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How to Answer: Why did you Leave Your Last Job?

Whether you are leaving a job or searching for a new one, there are a few common interview questions which you must know how to answer.

‘Why did you leave your last job?’ is one such question you’ll find being asked in almost every interview. In fact, according to a Monster Poll, interviewing is 2nd hardest part of changing a job.

So, what’s the motive behind asking this question?

Although, most recruiters know what the probable answer will be but the sole purpose to ask this is to understand your area of motivation.

Recruiters usually try to test your personality in order to check whether you are a good fit as per company’s culture or not and this question helps them understand what inspires you to leave your previous organization.

So, the moment you make up your mind to leave your organisation and try for a new job you must make a quick list of your reasons why you would like to leave your job and take up a new one.

The interviewer may not ask this question directly or maybe he does but whatever is the situation you must be prepared to handle this question.

There are a few variations that the recruiters might use to ask this question from you. Some of the possible variations are listed as follows.

Variations of this question:

  • What interests you to look for a new job now?
  • What are your reasons to search for a new job?
  • Why would you like to move in a new job role?
  • What made you resign from your last job role?
  • Why you made your mind to leave your job?
  • Why do you want to opt for a new job?
  • Why did you leave your recent position?
  • Why would you like to move from your present organization?

Tips to answer: Why did you leave your last job?

  • Try to be positive: You must keep your focus on being positive while you answer this question. No matter how strong the urge to bad mouth your last organisation or any of its employees, never ever do it.

Instead talk about:

You are looking for challenges

You are stuck in the same job role and want to grow

You were hired for a certain role but over time that changed

Your learning has stopped

You are not enjoying your work (and explain the why)
You re-evaluated your career goals decided a change is required

There’s no opportunity to advance my career in the current role
My abilities are not being used to the fullest


“The client in my last organization went off with business due to which the company had to switch the role of a few employees. I wanted to work in a similar job role and as per the job description sent by your organization, I find myself fit for the job role hence I want to take-up this new opportunity.”

“It’s almost been three years with the organization and I have devoted and work on good projects gave more than my 100% and learned a lot so, now I am ready for a senior role and I want to change for better career growth.”

  • Don’t make it personal: The recruiters want to know your professional reasons which made you leave the job so, try to keep this conversation professional. No matter how much the recruiter makes you comfortable or starts to share a good rapport during the interview, you must maintain professionalism.
  • Highlight how the new role is exciting: One of the best ways to wriggle out of this question is to focus on the new job role and conclude using the advanced responsibilities you will be entrusted within new role. While focusing on this role you must not dilute the essence of the last role completely as this might create a negative impression about you in the mind of the recruiter.
  • Keep it short and simple: Keep the answer short and to the point, as stretching the answer may land you in hot waters.

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