Career Advice

How to Talk About Your Reasons for Quitting Your Job In an Interview

Interviewers frequently ask candidates, “Why do you wish to quit your current position?” Hiring managers are interested in your reasons for leaving so that they can find out more about your priorities in a position and your approach to challenging circumstances.

In this post, we’ll go over the most typical reasons why individuals quit their jobs or think about leaving them, what to say and not say to hire managers when they ask candidates why they left or wanted to leave their jobs, and advice on how to handle this subject in an interview.

Why do employers inquire as to your reasons for seeking employment elsewhere?

This query is asked by employers for several reasons. Most importantly, they want to know what sort of work you find gratifying, what type of work environment you’re looking for, and what your career aspirations are. They also want to know if you’re on favorable terms with your previous employer and if you’ll fit in well with their organization and the new position.

What is a valid justification for quitting your job?

There are various ways to respond to this question, so take a few minutes before your interview to think over your options and develop a meaningful response that will provide your interviewer peace of mind while deciding whether or not to hire you.

Whatever your reason for quitting your employment, make sure you answer this question politely. When a recruiting manager asks you this question, they’re attempting to figure out what you could be interested in in your next opportunity—something you haven’t had before. To make sure you’re a suitable fit for the position, they could also try to figure out your preferences.

Here are some samples of appropriate responses and some advice on how to pick the best one for you.

  • “My values no longer match the mission of the organization.”
  • “I’d like to be compensated more.”
  • “The organization that I worked for closed down.”
  • “I feel underappreciated in my current job.”
  • “I’m seeking a new challenge.”
  • “I’m looking for a job with more room for career advancement.”
  • “I had to leave for personal or family reasons.”
  • I dislike the hours I work at my present position.
  • “I decided to move to a new city.”
  • “I want to switch careers”
  • “I decided to return to school.”
  • “I didn’t have a personality that fits the company culture.”
  • “I want to go after a better opportunity.”
  • I was forced to leave due to health issues, which have since been remedied.
  • “I was let go/was laid off”
  • “I desired employment in a new sector.”

How to state the reasons you are quitting your job in an interview

How should I respond to the interview question, “Why do you intend to leave your present job?” is provided below.

1. Be specific about the reasons you wish to quit.

List down all the factors that led to your search for a new job. Consider the following inquiries to get you started if you’re unsure of your motivations:

  • Which principles guide you?
  • What do you want out of your career? Where do you envision yourself in five years? A decade?
  • What do you require from a work environment? What qualities should a job have?
  • What do you enjoy most about your job? What are you not fond of?
  • How do you get along with your colleagues? Managers?
  • Which sector do you wish to work in?
  • Are you devoted to your company’s mission?
  • Do these responses describe your circumstances at the moment? If not, why not?

Circle a few of the most important justifications you wish to mention in your interview once you’ve put out your responses. Choose motives that are more obvious as professional than personal. For instance, you might be seeking work as a result of a recent life transition like a marriage or move; nevertheless, these aren’t the reasons you need to bring up during the interview.

2. Limit the length of your response.

Although it’s crucial to completely address the interviewer’s inquiry regarding the reason you wish to leave your current position, limit your response to one or two phrases. Then, bring up your qualifications for the position to bring the subject full circle.

3. Remain optimistic

Finding a positive approach to express your wish to quit a job is crucial, even if unpleasant events played a role in your decision to do so.

Employers prefer to work with people who are upbeat because they boost morale. Discover a way to portray your reasons for leaving favorably, even if they were related to a toxic workplace environment or other issues. For instance, you can explain that your beliefs no longer matched those of the organization instead of mentioning that you saw unethical activity.

Employers seek someone who can solve problems and navigate challenging circumstances. Concentrate on the abilities you developed in your current position, any beneficial relationships you might have had with colleagues, and any successful interactions you may have had with clients or other stakeholders.

4. Be truthful without going into great depth.

You don’t have to go into great depth while responding to this question. There are methods to express your dissatisfaction with your current position without criticizing your employer (see ideas below for how to do this). Move the topic back to why you feel optimistic about the chances ahead of you by keeping your response brief and focused.

It’s crucial to remember that the organization you’re interviewing with might get in touch with your former employer, so anything you say should align with what they find out in those interactions. Be open and honest about your employment status as well. If you gave incorrect information, it can affect your chances of receiving the offer if they call your former employer to check start dates, and pay ranges, or to obtain a reference.

What to mention in your resignation letter when leaving a job

You should and can give a variety of explanations for why you’re searching for a new job. There is a natural progression from one position to the next as professionals advance in their careers and look for new learning opportunities, professional growth, new settings, and other considerations. Let’s examine a few instances of good justifications for your employment search:

1. “I want to advance my career.”

Different businesses may offer greater potential for growth than others depending on how they are set up. If you want to develop in a new path, it could be difficult to switch teams or departments. One typical cause for quitting a job is a wish to advance in your career. Here is an example of how somebody in this circumstance would give their reason for leaving:

“I adore my job and my teammates, but I’ve reached a stage where my team no longer offers prospects for professional advancement. Could you briefly describe this position’s room for advancement and the steps your organization takes to help employees advance their careers?”

2. “I wish to switch careers.”

People now frequently consider multiple occupations and careers throughout their lifetimes. Changes in careers are a wonderful reason to look for a new job, if you want to return to school, switch industries, or pivot what you’re working on:

“I’m seeking a new opportunity that isn’t offered by my current employer where I can advance and broaden my account management skills.”

3. “I’m looking for a better opportunity.”

You may want to quit your position because you now have better options. It’s reasonable to look for a new job when an enhanced chance arises if that means your working environment will change, you’ll get paid more, or the new company’s mission better aligns with your values:

Even though I’ve gained a lot of knowledge from my current employer, I can tell from my study into this role that it is more appropriate for where I want to go in my career—specifically, working with cross-functional groups to create novel products for your users.

4. “I went away to get a graduate degree.”

Employers in the future are aware that not everybody can balance a full-time job with academic objectives. It’s typical to leave a job to pursue a degree, particularly if you’re changing industries, and it demonstrates your commitment to your professional aspirations.

“I liked my job as a legal assistant, but I thought completing the paralegal educational requirements would open up more difficult prospects for me. I was able to finish my coursework more quickly and stay on pace with my long-term professional aspirations by returning to school full-time.”

5. “A former coworker made me an offer of employment.”

If a former coworker got in touch with you and recommended you for a job at their business, the hiring manager will see that you get together with coworkers and appreciate the benefits of networking.

“After three years in my position, I believed I had progressed as far as my position would allow. They were eager to recommend me when a new position at the organization that seemed suitable to my talents and ambitions became available because I had stayed in touch with a previous coworker.”

6. “I was let go/was laid off.”

This is a common reality for many people, and, understandably, it could make you nervous when asked why you’re seeking for work. Spend some time considering your response and adhere to these rules:

  • Tell the truth without delving into excessive detail.
  • Attempt to avoid utilizing the word “fired”
  • Describe what you took away from the experience.
  • Explain to the interviewer why you would be a good match for the job.

Here are two illustrations:

If you have been let go: “In hindsight, I realize that my previous boss and I had various notions of what being successful meant in my position. I see a few things I ought to have done better as I think back on that event. I gained a lot of knowledge, and I look forward to applying my maturity in my next position. This position is a good fit for my talents, abilities, and desired career path.

If you lost your job: “Unfortunately, a firm restructuring affected me, and as a result, 15% of our staff lost their jobs. In the interim, I’ve been carefully pondering my next step, getting back in touch with my network, and looking into options. I’m enthusiastic about this job since it epitomizes the aspects of my previous employment that I liked the best and because it will move my career in the way I’ve constantly desired it to go.”

These are only a few of the numerous good reasons you should look into new possibilities. Get input on your justifications from dependable friends or mentors if you’re uncertain about what the interviewers might take away from your response.

What not to mention in a resignation letter

The next stage is to think about how an interviewer could perceive your response after you’ve thoughtfully spelled out your justifications for leaving your position. If any of these factors are on your list, below are some instances of reasons that could not show satisfactorily in an interview and some alternatives:

“I’m not fond of the company.”

Every organization, even the one you’re applying for, has both good and bad aspects. Consider the reasons why you dislike your employer for a moment, then utilize this information to create a more uplifting, concise response.

For instance:

“At my current company, I’ve developed my professional network and broadened my skill set. In recent years, it became very evident to me that to stay motivated and keep advancing professionally, I need a compelling objective. I’m eager to contribute to the organization’s goal of helping underserved populations.

“I’ve concentrated on my facilitation of significant, complicated projects communication, and cooperation skills. Since my current position offers few possibilities to develop such skills, I was thrilled to discover about this opening where cooperation and openness are highlighted as crucial job requirements.”

“I’d like to earn more money.”

Consider carefully if this is why you want to discuss it because interviewers may take it in a variety of difficult-to-predict ways. If you determine that it has to be solved, consider phrasing it in an approach that emphasizes incentives in general and your drive to accept a difficult job that has significant rewards:

“Among the many things that motivate me, customer fulfillment, and peer and supervisor approval are at the forefront of the list. Although money is a drive for me as well, I’m enthusiastic about the chance to sell an item I’m passionate about, surpass my ambitions, and rejoice when I achieve my objectives.”

“Work bores me”

This desire to depart is probably motivated by discontent with the work you’re performing at the moment. This usually indicates that the work you’re performing doesn’t challenge you or fit with your abilities and expertise. Consider responding to this with an explanation based on the abilities and opportunities you’re looking for:

“My current position has taught me a lot, but as I continue to hone my abilities and expertise, I’m looking for a position that offers more challenges.”


“While I have developed useful skills in this profession, such as interaction and time management, I want to put more of my attention into improving my leadership and writing abilities. I’m thrilled that this position offers more chances to develop such skills.

“I dislike the hours I work at my job.”

It might be a good idea to let your interviewer know if your next job’s hours and flexibility will have a big impact on your choice to accept an offer. But it’s important how you phrase this response. You don’t want to give the impression that you aren’t willing to put in the effort. Instead, respond in a way that shows you are a mature, accountable professional who can effectively manage your time:

“I am aware that when I have a good balance between my personal and professional lives, I produce my finest work. I value the promises I make to my supervisors and coworkers, and I structure my days to effectively fulfill those commitments. I want a job for an organization that respects my control over my schedule and offers me flexibility when necessary.”

Additional guidance on how to give your explanation

No matter why you wish to leave your present position or your previous one, the following are some general considerations to make:

  1. Steer clear of pejorative terminology and use only positive language.
  2. Don’t bring up previous disputes with bosses or coworkers.
  3. Provide a clear and straightforward explanation, but avoid including extraneous details.
  4. Whenever feasible, focus your response on your professional objectives.

How to respond to follow-up inquiries

Your interviewers might ask you follow-up questions based on how you responded to the initial query, such as:

  • “Did you make an effort to apply for this job at your current employer?”
  • “What steps did you take to address those problems before choosing to search for a new position?”
  • “How do you want to avoid misunderstandings regarding the demands of your next position?”

Think about these while you finish your response and come up with a few possibilities for what your response might sound like in response to follow-up inquiries. Do not forget that it is fairly usual to leave a job for a new chance. Your interviewer most likely left a job as well, therefore they will be able to relate to your situation. Be specific in your justifications, prepare your rejoinder, and keep focusing the debate on why you’re the most qualified candidate.


In conclusion, effectively articulating your reasons for quitting your job is a crucial skill that can greatly impact your career trajectory. By following the strategies discussed in this article, such as preparing in advance, being honest yet tactful, focusing on positive aspects, and highlighting your future goals, you can navigate this potentially delicate conversation with confidence and professionalism. Remember, clear communication and thoughtful explanations can help you maintain professional relationships, leave on good terms, and even open doors to new opportunities. By approaching this conversation with authenticity, respect, and a forward-looking mindset, you can effectively convey your reasons for quitting your job and set the stage for a positive future in your career journey.

Frequently Asked Questions about How to Talk About Your Reasons for Quitting Your Job In an Interview

  • How do I explain my reasons for quitting a job without sounding negative or disloyal?

When discussing your reasons for quitting, focus on the positive aspects of your decision rather than criticizing your current or former employer. Highlight personal growth, desire for new challenges, or alignment with long-term career goals as the driving factors behind your decision.

  • Should I mention conflicts or issues with my current employer when explaining my reasons for leaving?

It’s generally advisable to avoid discussing specific conflicts or issues with your current or former employer. Instead, emphasize your desire for professional growth, seeking new opportunities, or pursuing a different career path to keep the conversation constructive and forward-looking.

  • How much detail should I provide when explaining my reasons for quitting a job?

Strike a balance between being transparent and respectful of confidentiality. Provide enough information to convey your motivations without delving into excessive details or revealing confidential information that could jeopardize professional relationships or future job prospects.

  • How can I explain quitting a job without having another one lined up?

When discussing leaving a job without a new one in place, focus on personal reasons such as the need for a break, personal development, or a desire to explore new opportunities. Emphasize your commitment to finding the right fit for your skills and aspirations, rather than portraying it as a gap or period of unemployment.

  • What if I left my job due to a negative work environment or toxic culture?

If you encountered a negative work environment or toxic culture, approach the conversation with professionalism and tact. Instead of solely focusing on the negative experiences, emphasize your commitment to working in a positive and supportive environment, where you can thrive and contribute effectively to achieve your career goals.

Remember, these are general guidelines, and it’s essential to tailor your responses to your specific situation. By preparing in advance, reflecting on your reasons, and maintaining a positive and professional tone, you can navigate the conversation about quitting your job with confidence and clarity.

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