You’re in an interview and you’re asked, “why do you want to leave your current position?”. Should you be brutally honest? Or are you supposed to be vague? If you’re too vague do you sound dishonest? How do you answer properly without regretting your answer out loud? Here are a few different ways to go about it.

When You’re Looking to Make More Money

If making more money is the sole reason for you wanting to leave your current position – be aware of the way in which you explain it. Maybe you have adopted more responsibilities throughout your role and in turn, desired a higher compensation or the role itself statistically earns more in your area but your company’s budget may not allow for it. Regardless of the reason you just simply were looking to make more money. One way to explain this is stating that you’ve adopted more responsibilities/have gained a significant amount of career growth and are looking for a position’s compensation to reflect that.

When You Don’t Like the Company Culture

Although this may seem like a touchy topic to get into, wanting to leave your position because of the company culture – being your coworkers, manager or even your boss – is very common. One way to address that you’re wanting to leave your current position due to indifferences is saying something such as I’m looking for a different type of company culture”. Then elaborate about how you want: a more collaborative, communicative, more hands-on work environment or whatever applies. This will imply that you are not happy with your current company culture while putting a positive spin on it.

When You Want Upward Mobility

If you’re looking for a new position with the ability to advance in your career and your current position does not provide upward mobility– you can simply share just that. “I am at the point in my career where I am looking for growth, and unfortunately my position doesn’t offer promotions, advancements etc and I am hoping to continue to move up in my career elsewhere”.

When You Don’t Enjoy Your Job Any Longer

Regardless of the reasoning, sometimes you just don’t enjoy your job. And that’s ok. And it’s also ok to be completely honest about that. Here’s an example from The Muse on what to say if your position wasn’t a good fit for you, “I was really excited to start in a role that worked so closely with local wildlife and contributed to such a meaningful cause. I think, because of that, I neglected to learn more about the actual ins and outs of the company. It didn’t take me long to realize that I wasn’t a good cultural fit. Since then I’ve been seeking a role in a company that values transparency, one where I can continue to make an impact”.

If You Don’t Enjoy the Schedule/Looking for More Balance

If you are interviewing for a position that offers a more flexible work schedule and you are leaving your current job solely for wanting more flexibility – you can address it by saying something like  “I’m excited about the opportunity of the position relating to x, y, and z, and I also appreciate the fact that you acknowledge more work/life balance here”.

If You Want a Career Change

The position you are interviewing for is completely different than your current role. In the interview, put the focus on your skill set and what you have gained from your previous experience, and explain how those skills and responsibilities would benefit you in this current role.


What Not to Do:

Regardless of your reason for leaving your current position, you never want to talk negatively about the company, coworkers, or your boss and in result create an awkward situation. Instead, talk about the things you are looking forward to with a new position and the opportunities you would like to gain.