Lewis Walsh

How to answer why you're leaving your current role explained

One of the most frequently asked questions by potential new employers that most candidates are never sure how to answer is the dreaded ‘Why do you want to leave your current role?’ Employers and hiring staff are naturally curious, and you want to be honest in an interview, but how you answer this could be the deciding factor as to whether you are invited back or offered the position. With a little know how and preparation, you can tackle this question with ease.

Easier Explanations as to why you want to leave include:

“How to answer the dreaded "Why are you looking to leave your current role?" question explained. “

You want a promotion

You’re looking to take on less responsibility


You want a career change

Company reorganisation has led to dissatisfaction within the work place or worry over job security

You would like a shorter commute

Looking to improve your work/life balance

Harder reasons as to why you want to leave your current role:

You want more money.

This is a completely normal reason as to why you are looking for a new job, especially if you feel you are being bypassed for pay rises etc., but it can be a bit of a touchy subject, especially on a first meeting. With a few choice words, you can imply your reason without actually saying it:

 “I’ve had a really great opportunity to grow on my existing skills within my role and develop some new skills in data reporting and interpretation to coming up with new campaign ideas. I’ve really enjoyed working as part of a team and contributing, but I’m ready to join a company that will allow me to utilise these skills more.”

You don’t get on with your boss.

You have a personality clash with your boss, and you just don’t get on, but this is also one of the toughest reasons for wanting to leave. You need to keep your answer as neutral as possible and not be negative about them which may be hard due to the bad feeling that is already there.  The best way to answer in if this is your situation is answer this as quickly, and as concisely as you can in order to move on. To help keep your answer positive, try and mention something that you liked about the company:

“The leadership within my team was heading in a different direction, and I’m interested in working in a more collaborative environment. It was a hard decision to make as I love the company’s mission and values, but I feel this is the right choice.”

You hate your job.

There is nothing about your current job that makes you want to get up in the morning and interact. You get no enjoyment working at all and it is becoming a real struggle. Remember that is may not have always been like that so again try and find a positive from this.

“Upon starting this role, I didn’t take the time to learn more about the company and their values, and it has become clear that I’m not a good cultural fit. I would like to be in a role with a company where I can make more of an impact.”

Things to Avoid:

No matter how bad the reason as to why you are seeking a new role, it is better to try and keep positive with your answers. Badmouthing colleagues, the company, or mentioning personality clashes may make your potential new employer wonder if this will happen to them if you join them. Stating that you are leaving due to personal reasons can also have a similar effect so it is important to be as honest as you can in a positive way. It is all down to choice of words you use.  

Try to...

Stay as positive as you can in your response, take the opportunity to share what you have researched and learnt about the company, and promote yourself and how your previous experiences and strengths are a strong match for the company. If you cannot find a positive from your reason, then keep you answers as short as you can so that you can move on quickly.

About Zenopa

Here at Zenopa our consultants are on hand to offer you support and guidance when it comes to preparing for an interview, whether it be the first or final stage. We can offer you advice on the best way to tackle some of the most frequently asked questions that come up, and the choice of language to use to help you get that step closer to securing your dream job.

If you would like to find out more about how we can help you, please call the team on +44 (0)1494 818 000 or email enquiries@zenopa.com.

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