So why are you leaving your current role?

Want to know a question you are almost certain to face? Why are you leaving your current role? Not only is this one of the most common interview questions, it’s also one of the most important ones, for both you and your interviewer.

The interview is trying to figure out if you are the right person for the job. They don’t have a lot of time to make their decisions. Your reasons for leaving can give them some valuable insights.

Your ambitions

Where are you headed? Are you heading in the same direction as your potential employer? They will certainly hope so.

What do they need to offer you – are you compatible?

What you are looking for now is important to the interviewer because it should closely resemble what they have to offer if it is to be a successful partnership.

Any potential problems

Many candidates can’t avoid negativity in their response – their boss is a problem, the pay isn’t enough etc etc. Of course you would never do this, because you understand that they will subconsciously connect those problems with you…..and noone wants to hire a problem.

The reasons why you are leaving matter

They say you can’t know where you are headed until you know where you’ve been. Knowing what you don’t want can be a big step on the way to discovering what you do want.

It is important to fully understand the reasons why you are leaving. They have a big impact on what motivates you and what you are currently looking for. You should also bear in mind that this is one of the questions you can guarantee you will be asked at some point during the recruitment process, so it’s important you are satisfied, and comfortable with the answer.

There are of course many possible reasons why you are leaving your current position. These are your push factors. Some of the most common are;


Career Progression

Career Change

Money (lack of)

These are common reasons, but why are you leaving? Take the time now and consider your push factors, the reasons you feel it is time to move on.

Now consider the pull factors that you will be looking for in your next role. The job hunt is a challenge; however it can be handled more effectively with clear objectives and the right plan to achieve them.

One simple reason to set clear objectives is that if you don’t know what you are looking for it is hard to recognise and so even harder to achieve. As a recruitment consultant I would avoid candidates who are unsure about what they want like the plague, because their lack of focus tends to result in poorly matched résumé’s and a tangible lack of enthusiasm which employers rarely fail to pick up on.

It is important to be as specific and detailed as possible. Think about what you want. Just as a company is looking for a match, if this is to be a right move for you it must also match your needs. By answering the following questions you will be able to determine what you are looking for.


Where do you want to work? There are thousands of jobs out there but just how far are you willing to go? Would you relocate? How far would you commute? Its important to be realistic, don’t wait until the interview to realise that the job is too far to commute. Focus on what will work for you and fit into your lifestyle.


What are you looking for? Why? It might seem an obvious question but you need to seriously consider your needs and wants. You may have to decide what really matters to you when it comes to negotiation time. What do you want to be doing? What skills do you want to apply and develop? What responsibilities are you looking for? What technologies do you want to be using?


What opportunities are you looking for? What do you want to be doing in 3 years time and how will this role help move you towards that?


Who do you want to work for? What type of company do you want to be part of?


What type of culture suits you? What have the cultures you have experienced up to now been like and how did you fit in? You are likely to be far happier with a company that reflects your own values.

OK, now do not go any further until you have completed this exercise and have clearly written down in front of you what you want.

Taking the time to consider why you are leaving will not only help you in the interview, it will help you down the line when look around the office with a smile as you realise you are happy in your new job. Congratulations in advance.

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