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The Interview Decoder - "Why Are You Looking to Leave Your Current Job?"

Job interviews are intimidating. More often than not, you spend hours preparing yourself, ensuring you have all the answers to any question they could possibly ask - then, they ask you something you somehow don’t have the answer to.

In this series, you’ll get insight into the true meaning behind some of the toughest interview questions out there, as well as a few different options for how you can best answer them.

Today’s question - “Why are you looking to leave your current job?”

What are they really asking you?

With this question, your prospective employer is looking for red flags. If you, a prospective employee, answer this question in a way that raises concerns for your interviewer, you’re going to miss out on your next great opportunity by being ill-prepared.

Things your prospective employer will consider red flags:

  • Bashing your current company: “I’m trying to leave because my boss is the worst to work for. He micromanages me, hates all of my ideas, and is incredibly rude all of the time.”

  • Indicating that you might not be someone who can get along with coworkers: “I just don’t get along with anyone I work with. We have nothing in common, and I’m looking for an environment where I have more in common with my coworkers.”

  • Anything that could indicate that you are the problem and the reason you have to leave your job: “A few weeks ago, there was a pretty big argument in the office, and now everyone is treating me differently. It just feels like a toxic environment, and I’m ready to get out.”

This question can also help a prospective employer to gain insight into what you’re looking for moving forward in your career. If your reason for moving is to take a step up in title or further explore a specific interest in your industry, that’s helpful for a future boss to know.

How should you answer this question?

There are a few different options here -

  1. “I’m really more of a passive candidate, but when you reached out to me, I thought I would pursue this role further. I really like what I’ve seen so far.”

  2. “I did some research on your organization, and I was really wowed by all of the amazing things your company has been doing, particularly your work with _____.” (Insert something specific about the company you learned in your research.)

  3. “The opportunity I have for growth in my current role isn’t what I was hoping it would be. I’ve been with my company for a long time, and I’ve outgrown my current position. I’m really ready to take the next step in my career.”

Any combination of these answers will serve you well in an interview. No matter what answer you choose, there are three things you’ll want to remember:

  • Have a great Attitude

  • Be Charismatic

  • Bring Enthusiasm to each and every interview

If you use this guide and remember these three things, you’ll be sure to ACE your interview.

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