Why Do You Want to Leave Your Current Job?

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Why Do You Want to Leave Your Current Job?

why do you want to leave your jobDoes the thought of being asked by a recruiter why you want to leave your current job make you cringe? You’re not alone. Many surveys have shown that this question is one of the most over-thought questions candidates stew over before an interview.

Option 1

Be honest and say that your job stinks and your boss is a monster; however, this answer might not get you the outcome you’re hoping for. Even though honesty is almost always the best policy, there’s ways you can maneuver around this question without lying.

Option 2

When asked about why you want to leave your current job, it’s time to re-frame the question. The goal here is to have a response that swivels the response from why you want to leave to where you envision yourself in the future.

For example, you could respond I am happy in my current position but I am looking for “xyx” and that is what this new job opportunity could provide.

Let’s use Ruby as example. Ruby was an Administrative Assistant at a busy law firm before the fall of the economy in 2007. She went back to school and got her Paralegal diploma. She landed a position at an esteemed law firm that she had always admired. The pay wasn’t great but she’d always dreamed of working at this particular firm.

Ruby is the type of person who likes consistent feedback and she likes a variety of work. She also needs to make more money as she has three young children she looks after alone. Even though, in the beginning, she loved her job, she needs to make a higher income.

How could Ruby respond when asked about why she wants to leave her job?

  • I love working at XYZ Law Firm, but what I really want is a position where I get recognition for my work, where I can work in a variety of practice areas and make enough money to look after my family. Can you tell me more about the position?
  • I currently make $XYZ; however I am a very ambitious individual who is focused on where I want to go, and your opportunity seems to meet my criteria. Can I ask you some questions about what projects I’d be working on?

Ruby took control of the question. She pivoted the question and used it as a way to pose a question back. Don’t fret over this question during your job interviews. Plan accordingly and prepare you answers.


About Samantha Collier

Samantha Collier is a well-respected social media specialist in the Canadian legal realm. An experienced practitioner of online social networking, Samantha also has experience working in-house in business development for a national IP firm, but has worked in marketing and client acquisition for over 13 years.

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