How to answer “Why are you leaving your present job?” in an interview

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Written by, Shyamala Mani | Shyamala is a freelance blogger and a budding web developer. Find her on LinkedIn here.

When it comes to addressing this question, the most common and obvious reasons could be salary expectations, being part of a company that is growing better and the necessity to remain wanted in the market. Yes, some people keep switching companies in regular intervals, as they believe that staying in the same company is equivalent to a stagnant career and switching means they are growing and earning more. So, whatever be the reason, let’s learn some tips on how you can handle this question while also making yourself stand out from the crowd.

Tip 1 💡– Try not to sound defensive

It is quite natural for us to get defensive when someone questions our motive or the details of why we aren’t satisfied with the previous job, especially if you face the question unprepared. And that is exactly where we need to be careful in this query, because we shouldn’t let off any negative vibes during the interview.

Tip 2 💡– Keep your response largely positive

Think of explanations that you could relate to and what you would look forward to have in your new job that was exhausted or didn’t fit in your aspirations, as you grew in your old job. So focus your mentions on professional growth, wanting a change in career direction, and the like.

Tip 3 💡– Steer clear of office politics

You should clearly avoid mentioning any such incident that would leave an unpleasant atmosphere in the interview. Complaining about office politics will make the interviewer feel that you might be naïve for not being able to handle such things and any office is bound to have all kinds of people as there are always new people coming in and some people moving out. So the interviewer might even cross question you on whether you would leave the job if you are faced by such instances in the new job.

Tip 4 💡– Mention rational and easy to understand reasons

Balanced reasons which are acceptable like the below work well.

  • You are looking for fresh challenges at work.
  • The company went out of business.
  • The company is restructuring or is undergoing a merger/acquisition.
  • Your job duties have been reduced or outsourced.
On the whole, you should prepare a list for yourself with the reasons why you are going to switch jobs and then arrange them based on priority, so that it gives you the direction of your career approach and makes you answer this question clearly. If you do so, it will also prevent your soon-to-be managers from raising more doubts on this subject.

✅ Always remember to keep the reasons consistent in your exit interview of old company and the job interview of new company.

This will help in avoiding any uncertainties if the hiring company does a background check.
In the end, there are always people who love and people who hate their current jobs, for various reasons. Yet in any interview, you would be liked for being straightforward while not showing negativity or spite about your old job, as that shows that you have got good ethics and the interviewer will get the impression that there is nothing wrong with you in the first place.

Not having success in interviews?

You can attend mock interviews by working professionals

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