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Leaving a job: How to explain your reasons positively

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Emma Gregory leaving ajob, recruitment, travel recruitment...

There’s one question in particular in an interview that often leaves us in a uncomfortable position wondering how truthful we should be … “why are you looking to leave your current job?”  We know that honesty is the best policy but is there really a need to tell a prospective employer you want to quit because you can’t stand your boss?

Well, we believe that being transparent is pretty much imperative – after all, you should never lie in a job interview. But there are plenty of ways to phrase the answer which will leave the desired impression  on your interviewer – a positive one.

The main thing to remember when faced with a question about leaving your current job is that YOUR INTERVIEWER ALREADY KNOWS YOU WANT TO LEAVE!! Or you wouldn’t be sat there right? So there’s absolutely no need to be ashamed or feel like you are betraying your employer. Just be prepared beforehand for this question and answer confidently and competently.

You should aim to phrase your answer in a way that makes your interviewer feel happy that the position you are interviewing for is in line with your personal and professional goals. We’ve listed below a few examples of good answers to this question- all of which have positive endings and if delivered in the right way, would satisfy even the most tricky of interviewers!

 “I love my job, I want to continue as a Business Travel Consultant but I’m looking for a more challenging role where I can be more in control of my bookings, look after different clients and broaden my skill set”

“I’m currently not able to give the service to my clients I feel is important as I’m in a heavily targeted environment. I’d like to be able to focus on delivering an exceptional travel service”

“I’m very ready for a new challenge both personally and professionally. I am passionate about the industry and from the research I’ve done on your company it sounds like it would be an ideal move for me and I’m excited about it”

“I wasn’t necessarily looking for a new job but I saw this role and was intrigued by the position and the company. The further I have looked in to it, the more I feel this would an exciting opportunity for me”

“This position seemed like an excellent match for my skills and experience, which I am not able to fully utilize in my present job”

“I’m looking to be able to contribute to a company in more ways than I am currently able to. I love to feel part of a team and like my work is valued”

“I’m looking to better myself in terms of work/life balance. I enjoy a busy, challenging position where I can develop my career AND achieve my financial goals”

It’s also important to note that you should not be tempted to talk negatively about your boss in a personal capacity. For all you know, you could be being interviewed by their best friend! In an ideal world don’t cite your boss at all as the reason for wanting to leave, it doesn’t have anything to do with your ability to do the job you are interviewing for. But if you really genuinely feel there is no other good reason that you could possibly give for wanting to move on, keep it simple and still end positively i.e: “Sadly I don’t feel I am able to reach my full potential in the company due a to a conflict in working style with the management team. I am a hard working, dedicated and loyal member of staff who see’s this position with your company as an excellent opportunity to work somewhere that’s more in line with my career goals.”

 

You might be reading this and thinking “that’s all very well if you are still employed.. but I was let go from my most recent job. How do I explain that?”

From our experience in recruitment and dealing with plenty of candidates who have either been forced to leave employment, or, were let go, our advice is this: Keep it short, keep it simple and keep it positive. Don’t be tempted to fabricate redundancy or your desire to “find yourself” when you have a mortgage to pay and family to support.  Employers want a tangible answer, one that helps them understand your situation and not question it further. Remember, we are all human and LIFE HAPPENS. Sometimes we have to take a step back in order to move forward and not every single opportunity works out the way we wanted it to.  Check out some possible responses that could help you explain your position without making you feel hot under the collar.

“The job was making me unhappy for various reasons and I realised in order to focus 100% on the position I want, I needed to dedicate time to searching for it. I spoke to my manager and we both agreed the best thing was for me to move on”

“I don’t believe I was what the company was looking for in terms of skill set for the role I was employed for. Unfortunately despite my best attempt to make the job fit, I know my skills are much better matched to your role and company”

“We were taken over and the changes to the company brought about new policies that I felt weren’t beneficial to our clients. I am focused on delivering service and sadly that wasn’t a priority for them anymore”

“I don’t believe my performance in the role was evaluated fairly however it has been a learning curve that I’m prepared to accept and move on from. I am a strong believer in giving 100% in everything I do and relish every opportunity given to me”

“I had decided to try a different environment/industry/job position as I was feeling ready for a new challenge. It was a great experience but both my manager and I agreed that my skills didn’t really lie in that arena and I am now looking to get back to what I love”

“I experienced a very difficult time in my personal life and without dwelling on it, I did find it difficult to maintain a focus at work during this period. This is now all resolved and I am in a position to resume my career and excel in a new role”

“Unfortunately my boss and I had a breakdown in communication which resulted in a difficult working environment. I realize now I should have spoken up more when I needed clarification on something and sadly by the time I did we were past the point of being able to make it work. It does now mean I have learnt from that experience and know the importance of ensuring open channels of communication at all times

At Urbanberry Recruitment, we’re always here to help and advise if you have a situation you are worried about explaining in an interview. We’re dedicated to making sure your interview goes as well as it can do and pride ourselves on our honesty and integrity – we can help you make sure that whatever your reasons for leaving are, your new hiring manager won’t be questioning them.