Most potential employers will ask you the question “Why do you want to leave your current job?”
This question can also be phrased in the following ways: “Why do you want to change jobs?”, “Why do you want to change your current job?”, “Why are you looking for a new job?”, “Why did you leave your last job?”.
The most obvious reasons for asking this interview question? To find out if you’re a good employee or a bad employee and to assess whether you are a flight-risk or someone who will stick around and align yourself with the company’s mission. This is one of those tricky behavioral interview questions.
It's one of the most common interview questions, yet it often leaves candidates stumped. While it may seem like an opportunity to be dismissive against your current employer, this is highly unlikely to paint you in a good light. Planning a persuasive, positive response can go a long way to highlighting your suitability for the new role.
How you answer this job interview question can make or break your chance at bagging the job.
Below are a few ways you can answer “Why do you want to leave your last job?” with examples.
You can say that you have saturated the learning experience in the current company and want to learn more.
This will point out that you are willing to work hard, learn, and help the Company to grow more.
“I have been working with a great team in the company for the past 3 years. They have helped me a lot in learning the basics since I had joined as a fresher.
However, I feel like I have reached the optimum point of learning here, and would like to take a step ahead to learn the intricacies and more complex aspects of my field.
I have read and heard of the amazing talents that your company has recruited over time and it would be a privilege for me to learn from them.”
Many professionals want to relocate to their home city/town after staying away from their families for a long time.
So, for such people switching jobs becomes a requirement.
“ I have been working with my current organization for almost 6 years now. I am looking to return to my hometown since my parents need attention and I need to take care of them.
Although my current organization is a great place to work in, it does not have a branch in my hometown where they could transfer me.
The job profile offered has great scope of learning for me and I am sure that I can also add value to the team.”
To answer such a job interview question, you can point out that you are willing to take up more responsibilities.
This will show that you are ambitious and focused.
“I have had a great learning experience in this organization.
However, the reason for switching jobs is that I want to take up new responsibilities that the organization is being unable to provide me with.
I have read and heard a lot about your Company and it would be a great opportunity for me to work here and learn with the new responsibilities that will be provided.”
Every employee must know when he/she starts feeling less challenged at work. That is the best time to switch jobs to meet fresh challenges.
“Honestly, I had the opportunity to work with the most amazing team and colleagues possible.
Not only did they treat me like an equal despite being a fresher, but they also helped me learn and guided me whenever I required a little help.
But after working there for 3 years now, I am looking forward to a fresh set of challenges and the job profile offered by you seems perfect.
It would help me to push my limits and get out of my comfort zone and I am sure I will be able to add value to the team as well.”
The extensive daily commute to work is a serious problem in a place like Lagos.
It not only takes away your time but also drains you before even reaching office, affecting your productivity and health naturally.
“The company where I am working currently is a great organization. I have no complaints about it.
The only reason why I am looking for a change is that the distance from work to my current organization is quite a lot and my health is getting affected.
Also, the job profile that you offered is a great opportunity for me to learn and challenge myself further, and being close to my place I will also be able to focus more on the work.”
There are many job profiles where a lot of travelling is involved, both within and outside the country. It can be quite overbearing for some.
So, it is only natural to look for a job with lesser travel and you can also say the same when asked “why do you want to leave your current job?”
“Although travelling and meeting clients is a great experience, but I need to slow it down by a notch.
I have been travelling on and off every week with hardly a day to spend with my parents.
So, I would like to slow it down a little to bring balance to my work and personal life.”
“ We have just started our family, but with frequent travel every week, it is becoming a little difficult to take care of them.
So, I am looking for a switch where a little less travelling will be involved and I can also be around my family.
The profile offered by your company is perfect and I know I will be able to add value to the team if given the opportunity.”
It is common for some companies to hire employees on a contractual basis. So, you can cite it for a reason to switch jobs for a more permanent one when answering.
“Working with my current organization has been a great experience.
However, I am looking for something more permanent and secured since my contract is soon to be expiring.
I believe I have the required skill set that is required for the job role you have offered.
I am sure that I can add value to the team and also learn in the process.”
Whatever the situation had been, it is unwise to bad-mouth your previous or current employer. Doing so will only leave a negative impact about you on your potential recruiter. It is always best to prioritize the positive aspects of switching jobs when asked “Why do you want to leave your current job?” in a job interview.
Always remember, a great way to prepare for interview questions is to have a friend or family member pretend to be the interviewer who asks you questions while you practise your answers.