How to Describe the Reason for Leaving a Job During an Interview?


When asked “Why are you leaving your current job?” in an interview, it’s critical to respond confidently. There could be several reasons why one could leave their job, so does it really make sense for employers to even ask this question?

Yes, in a way. 

It could be to determine if you are a good or terrible employee. This is due to the fact that this is one of those tricky behavioral interview questions.


The company looks to determine if you: 

  • Have a valid reason for leaving your job or jobs
  • Are you escaping or looking for a new opportunity?
  • Can leave a situation with others on good terms.

Regardless of what your reason for leaving a job could be, you must phrase your answer in a way that makes recruiters feel comfortable having you on board. 

Best Reasons to Leave Your Current Job

Change of Career

Many people who quit their existing jobs do so because they want to change careers. Here are a few ways you can phrase your answer if that is the case:

  • I’m leaving because I want to move away from my present industry and into a new one.
  • I’m ready to take a different course in my professional life.
  • I decided to return to school for my master’s degree.

Change Within the Organization

Issues within a team or company may have caused you to leave your old job. You can phrase such answers by explaining what the issue was and how it was a deciding factor for you to leave your job. 

Do not fret about the validity of your answer, and try to express the gravity of the situation as much as you can. 

Family/Health Concerns

Work is essential, but it isn’t the only thing that matters in life. People leave their professions for a variety of reasons, including family or health concerns. You need not delve too deep into the reason, just express it in a few sentences.

  • Due to a family issue, I had to quit my job and become the primary caretaker for a close member.
  • Due to a family emergency, I had to leave my job.
  • My former employer did not provide me with the flexibility I need to care for my children.
  • My wedding is coming up, and I’ll be relocating out of state.
  • I had to quit due to temporary health issues that have now been remedied.
  • I was pregnant, so I had to leave my former work.
  • There were a few personal issues for which I took a prolonged break, but now my circumstances are looking up. 

Better Opportunities

Oftentimes, a better chance presents itself. It is not at all a bad thing for you to think about your career and progress to better opportunities. Here is the best way to phrase such an answer:

  • My previous position was not a good match for me, and I felt like it was time for me to move to an organization that challenged my skills and allowed me to grow. 

Whatever your reason may be, all you need to do is convince the recruiter that you were a good employee at your previous job and that you left on good terms. 

Conclusion 

The interview question “what was the reason for you to leave your previous job” can be an intimidating one. It feels like they’re trying to read between the lines and get answers that could be a deciding factor for them. 

Don’t worry! 

All interviewers are trying to determine is if you are a reliable employee! If you are confident that you are, then answer these questions confidently. On top of that, you can say that the company positively fulfills the reason you left your previous job.


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