Answering the Question: Why Are You Leaving Your Current Position?

Most job seekers understand that honesty is the best policy when answering interview questions. However, when it comes to why you want to leave your current position, telling the whole truth may not be ideal if it causes you to speak negatively of your manager or employer.

This means you have to answer this question tactfully, providing enough information to give the hiring manager a reasonable idea without divulging negative details about your current situation. If you want to know how to walk this thin line, here are some tips.

Be (Mostly) Honest

Hiring managers ask this question because they want to gauge what you are hoping to find, potentially in relation to what your current role is lacking. However, if your issue is with your manager or the company, you might not want to divulge certain details.

Instead, frame your response based on what you want to gain. For example, if you feel your boss isn’t giving you opportunities to explore new skills or take on exciting projects, tell the hiring manager you are seeking new challenges that can help you grow professionally. In the end, that response is honest, but it leaves out anything that comes off as critical.

Alternatively, if you are seeking a new job because of a neutral event, like needing a position in a different area because you are relocating, you can focus on that instead. Similarly, if you are switching to a new industry after furthering your education or acquiring specific skills, use that point as the basis of your response. These are natural reasons for hunting for a new job and don’t have negative connotations. This means you don’t have to divulge any more unless you genuinely want to think it will help you come off as an ideal candidate.

Make the Future Your Focus

Discuss where you are hoping to go and how this job opportunity could allow you to get there. Mention how the company’s mission aligns with your values. Add details about the skills you acquired in your current role and how you think they would help you excel in this position.

The idea is to make your excitement for the future the main point in your response, highlighting the positives about the opportunity, not the negatives of your current job.

Ultimately, by using the tips above, you can let the hiring manager know why you are leaving your current job without coming off as negative, increasing the odds your answer will come off well. If you’d like to learn more about answering tough interview questions or are seeking new employment opportunities, the professionals at Career Options can help. Contact us to speak with one of our skilled recruiters or explore our current vacancies today and see how our hiring expertise can benefit you.


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