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Why are you leaving your current job

How to answer that tricky interview question – Why are you leaving your current job?

It’s natural that we can become nervous during any interview process.  However, there is always one stumbling block which can prevent any candidate from losing their cool, becoming tongue tied allowing white lies to crack the surface and before you know it you’ve told a complete fib!

At Abacus we advise honesty is the best policy.  As a recruitment agency we have heard all the reasons under the sun to why someone wants to leave their current job.  Therefore if you are currently employed and seeking a breath of fresh air to your career – It is a FACT!  Most certainly FACT that you are going to be questioned, ‘So, why are you leaving your current job?’

There may be one reason or numerous reasons to why you want to leave your current position.  What we feel works best is to try and prevent being negative in your reply.  Try to refrain from being distasteful and translate your answer to a tactful response.

  1. You want that pay rise, you feel you deserve:

It’s black and white, you work hard and everyone around you is aware you deserve a pay rise.  Who doesn’t wish they were paid more?  However remember you are making first initial impressions, you are only in the building 15 minutes max.  You wouldn’t want to represent yourself as being money hungry.  We feel money is not one of the best primary conversations to bring up during an interview.  Focus upon your efforts and team contributions to the work place.  Use examples to show case your hard drive and enjoyment of getting your hands dirty (excuse the pun)!  If a pay rise is your main train of thought to help wrap up answering the question on a positive note.  Try adding a finishing touch to your question by expressing how you are ready to join a company that values your skills and who allow you to utilise them to their full potential to showcase your worth.

  1. You don’t see eye to eye with your Manager:

Now, this can easily become a very hostile conversation.  We advise all candidates to avoid bad mouthing any fellow employee.  If you don’t see eye to eye with your management team leave it at the door.  You wouldn’t want to portray the wrong impression, especially if the conversation becomes slightly heated you will be the one who is worse off.  Remember to think of the positives, everyone has a bad day and there’s no need to dwell on the past.  How to provide a polite answer could entail mentioning briefly and neutrally that you are on separate tracks and you are ready plus willing to move on.

  1. Seeking a promotion:

If there is ever a motive to leave your current work place, from experience we feel this is an excellent cause.  Progression is admired by most people.  Some companies may not offer that extra opening to the career goal you’ve always wanted to achieve.  If you have the skills and experience, most certainly you are in the driver seat by admitting you are ready for a new exciting challenge.  If you note that you thoroughly enjoy working with the people and projects around you, but realised you require more of a challenge comparing to the way daily tasks used to be.  It will almost be like music to an employer’s ears rather than letting time slip away and becoming too comfortable.  You have foreseen an issue and are putting a proactive solution to the mix.  By deciding to pursue a position where you can flourish and continue to grow.

  1. Not happy in the current work place:

On this occasion please do not dwell on the negatives.  Even if you despise your current position try to make it sound less awful than it is.  Try to sell what pushed you to apply for the role in the first instance, describe your experience as a learning curve and what you are most forward looking to in a new role.  The best way to explain your scenario is to be honest, how you are in search with a company who has similar values to you or one where you can continue to make an impact.

Don’t forget for more interview tips, feel free to contact the Abacus Team.  We will gladly prep you with information to help calm your nerves before your interview.  Feel free to call us on 028 9031 3157 or email  To gain greater insight please check out