“Why do you want to leave your current job?”
“Why did you quit your previous job?”
Recently, I’ve been conducting a lot of interviews on why should you be hired for this role, and this topic: Job Leaving Reasons (and its variations) seems to be a sticking point. I’ve learned to pay close attention because the responses reveal more than some job hopefuls are aware of. Job candidates can find themselves in the hot seat during some interview questions.
One of the most valid questions to ask is about the reasons for leaving a job. It’s not as terrifying to be asked, “What is your greatest weakness?” yet it’s still difficult to answer.
Whatever the case may be, you must be ready to respond to questions about your resignation in a way that will make you look good. Your response must be honest and sincere, but it must also demonstrate who you will be as a valuable prospective employee.
The last thing you should do is disparage your former workplace, for instance, if you left due to what you perceived as toxic leadership.
It’s crucial to prepare for this question before a job interview because it will affect the impression you make on your (potential) future employer.
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Why do interviewers always ask candidates “Why did you leave your job?”
A good predictor of how you’ll perform in a future organization is how well you performed in the previous organization. Who can blame recruiters for trying to hire the best candidate, given how expensive it is to replace an employee?
As a result, they inquire extensively about your prior experiences, including “why did you leave your last job?”
With this inquiry, recruiters are attempting to ascertain three things:
They want to know first of all if you were fired and if so, why. After all, the majority of recruiters view being dismissed as a major red signal (even if you got fired unjustly).
Second, they want to know why you left your previous position in case the reason is relevant to the organization you’re applying to as well.
Thirdly, they want to know what you are looking for in a job and your career goals.
Below are some major reasons for Leaving a Job:
1. The Job is not aligned with Career Goals:
Even if you loved your job, you might have found that it didn’t fit your career objectives. Perhaps you suddenly decided that day that you wanted to become an HR professional (as opposed to being a sales professional).
Another possibility is that you learned everything you could from your existing position and simply stopped developing professionally.
In any event, here’s how to disclose this reason for quitting your employment to the recruiter:
I believed the position didn’t fit my professional goals. I made the decision to pursue a career in human resources, however, the position I held was in the sales industry.
2. Unfairly denied a promotion:
For years, you put in a lot of effort, met or surpassed KPIs, and took the initiative to lead projects. But when it was time, you didn’t receive the position.
Maybe they promoted someone who wasn’t as qualified as you or hired someone from outside the company. Whatever the circumstance, it is a 100 percent legitimate cause to wish to change jobs.
In this case, when the interviewer inquires “why did you leave your last job?” give the following answer:
Over the course of my five years there, I excelled at my previous job, met all the KPIs, and successfully and on schedule finished Project X. Despite everything, I wasn’t given the managerial role, which I found to be incredibly disappointing.
3. For better Opportunities:
A legitimate reason to quit your work is that you received a better offer from another organization.
You can use this as an excuse when asked “why did you quit your job” during an interview, whether they offered a better income, additional benefits, or simply a better working environment.
As for the actual response, stick with something concise.
Example: I left Company X because Company Y gave me a better job.
4. Your relationship with your new boss or supervisor is strained:
The greatest boss I’ve ever worked for was yours.
They trusted you to oversee your work because you had good leadership qualities, were personable, and were empathetic.
However, they later left and were replaced by someone entirely different. Your new boss is generally unpleasant to deal with, has a tendency to lose his temper too readily, and micromanages all of your assignments.
You’ve thus decided to change jobs. Life is too short to work with terrible co-workers, therefore we don’t blame you!
When questioned about leaving your work in an interview, you can respond as follows in this situation:
The work climate was just different once my supervisor left the organization. I didn’t enjoy their replacement’s position very much because they were a little too micromanaging.
5. The Job Didn’t Match Your Expectations:
You come across an advertisement for the PERFECT job; it’s demanding, fascinating, offers a competitive salary and fantastic benefits, and the like. However, as soon as you begin working there, you discover that not everything is as you had anticipated.
The projects you’re working on are unconnected to your professional path, boring, and not exciting at all. The culture of the organization is simply… not it, and the supervisor is micromanaging you at every turn.
This is also a worthy reason to leave your job. In that case, respond to the interview question as follows:
Actually, the position didn’t fit the job description. I was hoping to work as a React developer (the talent I wanted to learn), but it turned out that I had to work with a framework that had nothing to do with my intended career path.
6. You had personal issues to deal with.
Family, mind & body or occupational health and safety are always put before business.
It’s very acceptable if you had to take some time out of work due to a personal emergency. If that was the reason you left your job, provide the following response to the interviewer:
Example: I had to care for my mother full-time for a few months due to a family emergency.
7. You’re Overqualified for the Job:
Let’s say you’re THE ideal salesperson:
• You close each subsequent sales call that you have.
• It’s been years since you missed a sales KPI.
• You frequently appeared on the list of Employee of the Month in your prior positions…
However, the position you just started doesn’t make use of your abilities.
Instead, you’re warming up leads for other salespeople while seated in the backseat (instead of doing what you do best). If leaving a job, for this reason, isn’t a good cause, we’re not sure what is.
Is this true for you? Also, you can ask the interviewer:
My expectations for the position weren’t fully met, and I feel that I was both vastly overqualified and underutilized. I was given the responsibility of warming up prospects for sales personnel who weren’t as qualified to close them instead of concentrating on what I’m good at, cold, outbound sales, which resulted in many missed sales for the company.
8. Changes in Company Dynamics (in a Negative Way):
It was my dream company when I started working there, but things weren’t the same after it merged with another business. A new management team took over after the merger and fundamentally altered the corporate culture, which had a significant impact on the lives & well being of the employees.
In that case, respond to the interview question as follows:
After the new management took over, the company became incredibly autocratic, which I personally didn’t enjoy.
9. You desire a different work environment:
There are several reasons you might desire to look for a change in the type of employment, including:
• You recently had a child and want to freelance or work from home.
• You want to convert to a part-time schedule so you can have more spare time to learn new skills.
• You’re looking for remote work because you wish to relocate to a foreign country.
If you left your previous employment for that reason, you can respond to the interviewer as follows:
Example: I intended to relocate to my home location, so I sought a job with a remote work option.
10. You Were Laid Off:
Yes, it is acceptable, to be honest about this.
Layoffs do occur, and they frequently occur for reasons beyond your control.
Maybe an owner decided to downsize after buying your company. Or perhaps external reasons caused a major decline in the company’s revenue, forcing them to make cost reductions.
It’s acceptable to disclose it to the interviewer in any case. How to respond to the interviewer is as follows:
Since the company didn’t have any opportunities in other projects after the project I was working on was canceled, they were forced to let me leave. Having said that, I’m still close with Company X’s management, and if you’d like, I can give you a reference.
11. You Were Fired
Okay, so this one is a little more difficult than the others.
Getting fired is acceptable, let’s get it out of the way. Many people have experienced job loss.
Sometimes you lose your job for no fault of your own because the boss didn’t like you or the demands of your position were too high.
Even if that’s not the case, you may still provide a strong case for why your next employer should hire you as long as you learn from your errors and the lessons you encountered at the business that dismissed you.
But lying about your termination is not acceptable (or about being fired in the first place).