Why are you leaving your current role? Why did you resign from your last job? These are some questions that interviewers ask because they wish to know your reasons for leaving a job.
However, these questions seem to be a stumbling block for some candidates. No wonder some questions have a way of putting applicants/ job seekers in the hot seat!
While this question is not as dreaded as the classic ‘What is your weakness?’ question, it is undoubtedly tricky to answer.
Whatever your reasons for leaving a job are, you need to prepare for the question in a way that reflects positively on you. Your answer needs to be forthright & genuine.
For instance, if you left because of a toxic leadership or environment, don’t badmouth your previous employer EVER. Just give the truth & nothing else! Otherwise it can reduce your chances of getting hired!
So, preparing for this question before the interview is vital as it determines what kind of impression you’ll give your future employer.
Today we will discuss the reasons for leaving a job & how to say it in an interview. Thus, let us begin!
Reasons For Leaving A Job: An Insight
There are plenty of reasons for leaving a job. They range from poor management to inadequate pay, inflexible work hours, etc. With many people leaving their jobs, many of them are contemplating that it’s time to make a career change.
According to a McKinsey survey, over 40% of workers worldwide are considering leaving their jobs soon.
So, here are the top reasons for leaving a job. Have a look!
- The Job Didn’t Align With Your Career Goals
Even if you loved working in your previous job, you might have discovered that it just didn’t align with your career goals.
For instance, maybe one day you woke up & decided that you wished to be a C++ programmer instead of a web developer. Or perhaps you learned everything you could from your current role & stopped growing in your professional life.
Whatever the case is, here’s how you can communicate it:
I feel like the job didn’t align with my career aspirations. I have decided that I wish to work as a C++ developer instead of a web developer. This is why I am resigning from my current role.
- You Didn’t Get Promotion
You worked so hard for years, took care of every project, & yet didn’t get promoted.
Maybe the company hired someone externally or promoted someone who wasn’t even qualified as you are.
Whatever the situation might be, it is one of the most valid reasons for leaving a job.
In such a situation, if the interviewer asks your reason for leaving, answer like this:
I excelled at my previous job, achieved all KPIs, & managed to complete projects on time over the last five years. However, despite it, I didn’t get promoted to a senior level which I found very demotivating.
- You Got A Better Deal
Leaving a company because you got a better deal is another valid reason for resigning.
Whether they offered a better salary, benefits, or a congenial working environment, you can use this as a reason for leaving your job.
Here’s how to communicate it to the company:
I left company X as company Y offered me better compensation & benefits and a higher position.
- You Are Seeking Different Work Arrangements
There are numerous reasons why you might want to look for a different work arrangement:
- You have a kid & wish to work from home on a freelance basis.
- You want to have flexible working hours & free time so that you can acquire new skills & competencies.
- Maybe you are moving to a different country & this is why you are looking for a remote job.
Answer the question in an interview like this:
I wanted to move to the US. This is why I was looking for a job that offered me the option of working from home.
- You Aren’t Getting Along With Your New Boss
You had the most amazing boss ever! They were charismatic, compassionate, & had amazing leadership skills. In addition, they trusted you to manage your work easily.
But then they quit & were replaced by someone completely opposite.
Your new boss is short-tempered, micromanages your work, & is generally not pleasant to work with.
Thus, you decided to switch/ change jobs!
Well, we don’t blame you – life is too short to work with unpleasant coworkers/ bosses.
Answer like this in such a situation:
When my boss left the company, the work environment was not the same as it was earlier. The replacement was a bit micromanaging, which I dislike in a job.
- You Have Some Personal Issues
Family & health always comes before work. If you had a personal emergency & had to quit your job for some time, it’s totally acceptable!
If this is the reason, here’s how you must communicate it to the interviewer:
I had a family emergency & had to take care of my mother full-time for some months.
- You Are Overqualified
Suppose you are the perfect sales guy:
- You close every sale call you to get on.
- You haven’t missed sales KPI in years.
- In your previous roles, you were always Employee of the Month.
But the job you recently started doesn’t take advantage of your skills.
Instead, you sit in the back seat, warming up the leads for other sales staff. Well, if this isn’t a good reason to leave, we don’t know what is!
Are you in a similar situation? Here’s what you can say:
The role didn’t exactly match my expectations & I believe that I was significantly overqualified and underutilized. Rather than focusing on my qualities (outbound sales), I was tasked with warming up the sales staff’s leads. This led to many missed sales in the company.
- The Dynamics Of The Company Changed
Like people, organizations also tend to change over time.
It might be possible that you were working in your dream company, but things weren’t the same after it merged with another organization!
It can also happen that a new management team stepped in & completely changed the company culture.
Whichever situation you are in, answer the question like this:
The organization/ company turned out to be autocratic after the new management took over. However, I didn’t get along with them!
- The Job Didn’t Match Your Expectations
Another one of the vital reasons for leaving a job is that your present job doesn’t match your expectations.
You find an advertisement for a PERFECT job – it’s challenging, has competitive pay, offers amazing benefits, etc.
But as you begin working there, you realize that not everything is as you have imagined.
The tasks you are working on are straight-right tedious and unrelated to your career path.
Moreover, your boss is micromanaging you at every step & the company culture is …. just not it!
In such a case, you can answer in the following way:
The job didn’t actually match the job description. I was expecting to work as a React developer, but the management instead got me working with an obscure framework, which is not related to my career path.
- You Were Fired
Okay – This is one of the toughest reasons!
Let’s start off by saying this: Getting fired is OKAY. A lot of individuals out there have got fired.
However, there are cases where you are fired when it’s not even your fault – the manager didn’t like you or the job role expectations were incredibly high!
Well, if that’s not the case, as long as you learn from your mistakes & from your experiences from the company that fired you – you can still make a compelling case for why your next employer must hire you!
However, it is NOT OKAY to lie about why you were fired. Tell the truth!
So, here’s how you can tell the interviewer:
I was fired because of my mismatch between the job role & my understanding of it. I expected the role to be focused on illustrations, but I ended up doing a lot of UI/ UX work. Well, it was not what I intended to do with my career. As a result, I underperformed in my role & the management didn’t really like my output!
Irrespective of the reasons for leaving a job, it is vital to be as honest as possible. However, the best thing to do is prepare because interviewers will definitely ask this question from you!
For this, firstly, you must list out the reasons and narrow down the ones that are professional in nature. Do this to frame your decision to leave in a positive light. In addition, you must also try to avoid leading with personal reasons or some negative experience you have had. But if there’s no other choice, be honest & don’t go into much detail.
Navigating a career change on your own isn’t easy. You might not know sometimes what is good for you or in which direction you are heading. But if you have decided to leave your job, don’t forget to know your primary reason & then prepare to answer this question!
Also Read: Career Planning & Goal Roadmapping