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Interview Question: Why Are You Leaving Your Job?

why are you leaving your job

When preparing for an interview, keep in mind that the interviewer will most likely ask you the reason why you need the job you’re applying for or if you’ve worked in an organization previously, why you left. ‘Why are you leaving your job’ is a commonly asked interview question.


Many people have failed to land the job because they focused their answer based on the past or the negative experiences they encountered instead of introducing the interviewer to a brighter future the company will be entering once they’re hired.

This is an opportunity for you to sell yourself to the employer. You should give an answer that puts you in the spotlight without you having to degrade your previous employer or the company you worked with.

Also, giving a negative reply doesn’t portray you as someone who is worthy of the position. Nobody wants anyone that would see the negatives rather than the positives in situations. Let your answer be one that exhorts the name of the company for which you are being interviewed.

Some examples of the best answer will be reviewed below but always keep in mind to talk about the future rather than the past. This will help you in an instance where you didn’t leave your former workplace under the best circumstances.

Example answers to: ‘Why are you leaving your job?’:

  • I need a job that offers more challenging tasks on its way. I got very much used to all the tasks to a point where that wasn’t a challenge for me anymore. In addition, I didn’t want my boredom and unhappiness to cause a reduction in the productivity of the company through the job I was handling for my employee so, I left.
  • There’s very limited room for growth with my current employee and I’m ready to take on new and adventurous challenges in a company that offers much room for expansion.
  • In my need for new challenges, I didn’t feel it was right to divide my attention between searching for a job and taking care of my responsibilities at my full-time job. It seemed to be unethical to start slacking off on the job that I usually delivered so well on and so, I opted to leave the company.
  • I had to relocate to this area under family circumstances and it was only imperative I left my previous position to make the move.
  • I have a clearer vision of what goal is and where I’m headed but unfortunately, my current employer offers me no opportunity towards the direction I’m headed.
  • Due to corporate restructuring that took place in the company, my department was eliminated which led to me being laid off.
  • I spent several years working as a solo player in my last position and I need a company that embraces the team spirit.

Other examples can be:

  • I recently got my degree and I have the intention of utilizing my background in this position with your company.
  • The commute from my city to where my place of work was located requires a traveling distance every day and I’d very much like to be closer to home so I can spend more time with my family.
  • Prior to seeing this job posting, I had no intention of moving. When I saw it, I loved the challenges that came with the position and the company and I happen to love challenges. It proved to be an appropriate match with my qualification and so, I just applied for this position without thinking.
  • I have gained so much experience skills in my field but I’m unable to fully utilize it given the position I currently occupy and I am very sure your company would give me that opportunity I seek.
  • The company decided to cut back on some employees and I happen to fall into that category.

Never bad mouth your previous (or current) employer

No matter what the circumstances or reason for leaving for your previous employer or manager, do not speak ill of them. No matter how terrible you were treated and how much you feel the need to express this, please do not talk bad about them. The employer might just think that’s how you’ll talk ill about him/her when next you go to apply for a job and it’ll only reduce your chance of securing the position for which you’re being interviewed. Instead of talking down about your former or about-to-be former manager, seize the opportunity to sell your self and show the interviewer how much you can handle responsibilities and challenges that come your way and give a positive reaction to them.

During the interview:

  • Show how you contributed to solving a particular problem and demonstrate growth. As an instance, you could say that you learned through the time you spent there about getting to the root of issues, solving them and carrying on to succeed wherever the issue might have been. Be sure to give examples of where you demonstrated such progress.
  • Make sure you’re tactically honest. If you had a bad experience with your previous employer, you don’t have to lie that it was a good one so as not to appear negative. If you can completely avoid talking about it, please do and if it’s unavoidable make sure no matter what you say, it doesn’t downplay your previous employer or manager.
  • You should use your words to show your interviewer that you’re much confident that the role to which you’re applying is perfectly in sync with your personal goals and development plan.
  • Get ahead of the curve. There have been times when you had issues with a coworker or even the company. Do not wait to get blindsided by the interviewer with this question, just go ahead and tell them about it on a platter and also make sure you say how you were able to overcome the issues and how great things turned out to be eventually.


In this article, we have been able to tactically make you understand what to say when it comes to answering the question of why you left your previous employer. Remember to not speak bad about them and turn around to put yourself in the spotlight and to your own advantage.

Job Interview Topics – Common Job Interview Questions & Answers

Below you can find a list of common job interview topics. Each link will direct you to an article regarding the specific topics that discuss commonly asked interview questions. Furthermore, each article discusses why the interviewer asks these questions and how you answer them!

  1. Accomplishments
  2. Adaptability
  3. Admission
  4. Behavioral
  5. Career Change
  6. Career Goals
  7. Communication
  8. Competency
  9. Conflict Resolution
  10. Creative Thinking
  11. Cultural Fit
  12. Customer Service
  13. Direct
  14. Experience
  15. Government
  16. Graduate
  17. Growth Potential
  18. Honesty & Integrity
  19. Illegal
  20. Inappropriate
  21. Job Satisfaction
  22. Leadership
  23. Management
  24. Entry-Level & No experience
  25. Performance-Based
  26. Personal
  27. Prioritization & Time Management
  28. Problem-solving
  29. Salary
  30. Situational & Scenario-based
  31. Stress Management
  32. Teamwork
  33. Telephone Interview
  34. Tough
  35. Uncomfortable
  36. Work Ethic

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