During the hiring process, one interview question candidates are almost guaranteed to face is, “Why are you leaving your current position?” Often, finding a solid answer that makes a positive impression is trickier than job seekers expect. As a result, preparation is often key.
If you’re wondering about the best ways to answer, “Why are you leaving your current position?” here’s what you need to know.
What to Avoid Saying When Answering, “Why Are You Leaving Your Current Position?”
While this interview question seems like an open invitation to complain about your most recent employer, badmouthing a company is never a smart move. The hiring manager will assume that you’d speak similarly about their company down the line, which usually decreases your odds of moving forward in the hiring process.
When answering, it’s also best not to focus on salary. While low pay is a justifiable reason to seek out new opportunities, talking about the money part of the equation may lead the hiring manager to assume you only care about pay, and that doesn’t work in your favor.
Finally, any answer that concentrates solely on what you’re trying to get away from – not what you’re hoping to capture with a new role – isn’t ideal. Even if you want to leave a bad situation, positioning your answer as a positive makes a better impression. For example, instead of stating there was poor work-life balance, discuss your desire for the flexible schedule or telecommuting options the prospective employer provides. That answer covers the same territory without skewing negative.
Good Reasons for Leaving Your Current Position to Share During an Interview
Some common reasons for leaving a job make positive impressions on most hiring managers. If the new role would be a promotion, mentioning your goal of securing more responsibility or growing professionally is an excellent reason to discuss in your answer.
Another solid choice is mentioning your need for a career change if the new position takes you in a different direction. You can back that up by discussing how the field aligns with your skills and passion, which will further resonate with hiring managers.
Exiting a job due to a layoff or restructuring also doesn’t hurt your chances during an interview. Most hiring managers understand that employees may end up leaving organizations due to downsizing, and that isn’t necessarily a reflection of a candidate’s capabilities. Just make sure to end by discussing what you look forward to in your next job.
Similarly, relocating to a new area makes finding a new role unavoidable in many cases, particularly if your current company can’t support long-distance telecommuting. If you’ve recently moved or are moving soon, you can be honest about that situation. Follow that up with a sentence or two expressing your excitement for what lies ahead, and you’ll typically be in good shape.
Ultimately, answering, “Why are you leaving your current position?” isn’t as challenging as it seems. Use the tips above to get moving in the right direction, increasing the odds that you’ll impress.
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If you’d like to find out more or are searching for a new job, The Advance Group wants to hear from you. Contact us today.