How to Describe The Reason for Leaving a Job During an Interview?

Congratulations! You are selected. Everyone wants to hear this after an interview but do you know one wrong answer can cost you your dream job. 

Why are you leaving your current job?

What was the reason you left your job?

This is the most important question asked during the interview. Yes! This is complicated to answer, and how effectively you respond could determine whether or not you get the job.

Everyone has their own story. Someone left the job because of the poor stipend. Someone left because they don’t get better opportunities. Someone left the job because of the working culture and so on. The reason for leaving a job should be such that it can lead you to your dream job.

Why did the Interviewer Ask “Why Did You Leave Your Job”

Interviewer can ask this question to find out the following information:

  • Whether you were fired: The first reason the interviewer asks this question to you is to get to know whether you were fired from your last job or you left on your own. In case you were fired, it will have a negative impact on the interviewer even if you were fired unfairly.
  • Whether you’re responsible: Interviewer wants to know if you left the job for the right reason and if you are responsible for the job change. If you left your job because you surpassed it or were underappreciated, it shows that you want to take on more duties and tasks. Interviewers may also attempt to determine if you were truly underperforming.
  • Your relations with your company: Interviewer wants to know how your relations with your last company. They want to know why you left your previous work, in case the reason you left is relevant to the organization you’re applying for. If you maintain positive relations with your former employees then it reflects positively on professionalism.

How to Answer the Question “What is the Reason for Leaving A Job?” 

  • Get Straight to the Point: Don’t mess up with your words and do not complicate your sentences. Directly come to the point instead of saying long stories try to complete it in a sentence or 2. Keep it short and reasonable. Doing so will make the interviewer ask you another question.
  • Be Honest: Do not lie at the time of interview because in case the company may contact your previous company to confirm the details you’ve provided. So, be truthful in your response. Explain the situation honestly while remaining respectful of your company.
  • Show your positive attitude: Even if you had a bad experience in your last job, try to show the positive aspects. Do not mention bad experiences and quarrels from the past.

Try to display work past experiences and opportunities, skills you’ve gained, and good time with your team.

  • Prepare yourself for the follow-up questions: Based on your reason the interviewer may ask follow up questions, so do not hesitate to answer. Be ready and calm to face those.

For example, if you change your job because you’re not getting better opportunities, there is a possibility that the interviewer will ask about the opportunities you expected.  

Top 3 Reasons You Can Mention

Here are some top reasons you can give to your interviewer:

  • When you hate your company: As previously mentioned you don’t have to be negative in any sense.

“My previous company helped me develop interpersonal skills and professional skills, and even provide me better opportunities but I realized that I was meant to work in a different field. I want to use my abilities to make a bigger difference in the world.”

  • When you want a higher stipend: Everyone wants to earn better in their career. When you’re leaving because of your perks you can say such

“I loved to work in the sales department and the client’s happiness encouraged me to go above and beyond. Working in your company as a sales manager would allow me to attain my financial objectives while selling services I enjoy.”

  • When you Don’t Like the Working Hours: If you’re leaving the job because of the unsuitable working timings  and you want to convey this to the interviewer you should frame a sentence as such:

“I always try to make a balance between my professional life and personal life. I’ve always wanted to work for a company that values its employees’ time and offers work-hour flexibility to enable them to achieve their professional obligations on time.”

Key Takeaways

  • The interviewer asks this question to know whether you’re fired, whether you’re responsible, or whether you have positive relationships with your former colleagues.
  • Points to keep in mind while answering this question are to be honest, be positive, be prepared for the follow-up questions, and come straight to the point.
  • Using formal language will make you look professional and show your positive attitude towards your former company.