How to Answer the Question “What Are The Reasons Why You’re Leaving Your Job?”
It’s one of those tricky job interview questions that can put you in an awkward position. You’re not exactly sure how to answer it because you’re worried that you might give the wrong impression. But there’s a good reason why the interviewer should pose this question to you: “What are the reasons why you’re leaving your job?”
Your answer to this question will inform the hiring manager on your career goals, what are your long-term career plans, and what you value most that will give you job satisfaction. This will also help them to assess how you’ll handle challenges at work and what will keep you engaged to the company. It sounds like a simple question but as you can see, it carries a lot of weight to the hiring manager.
If you’re preparing for a job interview, you might want to consider how you plan to answer this question. Naturally, this will depend on the circumstances of your current employment. We listed some of the common reasons why an employee would leave their job. See what will apply to your situation and refer to the examples on how to answer the interviewer’s question regarding that matter.
1. Seeking better opportunities for career growth
This is usually the reason given by most employees who plan to leave their job and it’s perfectly understandable. Some companies are structured in such a way that there are simply no more available outlets for your career growth, whether horizontally in a different department or vertically via promotion. Perhaps it’s in the timing but if an opportunity for the position you really want presents itself in another organisation, then it’s worth pursuing.
Here’s how you can respond to the interviewer:
“As much as I’ve enjoyed working in ABC Company, I’ve reached a point where there are no growth opportunities available in my department. Can we discuss further on whether this job role has opportunities for career growth and does the company offer career development plans for their employees?”
2. Shifting to a new career path
Some employees want to explore various jobs in other industries throughout their career journey. Perhaps they’d like to focus on another skill and pursue a career that’s entirely different from their previous one.
If this is your experience, here’s how you can give this reason to the interviewer:
“Digital marketing is on the rise and I would like to shift towards this area. I am looking to expand my copywriting skills by focussing on content writing and SEO. But this opportunity isn’t available with my current employer.”
3. Better benefits, incentives, and corporate values
Perhaps you’ve found a better opportunity in another company that offers a higher salary, extra benefits that are more suited to your needs, a better schedule to achieve work-life balance, a more convenient location, a better working environment, or their values are aligned with yours. All these factors are valid reasons for you to leave if you’ve found another organisation that provides better benefits.
Here’s an example of how to explain this to the interviewer:
“Based on what I’ve read about your company and the values that you stand for, I believe that the job opportunity that you’re offering is very much aligned with my career goals. The attractive benefits that come with the role – flexible work schedules and easier access to my daily commute – will enable me to manage my time more efficiently to help me achieve work-life balance.”
4. You were let go or laid off
If you’re in this situation, being asked about why you’re searching for new employment can make you feel anxious. To prepare yourself, always remember to remain honest about what happened without mentioning unnecessary details. Choose your words carefully: as much as possible, don’t say you were “fired”. Steer the interview towards what you’ve learned, how you’ve improved, and why your qualifications make you the best candidate for the job.
Here are examples of how to respond:
• If you were let go by your previous employer:
“My former employer and I had different views in terms of achieving successful outcomes in my job role. I’ve had time to learn from what I experienced and I have made efforts to address my shortcomings. The opportunity you’re offering is aligned to my capabilities and qualifications. I am eager to use my skills and newfound learnings with a higher level of maturity in my next role.”
• If you were laid off from work:
“In my previous employment, there was a global directive to restructure the organisation and reduce the staff by 10%. Unfortunately, I was included in the retrenchment. Since then, I’ve been focussing my efforts to expand my skills by learning more about digital marketing and taking on freelance work that has allowed me to explore this new path. I am excited to continue my career journey through the role that you’re offering. It’s in line with what I’ve been working on previously and it will also provide an avenue for career growth in the field that I’m currently interested in.”
In summary, stay truthful whilst relating the positive points about your reasons for leaving your previous employment. Throughout the interview, especially with regard to that question, you must avoid badmouthing your former employer – whether it’s your boss or your colleagues. Present yourself to the hiring manager that you’ve taken initiatives to improve yourself so you’ll be a better fit for the role they’re offering.
The Talent Consultants can provide career growth opportunities to job seekers by connecting them to industry-leading multinational companies. Our recruitment process outsourcing in Vietnam enables employers and hiring managers to access our wider pool of highly skilled talent from the Southeast Asian region.
If you’re looking for new employment opportunities, visit our job vacancies page or submit your resume to our candidates page. If your company requires expertise in talent staffing and recruiting services, contact us on +84 28 7309 7991 or book your free consultation here.