Interview Answers About Leaving Your Job

Turn questions about leaving a job into positive answers about new opportunities

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When you're interviewing for a new position, you should come prepared to answer questions about why you left your previous job or plan to leave your current one. Rather than focus on the past — and any negative experiences — your answer should open the door to a discussion about why this new position is the perfect job for you. 

For example, you'd never want to say, "My boss is a tyrant and creates an insanely competitive environment, pitting all of the employees against each other." Instead, highlight the reasons why you're seeking the new position: "My current job puts a lot of focus on individual achievements, but I'm really looking forward to working in a collaborative environment.

I do my best work as a team player." 

Of course, there are many reasons why you might seek new employment. We've put together a list of articles with guidance and sample answers for several typical reasons for moving on. 

  • Job Interview Question: Why Are You Leaving Your Job? — ​This article provides several example answers covering many scenarios for why you would leave your job, from seeking new challenges to being laid off to relocating to a new area.

  • Job Interview Answers: Why Did You Resign From Your Job? — ​Here we focus on situations where you've already left your prior job, on your own volition. Perhaps you just graduated from college and left to focus on building your career, or the work shifts were not suited to your family's needs, or you relocated due to a spouse's new job. You'll find plenty of example answers here.
  • Interview Question: Why Did You Quit Your Job? — ​Along the same lines as resigning, here are even more sample answers to describe why you left your previous job. 
  • Why Were You Fired Job Interview Question — There's no getting around the fact that you wre fired, so be prepared to address it head on and demonstrate how you deal positively with adversity. This article features the advice of career expert and author Joyce Lain Kennedy, with her her twelve best job interview answers to the question "Why were you fired?"

Also, check out these tips for the best way to answer questions about why you want to switch jobs.

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