There are two incidences in which we might have to answer the difficult question why do you want to leave a job – when writing a resignation letter and during an interview. In the latter case, it becomes quite difficult to answer this question as you have very little opportunity to think. You are expected to answer as soon as the question is asked which gives you no chance to mull over possible reasons. Actually, you should not have to think before answering this question – you know why you want to leave a job so you can easily mention it.
Realistically, this is difficult. You might not want a prospective employer to know why you are leaving a job or your reason may not be too savory. Mincing your words is important if you want your “good impression” to remain. You do not really have to be untruthful – you can twist the truth around a bit and provide a perfectly reasonable explanation for why you want to bail out.
There are so many circumstances that force people into situations where you have no choice but to change jobs. The next time you are asked why you are leaving a job during an interview, here are a few reasons that you can provide, depending on what your individual situation is:
Saturation: Working at one position in the same company for years can make one saturated. If there are no immediate opportunities to work your way up, you might consider leaving your job and looking for one that provides better prospects.
Downsizing: When you have been laid off or might be laid off due to downsizing, there is no better way but to provide the real reason why you are looking for a job. You will be surprised to know that most employers do not consider downsizing as a negative event.
Company’s internal turmoil: Alright, now this is not a situation that you can be candid about. If the company that you are working for is presently going through a turmoil, you might need to sugarcoat the problem while expressing your interest in the open position.
Firing: Another reason to be careful in what you say. You might have been fired because of structural changes in the company. You can mask this by saying something akin to “the job description changed shortly after I was hired and I did not fit into the new role.”
Focus: You can be candid about how the company is cutting back on some of the areas that you want to focus on and you would like to work in a role that has more inspiration.
Interest: The best reason is probably how you have always wanted to work for the company that you are being interviewed for. Include reasons why you feel that this company will be a good employer and what you can offer to its future success.