“Why do you want to leave your current job?” is a commonly asked question in job interviews. Interviewers ask this question to know your reason for leaving your current organisation and also to understand what is important for you in a job. It also gives the recruiter a glimpse of your professional attitude, whether you are someone who may leave the company within six months of joining or if you align with the company's vision and would stick by in tough times.
In this article, we will talk about the reasons recruiters ask this question and will see how to answer the question “Why do you want to leave your current job?” along with some sample answers.
The reasons recruiters ask, "Why do you want to leave your current job?"
Interviewers ask this question to know your reason for leaving your current organisation. They also want to understand what is important for you in a job. They want to make sure that you left or are leaving your current company for valid reasons and you are not just a job hopper who keeps changing jobs to get salary increment and are likely to leave in a few months.
Apart from that, how you answer this question gives the recruiter a glimpse of your professional attitude, whether you're a flight risk or if you align with the vision of the company and would stick by in tough times. While your reason for changing the job might be valid, how you answer this question and present your reason decides your fate in the interview.
Tips for answering the question, "Why do you want to leave your current job?"
Here are some helpful tips you can follow to respond to this question in a professional manner:
Be honest and genuine
It is very important to answer this question honestly. When an interviewer asks you this question, they want to understand what you look for in a workplace and the possible reasons you may leave a job. If you give a genuine answer here, the chances are that the recruiters will be able to assess correctly if you are the right fit for their work culture.
If the recruiters deem you to be the right fit, then the chances are you will get the job and will enjoy a long and fruitful association with that company. However, if this does not happen, then you will get a chance to apply to more suitable companies as per your personality.
Keep your answer positive
While it is important to answer this question honestly, you must also make sure your overall tone is positive. It is best to avoid things like office politics and troubles with your manager while answering this question. Such things are usually because of individuals and not because of organisations as a whole.
You may have had to deal with difficult people in your current job. However, mentioning these as a reason for leaving your job is not advisable. Make sure you say positive things about your current and previous employers. The recruiters know that someone who can say negative things about their organisation once can do so again in the future as well.
Sample answers for the question "Why do you want to leave your current job?"
Here are some sample answers to the question, “Why do you want to leave your current job?”:
1. To learn more
You can say that the learning curve for you had flattened and you wanted to learn more. This will show your willingness to learn and implement new skills.
“I have been working with my current organisation for four years. I got the privilege to work with a great team and learned a lot from them.
However, I feel like I have reached a saturation point in my learning experience in this organisation. I would now like to move forward and dive deep into the intricacies and complex aspects of my field.
I have recently discovered that you have hired some of the best people in our field in your organisation and I would love to get an opportunity to learn from them.”
2. To take on more challenges
You can say that you want to take on more challenges because that drives you to perform better at your job. This will show that you are ambitious about your career and focused on growth.
“I have learned a lot in my current organisation. However, I want to switch jobs because I want to take up more challenges and responsibilities to enhance my skills and broaden my knowledge.
I have heard and read a lot about your company and I believe it will be a great opportunity for me to take on the responsibilities of this role and learn from them.”
3. To relocate
You may need to relocate because of personal reasons. For example, you want to go back to your hometown to your family or need to relocate because you are getting married.
“I have been working in Mumbai for almost five years now. I am now looking for an opportunity that helps me move back to my hometown to be with my parents as they need my attention.
My current organisation is a great place to work. Unfortunately, they do not have a branch in my hometown. Hence, I am compelled to look for a new job.
Your company is offering a job that is suited for my profile, offers a great learning experience and has a branch in my hometown as well. I am sure I can be a great addition to the team.”
4. To reduce travel time
You may want to reduce your daily commute because of health or personal reasons. Mention how reducing the travel time can increase your productivity at work.
“The organisation that I am currently employed with is a great place to work and I couldn't be more satisfied with it.
I am looking for a change because the distance between my home and my current office is a lot and it has started to take a toll on my body.
That being said, the job profile your company is offering is intriguing and a great opportunity for me to learn and take up more responsibilities. Also, as this office is closer to my home, I will be able to focus better on my work.”
5. Your job requires frequent travelling and you want to take a break
There are many jobs where you are required to travel within and outside the country. This frequent travel can be overwhelming and you may want to take a break from this schedule.
There could also be personal reasons, like getting married, where you need to give your family more time. In such cases, it is a good idea to look for a job that allows you to travel less and you can mention the same in your answer.
Sample Answer 1:
“I love to travel and meet new people and my current job offers the best of both worlds. However, I feel it is time for me to slow down a bit.
I have been travelling for my job for almost three to four days a week and I don't get enough time to spend with my family. So I would like to bring it down a notch and try to balance my professional and personal lives.”
Sample Answer 2:
“I have recently had a baby and with frequent travel, it is getting difficult for me to take care of my wife and child. So, I am looking for an opportunity that allows me to spend some time with my family.
The job position offered by you suits me well for my situation and I am sure I can be a great addition to the team.”
6. The contract with your current organisation is due expiration soon
If you are working for an organisation on a contractual basis, you would want to start looking for a new opportunity before your contract expires. One of the reasons you can mention is that you are looking for a permanent role.
“I have had a great experience working with my current organisation. But since it is a contractual role, my tenure with them will be coming to an end soon.
I am looking for a permanent and secure role now and I believe I have the skill set for the job profile you are offering.”