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How to Answer “Why Do You Want to Leave Your Current Job?”

Why Do You Want to Leave Your Current Job

Times have changed in the workplace since the turn of the century.

In the early 2000s, having a stable, linear career path was desirable to most. However, it is no longer expected that one works at the same company for decades. Most employers value a more diverse profile of experience, not only in different companies but different job descriptions as well.

This could be because they want you to be able to multitask in a new position or be able to manage other employees who perform the individual tasks. It is also acceptable for you to move on once you have reached the ceiling of success available in your current place of work. In some cases, it may be because your job is no longer a challenge, or you may be butting heads with coworkers or management.

Honesty is the best policy…

So, you have landed an interview, and all is going well until they start to ask the tough questions. Suddenly you find yourself not knowing How to Answer Why Do You Want to Leave Your Current Job? Not to worry, I can help!

If you are blatantly honest, they may respect you for it. However, any negativity toward your current place of work can reflect negatively on you as well. If you can badmouth your employers or that company, what will stop you from badmouthing the next place? It is not so much about disloyalty as it is about etiquette. That won’t be the only hard question they will ask either.

For the best diplomatic answers to the most commonly asked interview questions, keep reading!

how to answer why do you want to leave your current job

How to Answer “Why Do You Want To Leave Your Current Job?”

When you can no longer learn anything new or get promoted

“My current position has little to no prospects of growth in terms of promotion. I have learned all that I can and would like to explore better opportunities where I can upskill and build my career.”

When the current place of work is not sticking to the agreed-upon terms of service

“I would like to work for a more competitive salary than what I currently earn.” Or, “I would like to maintain a better home-work lifestyle.”

When your current position is no longer fulfilling, or you are bored

“I’ve realized that my strengths would be better suited in a different position. I am ambitious and would like to work on new projects and opportunities that will continuously challenge me.”

When you are in a hostile work environment

Do not mention anything about this at all – use any other reason you can think of. The last thing you want is your employer believing you cannot handle conflict in the workplace, or that you will discuss the conflict in the workplace with others.

Common Interview Questions To Answer

Why did you choose us?

Always do extensive research on the company before you go for the interview, so you can mention parts of it that appeal to you.

“I have heard so many positive things about the organizational culture in your company. I would like to be part of a company that values team efforts and offers a platform for new ideas to be discussed.”

What would you like to earn?

This is an especially tough question. You may currently be underpaid, or you took a low-paying job just to get an income. Or, you may be paid fairly but would like an increase. The best option is to be honest about this and gauge what you are willing to settle for.

But always ask for the maximum amount that you think would be reasonable, but add that it is open for negotiation. If you are uncomfortable with a figure, ask for a “competitive salary,” as per the norm for the industry.

Questions To Ask The Interviewer

Now that you know how to answer, you should also know which questions to ask in an interview. For many, asking these questions may be daunting. However, you need to know these things to make an informed decision, and it does not reflect on your work ethic or your willingness to work hard!

Work hours

You may be leaving your current job because they cannot offer you enough shifts. Or, you may be enrolled in night school or weekend classes. Whatever the reason, you need to know beforehand what kind of work-home life you can expect.

For many, childcare and family time are important. Others may need the extra time to further their education or manage a side-hustle.


Above and beyond your salary, some companies offer perks to sweeten the deal. Staff discounts, healthcare benefits, company cars, or pension funds may make up for a lower offered salary in the end. Ask what benefits are available and estimate their worth, so you can calculate the overall value of the total package you are being offered.

how to answer why do you want to leave current job

Time off

Many companies close over certain holidays, while others remain open. You need to know which public holidays you may be expected to work. Some companies shut down for a week or so over the festive season and may subtract this time from your annual leave. Be sure to ask how many days of paid time off you will get per year.

Learning opportunities

Feel free to ask what the company will be able to teach you and if they ever do workshops and programs to upskill their employees. This is always a good question to ask, as it will show them that you are eager.

The chain of command and how many links there are

The company may be large or small, but it is always good to know how many people you will be working with, how many people you need to answer to, and how many people you can ask for help, should you get stuck.

You Can Never Be Too Prepared!

Not feeling confident enough yet? Then, why not take a look at these amazing books on acing that interview such as the High-Impact Interview Questions, and The Key to Landing A Job – The Interview, or how about the Knock ’em Dead Job Interview: How to Turn Job Interviews Into Job Offers, and Fire Interview: The Storyteller Method.

But that’s not all! We also found How to Answer Interview Questions, 60 Seconds and You’re Hired!, as well as Get That Job!: The Quick and Complete Guide to a Winning Interview, and my favorite The Job Interview Problem Solver: 10 Sneaky Questions Interviewers Ask to Determine if You Are a Good Culture Fit, all available online in 2023.

For question ideas you can ask your interviewer, we recommend reading Ask Me This Instead: Flip the Interview to Land Your Dream Job, and Master The Interviewing Process: Questions To Ask The Interviewer. Lastly, we have The Key to Landing A Job – Interview Secrets Employers and Headhunters Don’t Want You to Know, which I found to be extremely insightful!

Final Thoughts

Remember to keep your arms relaxed and open, with a smile on your face! This will show that you are approachable and happy to be there. Everyone gets nervous before an interview, no matter how much you prepare. Try to stay calm and answer your questions clearly and concisely.

What you wear to an interview is important, so always dress appropriately. Remember, it’s not a fashion show! And of course, being professional and courteous is also crucial.

All the very best with your future Interviews!

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