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Preparing for Tricky Interview Questions Part 2: ‘Why are you leaving your current job?’

Posted on 9th Feb 18

Leaving a role can be an emotional experience. You’ve invested time and effort into the position, not to mention the relationships you’ve built and experiences you’ve gone through. It’s no surprise that many of us can find it challenging to explain, when interviewers query our motivations to move on.

In this blog, VANRATH gives you some tips to handle this question masterfully, to help further increase your chances of clinching the position on offer.

Keep it real

Try and be as honest as possible in your answer, whilst framing it in the right way and still being professional. If you give a ‘fake’ answer, your interviewer could pick up on it, and it may have negative repercussions on their overall impression of you.

Keep it succinct

As mentioned in the introduction, leaving a job can be an emotionally-loaded decision. To help ensure that you are in control of the information you are imparting, and don’t accidentally overstep the professional boundaries of an interview, it’s best to keep your answer succinct.

Keep it balanced, and end on a positive note

It’s best to use professional, neutral language to discuss the decision to leave your job. When answering this question, it’s a good rule of thumb to mention something you like about the job, before briefly detailing the reason you ultimately want to leave. For example:

‘My job role offered the opportunity to learn a lot of new processes, which was great. Unfortunately, I now feel that I have reached the point where I’ve absorbed all I can, and am ready for a new challenge’

What if you didn’t leave voluntarily?

Be upfront about what happened. Accept your own responsibility in the matter, but highlight the lessons learned from the experience in a genuine, sincere way. Highlight other instances of high performance, to give a fully rounded representation of yourself.

VANRATH’s Recommended Reasons...

  •  ‘I’ve loved working for my current employer, but at this point in my career, the role does not offer the neccessary opportunities to develop my skills. The role on offer here would allow me to take on more responsibility and grow, in line with my long term ambitions’.
  • ‘ I’ve enjoyed working for my current company, but now that I have mastered my role, I feel that my skills are being underutilised, and that my abilities could be challenged and developed even more in the role on offer’
  • ‘Initially my role afforded great opportunity to do X, Y, Z. However, over time, various changes have been made in the business, which has led to my role becoming more focussed on A, B, C. Long term, I want my career to focus more on X, Y , Z which is what attracted me to this role.’
  • ‘I was commuting to the city and spending a significant amount of time each day on travel. I would prefer to be closer to home, to have a better work/life balance’
  • ‘Honestly, I wasn't proactively seeking a new position, but I saw this job posting and was intrigued by the position and your company. It sounds like an exciting opportunity and an ideal match with my qualifications and career goals’

Want more advice on how to handle tricky interview questions? Click here to find out how to answer ‘Tell me About Yourself?’

Want to have a confidential chat with our expert consultants about your job search? Call us on 02890 330250 or email belfast@vanrath.com.