reasons for your decision to leave and how this makes the new job particularly appealing.
As you brainstorm possible reasons, consider your values, career goals, interests, and what you like best about the role or company that you're applying for. Expand upon the responses that clearly explain why you're the right fit for this company.
When an interviewer asks, “why are you leaving your current role?” it might seem like they're inviting you to bash your employer or complain about your job’s shortcomings.
This approach should never be taken. Badmouthing in an interview will always lead to an unprofessional first impression. Although you may have major problems at work, you should resist the urge to share them. Hiring managers tend to prefer candidates who are leaving their last job with a good attitude and on good terms, as this suggests you are likely to fit well within their organisation.
Keep it short and simple
It’s important to get straight to the point and keep your explanation brief when discussing your reasons for leaving a job. Make sure your response is direct, relevant, and provides sufficient reasoning while avoiding unnecessary details. If you slip up and respond to this question in a negative manner, redirect the focus to how this new job could be an excellent match for you.
Describe what you hope to gain
It's understandable to look for new positions that will allow you to develop your skills and abilities if your current role offers limited advancement opportunities. When you find a position that seems like it could allow you to develop, you should explain this to the interviewers. In doing so, you demonstrate your enthusiasm and determination to accomplish your goals in your future role and take on new responsibilities.
Last but not least, always be honest. Catching a candidate in a lie will turn off any Hiring Manager.
Even if you have messed up in the past, owning up to it and being honest about what happened and what you learned from it will demonstrate that you are trustworthy and that you value communication.
If you’re struggling, here are just a few examples of positive reasons for leaving a job that you could give:
I am interested in continuing my professional development, but my current company does not provide this opportunity
I no longer feel challenged by my current position
I feel that I am prepared to take on more responsibility
I believe I have advanced as far as I can in my current position
I need a change of environment to remain motivated
I would like to learn a new skill that is not essential to my current position
For more advice and interview tips, reach out to one of our friendly team today.