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Job Interviews: How to Answer Why You’re Leaving Your Old Job

October 10, 2016 | Career Blog

Job interviews are full of questions. You need to be prepared for common questions.

If you’re interviewing while you’re employed, one of the most frequently asked questions is “why are you leaving?” or “why are you looking for a new position?”

Remember to always answer this question, however it’s phrased, in a positive manner. Don’t ever answer in a way that puts your current employer in a bad light. If you’re leaving because of conditions you consider negative (long hours, pay that could be better, someone else got the promotion), there is a way to convey some of the reason while remaining neutral.

A raise in pay for new family responsibilities or to get a larger apartment, for example, is a very acceptable reason. You don’t want to stick around and watch the newly promoted person write the social media you wanted to create isn’t. A good all-purpose answer is that you’re leaving for greater use of your skills. Emphasize the positive reason, not the negative one.

And, wanting to leave for more reasonable hours? All well and good if that’s the case. But be careful of giving an impression to a prospective employer that you are not a hard worker. It could be you’ve heard through the grapevine that the new employer does, in fact, keep more reasonable hours. Don’t stress that in the job interview, though. A desire to spend quality time with family, or to pursue community service is a good way to approach this.

The rule of thumb is to stress the positive because any negative comment about your employer will lead prospective employers to believe that you will also make negative comments about them in the future. Leave and enter on a high note.

Please contact us for advice on your job search.