“Why do you want to leave your current job?” is the most commonly asked interview question, but what’s the right answer?
It’s hard to prepare for an interview when you know very little about the company and the person interviewing you.
However, one question you can be sure they’ll ask is “why do you want to leave your current job?” It can be very difficult to answer this question in a positive way, especially if you are leaving a terrible manager or a badly run company.
There are five ways to answer this question without coming across as too negative to your prospective employer.
1] Job insecurity
Your company is in decline and you are worried about the future security of your position. You will not be judged for wanting to move on from a sinking ship, and you may actually be praised for your proactive behaviour.
However, it is important to explain the circumstances sympathetically and try to focus on what you’ve learnt from the situation.
2] Learning curve
You really enjoy your current position, but you feel you have hit a ceiling on what you can achieve there. Employers are impressed with enthusiastic and ambitious people, so there is nothing wrong with striving for more.
However, make sure that you talk about what this new company can offer, rather than what your current company cannot.
3] Change of goals
Perhaps you’ve had a change of heart recently regarding your career. This is understandable, but show that you have thought this through and you are now set on this new goal.
Discuss how you feel this company will help you achieve your goal and remember to show your excitement and enthusiasm about the next chapter in your career.
4] Skills update
After several years with the same company, your skill set may narrow, particularly if you are working within a niche industry.
If this is the case, discuss what you’ve learnt in your current role and exactly what it is that you need to update. Finish your answer with a question about the prospective role, to further demonstrate your interest.
5] Interested in you
Maybe you’re not looking to leave your current company, but the opportunity on offer is far too amazing to turn down.
Rather than bashing your employer, talk about what it is that excites you about this new opportunity and what you feel you would bring to the role.
Whichever route you choose, it is important to remain positive throughout your answer and avoid ranting about your current employer.
Before you answer this crucial question, remember that your interviewer is more interested in why you want to work for them, rather than why you dislike your current position.
Join Over 40,000 Recruiters. Get our latest articles weekly, all FREE – SEND ME ARTICLES
Recruiters love this COMPLETE set of Accredited Recruitment & HR Training – View Training Brochure