What to Say in an Interview About Why You Want Another Job or Environment

Talk about your long-term career goals.

Talk about your long-term career goals.

Most standard job interviews ask you why you want to leave your current employer. The question is designed to help the hiring manager figure out if you dislike your manager or have problems working with your colleagues. Employers are trying to gauge how you see your current position and if you're someone who might be difficult to please in any role. It's also a way to way to measure how professional you are in the way you talk about your past and present colleagues.

Professional Challenges

Tell an interviewer you want to leave your current job because you're interested in the professional challenges the new position offers. This is a great place to talk up everything you like about the job you're seeking. Just make sure you don't come across as someone who gets easily bored and wants to quickly move on to the next challenge. For example, “As much as I've enjoyed my current job, I really love the new technology your company is using to advance the way people communicate. I'd love to be in a position to take things to the next level and really be part of the cutting edge of communication technology.”

Respect for the Company

Saying you want the new job because you admire the company and its product or services is a good way to answer the question, as well as emphasize how highly you think of the business. “I've always been a fan of your innovative advertising campaigns, and the possibility of being involved in future initiatives is just too exciting an opportunity to pass up. This company is known for being a leader in developing effective branding strategies and I'd really like to be part of its future.”

Maxed Out Potential

If you’ve reached the top of the food chain at your current company, it's okay to admit it in a job interview, provided you don't look like an aggressive corporate ladder climber. “I've been with my current employer for 10 years, and I've had a lot of great opportunities. Unfortunately, the size of the company really limits growth potential beyond my current position. I’d like to establish myself in a professional role that gives me an opportunity to grow and advance in my profession.”

New Location

Young up-and-coming professionals often make multiple moves during the early years of their careers. Admitting that you're attracted to a new geographic location or that you're following a spouse to an exciting new job opportunity is a viable response to this interview question. “My husband was offered a great new position in the area. I've always wanted to live near the ocean, and I think Southern California is beautiful. I'm excited about establishing roots and developing my professional career in this region.”

 

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