How to answer “why do you want to leave your current job?”
1. To learn more
2. To take on more responsibility
3. Willing to relocate
4. Desire to commute less to work
5. You are looking for new challenges
6. You want to take a break from frequent travel away from the city
7. Your contract will expire soon

How NOT to answer “why do you want to leave your current job?”
1. Avoid mentioning office politics as a reason
2. Avoid mentioning troubles with the boss
3. Assigning unrealistic deadlines/ targets
4. Avoid being negative altogether

In almost every job interview, recruiters have asked “Why do you want to leave your current job?”

This frequented job interview question is asked to assess whether you are a flight-risk or someone who will stick around and align yourself with the company’s mission.

How you answer this job interview question can make or break your chance at bagging the job.

Here are a few ways you can answer “Why do you want to leave your last job?”

How to answer “why do you want to leave your current job?”

1. To learn more

You can say that you have saturated the learning experience in the current company and want to learn more.

This will point out that you are willing to work hard, learn, and help the XYZ Company to grow more.

Sample answer

“I have been working with a great team in the company for the past 3 years. They have helped me a lot in learning the basics since I had joined as a fresher.

However, I feel like I have reached the optimum point of learning here, and would like to take a step ahead to learn the intricacies and more complex aspects of my field.

I have read and heard of the amazing talents that your company has recruited over time and it would be a privilege for me to learn from them.”

2. To take on more responsibility

To answer such a job interview question, you can point out that you are willing to take up more responsibilities.

This will show that you are ambitious and focused.

Sample answer

“I have had a great learning experience in this organization.

However, the reason for switching jobs is that I want to take up new responsibilities that the organization is being unable to provide me with.

I have read and heard a lot about XYZ Company and it would be a great opportunity for me to work here and learn with the new responsibilities that will be provided.”

3. Willing to relocate

Many professionals want to relocate to their home city/ town after staying away from their families for a long time.

So, for such people switching jobs becomes a requirement.

Sample answer

“ I have been working in Pune for almost 6 years now. I am looking to return to my hometown since my parents need attention and I need to take care of them.

Although my current organization is a great place to work in, it does not have a branch in my hometown where they could transfer me.

The job profile offered has great scope of learning for me and I am sure that I can also add value to the team.”

4. Desire to commute less to work

The extensive daily commute to work is a serious problem in India.

It not only takes away your time but also drains you before even reaching office, affecting your productivity and health naturally.

Sample answer

“The company where I am working currently is a great organization. I have no complaints about it.

The only reason why I am looking for a change is that the distance from work to my current organization is quite a lot and my health is getting affected.

Also, the job profile that you offered is a great opportunity for me to learn and challenge myself further, and being close to my place I will also be able to focus more on the work.

Also Read: 12 Ways to Make Commuting to Work Productive.

5. You are looking for new challenges

Every employee must know when he/she starts feeling less challenged at work. That is the best time to switch jobs to meet fresh challenges.

Sample answer

“Honestly, I had the opportunity to work with the most amazing team and colleagues possible.

Not only did they treat me like an equal despite being a fresher, but they also helped me learn and guided me whenever I required a little help.

But after working there for 3 years now, I am looking forward to a fresh set of challenges and the job profile offered by you seems perfect.

It would help me to push my limits and get out of my comfort zone and I am sure I will be able to add value to the team as well.”

6. You want to take a break from frequent travel away from the city

There are many job profiles where a lot of travelling is involved, both within and outside the country. It can be quite overbearing for some.

So, it is only natural to look for a job with lesser travel and you can also say the same when asked “why do you want to leave your current job?”

Sample answers

“Although travelling and meeting clients is a great experience, but I need to slow it down by a notch.

I have been travelling on and off every week with hardly a day to spend with my parents.

So, I would like to slow it down a little to bring balance to my work and personal life.

Or,

“ We have just started our family, but with frequent travel every week, it is becoming a little difficult to take care of them.

So, I am looking for a switch where a little less travelling will be involved and I can also be around my family.

The profile offered by your company is perfect and I know I will be able to add value to the team if given the opportunity.”

7. Your contract will expire soon

It is common for some companies to hire employees on a contractual basis. So, you can cite it for a reason to switch jobs for a more permanent one when answering.

Sample answer

“Working with my current organization has been a great experience.

However, I am looking for something more permanent and secured since my contract is soon to be expiring.

I believe I have the required skill set that is required for the job role you have offered.

I am sure that I can add value to the team and also learn in the process.”

How NOT to answer “why do you want to leave your current job?”

Whatever the situation had been, it is unwise to bad-mouth your previous company. Doing so will only leave a negative impact on your recruiter.

So, to avoid it, here are a few things you must never utter when asked “why do you want to leave your current job?”

1. Avoid mentioning office politics as a reason

It is a given that almost every organization has politics. However, leaving an organization because of it might render you as an escapist, incapable, or even worse a quitter.

Trust me, you wouldn’t want to give that impression to your current recruiter.

2. Avoid mentioning troubles with the boss

It is best to not mention your troubles with him/her.

There is a chance that your recruiter will not be able to trust you if you go around bad-mouthing your boss to the world.

3. Assigning unrealistic deadlines/ targets

Mentioning deadlines and targets as a reason to switch will be a silly mistake on your front. Your recruiter might think of you as a slacker if you do so.

4. Avoid being negative altogether

You should look deeper and find a point worth putting forward when asked, “Why do you want to leave your current job?” instead of citing issues like working with a bad boss, etc.

It is best to prioritize the positive aspects of switching jobs when asked in a job interview question.

Given that we now know what NOT to say, here are a few ways you can answer “why do you want to leave your current job?”

So, the most important takeaway is do NOT badmouth your current company in front of your recruiter and always give a positive answer while answering “Why do you want to leave your current job?”

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