Answering the question ‘why are you leaving your current job?’

Written by Sanderson Recruitment | Blog | Candidates | Posted 01/09/2017 16:49:13

Much like telling an employer what your salary expectations are, the question of why you are leaving your current job has the potential to make you feel a little uncomfortable.

Whether you’ve had a great experience at work or a less than desirable one, it is essential that you get your wording right in an interview. Here are a few positive reasons for seeking new employment which, if relevant to your decision, can demonstrate your potential and ambition.


Do: Perhaps you’ve hit a wall in your current role and the progression opportunities simply aren’t available. Informing your employer of your desire to keep moving forwards and your passion for continually developing your skill set is a commendable goal. Just be sure to fully research the role you have applied for and the company view towards progression, it will ring warning bells for your employer if they know they won’t be able to progress you either.

Don’t: Accuse your old employer of holding you back. Maybe you do feel your employer could have done more to boost you up the ranks but this isn’t to be expressed in an interview. You could leave your interviewer wondering whether there are bigger reasons which kept your employer from wanting to promote you.


Do: Be totally honest if you applied for the position because it is your dream job or company. There is nothing more flattering to a business than knowing you like your current job and weren’t actively looking for a new role but were completely blown away by the opportunity they have available.

Don’t: Get carried away comparing your dream job with your current one. You need to illustrate your passion for the business because of its own merits, not because of all the reasons your current job doesn’t compare. Gratitude, perseverance and loyalty are all traits your potential new employer will want to see in you and your attitude towards your current job will be the evidence for this.

Work/life balance

Do: Feel comfortable in sharing this with an employer. From the outset you may feel that this sounds negative and implies you want to work less. Instead, remember that having a good balance actually allows you to be more efficient, fulfilled and motivated when you are at work. This means you are a seeking a business which prioritises the balance not because you want to work less, but because you want to bring the best version of yourself to work. The type of employer you are looking for will share this view with you.

Don’t: Play the blame game. Your work/life balance may be posing problems for you but you need to show that you have dealt with this challenge in a professional and positive way. You may encounter difficult scenarios in your new job so the interviewer wants to know that you have the ability to problem-solve and the strength to deal with situations that aren’t always easy, whatever these may be.

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