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Why are you leaving your current role?

On26/ 05 /17


In most interviews, you’ll be asked why you’re thinking of leaving or why you left your last role.

How you shape your answer will depend on your circumstances. After all, reasons for leaving a position can vary enormously. 

For some this question will be straightforward to answer. For example your contract role ended or you’re relocating. For others, your circumstances may require a little more explanation. For example, if you left a position after just a few months. However, the golden rule is to remain professional and positive. 

Why does the interviewer want to know? 


The interviewer can glean quite a lot about you from your response to this question. They will be given clues as to how motivated you are by the role they are offering, your attitude to work and your values.

Primarily, they will want to establish whether you have a valid reason for leaving to ensure that you’re responsible and trustworthy. They’ll also want to gauge whether you left on good terms, as an indication of how well you work with others.

Your answer can also tell them how ambitious you are and whether you are focused on your career or other priorities.

Focus on the opportunity

The key to answering this question effectively is to focus on the opportunity that the role offers. This will allow you to frame your response positively.

You can use this question to convey your excitement for the position and to show what you’ve learned about the company in your research. Equally you can reiterate your strengths and how you believe these apply to the role.

A good example is: “This role really interests me because it involves x, this is an area that I’d be excited to be involved in and is a good fit for my skills.”

Talk about you what you learned

If you talk about what you found valuable and learned from a current or previous role, it shows positivity and your desire to develop.

For example, “In my 3 years at x company, I’ve learnt an enormous amount from the sales team. This has helped me to develop and I now feel ready for a new challenge.”

Don’t criticise your previous company or manager

However valid your reasons, if you are immediately negative about current or past roles, it may make you seem difficult to work with and manage. 

You want to give your interviewer the impression that they need to woo you away from your current employer rather than help you escape from a bad boss or job.

So resist the temptation to list all your pain points and focus on your desire to develop and move forward instead.

Facing the negatives


In some situations, it will be necessary to explain a negative situation, such as redundancy. 

The best approach here is to describe the situation succinctly and then move back to the opportunity. Even if you were dismissed, keep you answer brief and factual then move on to your skills and why you’re the right fit for the job.

Sample Answers


1. Move on and progress.

“I have been in my current role for 4 years now, in which time I have worked my way up to manager level, consistently hitting sales targets. I have learnt a huge amount from some great people and now feel ready to take on a new challenge. This position seemed like an excellent match for my skills.” 

2. Feeling undervalued

“I am looking to take on more responsibility and develop my career. I would like to work somewhere where I can fully utilise my skills and experience to make a direct contribution to the company’s success”.

3. Short time in role

“I wasn't considering a move, but I saw this job posting and was intrigued by the position and the company. It sounds like an exciting opportunity and an ideal match for my skills and experience.”

If you’re on the hunt for your next role, get in touch with the team at Bucks and Berks. We have years of experience in finding the right roles for our candidates.

Next month, we'll offer advice on how to answer the question "why should we hire you?"
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