Interviewing is a little like going on a first date.  You want to find out as much as you can about that individual, however you don’t tell them everything.  The key is keeping in acceptable truths.  This is truth as it relates to answering the question, however doesn’t have to give all the intimate details.  Remember, truth is important especially if you are hired as you don’t want something to come out at a later date.

When the interviewer asks “Why you are leaving your current job?”  they want to find out several things.

Is this a common thing for you to go from job to job? They are looking to fill a position and if history indicates that you only stay at a job for a particular time period they want to know why? What is the candidate looking for that they haven’t been able to get at other jobs?  This opens the interview up to find more out about the candidate and their needs.  When seeking out a job, synergy and common factors should exist that benefit both parties. Employers invest a lot of money in recruiting and onboarding and they want to make sure that this is a candidate that will perform the job and fits into their current structure and culture.

An interviewer is looking to see how you respond and what you have to say about your current or former employer.  That is going to say a lot about the candidate.  Let’s face it, in life you may not get along or like everyone that you come in contact with and that includes bosses.  But how it’s handled says a lot about the individual.

Some recommended ways to answer that question is to keep the focus on yourself as an individual and what you are trying to accomplish in your career and personal growth.

Acceptable Truths

There have been management changes and this was a good time for me to pursue other opportunities.

I feel that I have gone as far as I can go within the organization.

My life has changed and I wanted to pursue opportunities that were more aligned with those changes.

I was looking for an opportunity that gives me more work, life balance.

I want to caution you to be prepared for additional questions, but once again the focus should be on the individual and not everything that was wrong with their last employer.

It is always detrimental to talk badly about your current employer and one of the fastest ways to end an interview.  All industries are much smaller than you think and there will always be a way of finding out how this individual has previously performed.  If the employer was bad then people in the industry will know about it.  The fact that you didn’t focus on that will immediately stand out as a plus. If the candidate is talking badly then they’re really not focused on solutions.  Employers are looking for solution orientated individuals.  The most obvious reason why you don’t talk badly about a former employer is; if you are doing it on an interview, what are you going to do when you get in the organization if something doesn’t go right for you. 

The key is, always tell the truth, but focus more on opportunities in moving forward than what happened in the past.

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