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Advice / Job Search / Interviewing

The Right (and Wrong) Way to Answer "Why Are You Leaving Your Current Job?"

Unless you’re not currently working, employers will commonly ask why you’re leaving a job to get a sense of what sort of conditions would cause you to jump ship.

Here’s the thing: Even though you’re probably leaving your job because there are some negative things going on, the last thing employers want to hear in response to this is anything negative. Because then they’re going to wonder how quickly you’ll start having those same complaints about your new gig.

So when approaching this question, avoid discussing how terrible your boss is, how you don’t get paid nearly enough, or how you just don’t like the work you do. Instead, watch the video below to learn what kind of answer will paint you in a positive light.

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Interviewer: Ariana, have a seat. Let’s just jump right in. Tell me, why are you leaving your current job?

Ariana: Oh, man. That place is the worst. My job sucks. My boss is awful. My coworkers are completely incompetent.

[Buzzer sound]

Interviewer: We know. You’re leaving your current job because it’s really the worst. But employers want to see that you can stay positive even when things are rough. Let’s give that another shot.

Ariana: Money! No, but seriously, money.

[Buzzer sound]

Interviewer: Hey, we appreciate the honesty but now’s not the right time to talk about salary.

Ariana: I have to do a lot of interaction with clients. I’m not really a “people person.”

[Buzzer sound]

Interviewer: Remember, you want every interview answer to point out your strengths, not your weaknesses. Really, the best way to answer this question is in three parts. One, what drew you to your current role. Two, what’s changed since then—with a positive spin. And three, what you’re looking to do next. Let’s try that again.

Ariana: I initially joined this agency because I wanted experience in marketing and a broader term of it. What I actually found was that I love social media and now, with this next position, I really want to focus it towards lifestyle brands. So, when I saw this job posting, I knew I had to apply.

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