One of the most common and confusing question interviewers ask is, “why do you want to leave your current job?” or tell us “good reasons for leaving a job?” or reason for job change Unless you are a fresher or have taken a long career break, you will likely be asked this. The interviewer is usually looking to understand what you require in a job, things that keep you going and how you handle undesired circumstances.
Since it’s a predictable question, it would be wise to prepare for the answer beforehand. You should be clear about why you are choosing a new job over your previous one. Take time to plan your answer and analyze all the good reasons for leaving a job or reason for job change. Is money the deciding factor? Has your relationship with colleagues gotten sore and irreversible? Have your career goals changed? Has your growth gotten stagnant?
Then choose the best cumulative answer from these and make sure that your answer stands out as a professional one. Avoid including personal situations like marriage, illness etc. in the answer.
Also, remember to stay optimistic and not to come out sounding bitter about the previous job. Employers look to hire people who would solve problems and keep a company’s confidentiality. Going on about the problems faced at your previous job will paint you in the negative image and give a bad impression.
For example, instead of mentioning the problems as reason for job change that you are facing low salary, long hours, rude managers, it would be better to say, “I have learned so much at my current job. I am looking forward to utilizing those skills and qualities under new situations.”
List of Reason for Job Change
I don’t like the company
Regardless of your situation, no employer wants to hear you complain and whine about the previous company that you worked for. A better example would be to answer, “In the 5 years that I have worked at XYZ Company, I have acquired many new skills and have overcome countless challenges. Recently, it became clear that my vision is growing at a far rapid speed and in this regard the vision of your company is much better aligned with me and I am excited to look into that.”
Low salary a Good Reason for Job Change
If your expenses have significantly increased. Your current job is not promoting you or giving increments then it is not uncommon to explore new opportunities, is one of the good reasons for job change. However, bluntly stating the obvious can be misunderstood by the interviewer.
A better statement would be like this, “I am always excited to work and tackle new challenges and I believe it’s important for one to be duly compensated for it. I would never undermine myself or sell myself short. I am excited to begin a new challenge, meet targets and celebrate when I have successfully manage my goals.”
My work hours are too much
It may be that your job leaves you with nothing to little time for family and friends. A proper work life balance is absolutely crucial. If you are being required to sit for long hours without any productive outcome then undoubtedly it is time to find a better job. When providing this reason for a job change, you don’t want to come across as lazy so it’s important how you formulate this answer.
“I value the time and dedication that I give to my job. My work is my commitment and I always hold that in high regard. I am looking for a company that will grant me the flexibility of planning my own schedule and deadlines.”
There are plenty of good reasons also to leave a job. Reasons that any new employer would be keen to hire. Working at a place for years and years can naturally install a desire to look for more challenges and explore new avenues.
Good reasons for leaving a job
Following are some good examples to look for a new job and these likely don’t require diplomatic explanations:
The case may be that your career has reached a stagnant point and the company structure won’t allow for any promotion or growth in the near future. Maybe all the slots senior to you are preoccupied and will not be vacated for years. In such scenarios it seems fit to switch jobs instead of waiting around.
You can easily explain this reason for leaving a job for saying something among the following lines:
“I am very grateful to have worked with my current company as I have grown by leaps and bounds there. I have reached a point though where I have reached stagnant growth and there are not many chances in the near future either. At your company I can see myself take on a new role at the level that I desire for myself.
If there is no valid reason for leaving a job and perhaps a new opportunity just seems like a better chance, then there is no harm in taking it. Perhaps your work environment and colleagues will be changing dramatically in the direction that you have always been seeking. Maybe the pay scale is just more at the new company or maybe you will just fit in better there. All these are reasonable and justified reasons for planning a switch.
“I have learned and grown so much at my previous job and I can see myself advancing even more professionally and personally at this position. It also seems like the right direction in which I want to take my career by developing new products, planning marketing themes, delivering to end users and achieving my sales targets.”
If you were let go or laid off
It is always better to be honest about your situation then indulge in white lies that will likely be exposed since every company takes references and will likely do follow up calls to your previous employer. While it is bitter to be laid off, in the long run things will likely head in the right direction for you.
Be careful while providing this information as your answer to reason for job change. There is no need to unnecessarily go into details, though some interviewers might grill or poke around for the answer. A good example to handle the situation would be,
“I can understand why my previous employer chose not to keep me while the company went through restructuring or now I have a better idea that the company’s vision had deviated from mine and the differences were mounting up. I have taken this time to rebuild my network, polish my skills, carefully analyze my expertise and search ways in which I can be more productive towards my career goals.”
The interviewer might still choose to follow up with questions regarding the situation and you should be prepared to deal with any further questioning with a calm, cool mind. Some things that might be asked can include if you tried to rectify the situation before you were let go, what was your initial response at that time, were you ever given warnings or faced any signs, or how do you plan on assuring that these things are never repeated at your future employment.
Remember that it’s ok to leave a job and look for new opportunities. It is unlikely that anyone will spend their entire career at one place especially since we human beings crave change. It would be wise to plan your answer beforehand and instead of dwelling on why you left, take the interviewer towards why you are the best possible person for the job that he has to offer.
Also check out our article on Job interview questions and answers