It is likely in a job interview that you'll be asked why you want to leave your current job. This is a difficult question to answer, because if you say the wrong reasons, it will make you look bad.
To help you know how to answer this question in a job interview, I have created the below online exercise. With examples, it will show you both what type of things and reasons to say and how to say them (professional sounding phrases/vocabulary that are used in English).
This version of the exercise is mainly focused on learning phrases and words to use in your own answer for this question. So it is ideal for people whose first language isn't English. If you are a native English speaker, I would recommend that you do a version of the exercise designed for English speakers instead.
Before you start the exercise and learn how to answer this question well in a job interview, you need to know something first.
What type of reasons to give
The reasons that you give in your answer for wanting to change jobs should be something which you think the interviewer(s) will both understand and appreciate (e.g. improving prospects, working closer to home etc...).
One of the things you should never do when answering is to directly criticise your current company. It never looks good. Even if the company you are working at is terrible, you should always say compliments about them in a job interview.
So let's now do the exercise.
Exercise & Examples:
Read the following three answers by different candidates in interviews to the question, 'Why do you want to leave your current job?'.
When reading these example answers think what the purpose of each answer is. Also, guess what the purpose and meaning of the words/phrases in bold are from the context. Do the quiz at the end to make sure you are right.
'First of all, I would like to say that I don't have any problems with my current employer. I have worked there for over 7 years and have enjoyed my time there. They have provided me with an opportunity to grow both professionally and personally. And from starting as an analyst, I am now a manager of my own team. I am very grateful for the confidence they have shown in me and also the experience that I have gained.
But during these 7 years, I know what I excel in and what I want to specialise in. And due to the nature and size of the company, my opportunities to pursue this area there are limited. So, in order to move my career to the next stage, I have to move on. It's a shame, because I have a very good working with my manager and my team. So, it's not a decision that I have taken lightly. But, I feel that the position that is available here will provide me with the opportunity to focus on an area in which I both excel and love.'
'To be honest, I wasn't job hunting. One of my ex-colleagues forwarded me the advert for the position. I am very happy in my current job. I have achieved all of my goals and I am now in a position where I make a difference for the company.
The only reason I would leave my current position is for something significantly better and having read the roles and responsibilities for the job, this position offers it. This role has more responsibility, plus working in a different environment provides a new challenge, which I am sure I can meet. In addition, it would be foolish to turn down the possibility of doing this role in a company with such a strong reputation as yours. I think this role provides an excellent opportunity for the progression of my career.'
'I've spent 4 happy years with my current employer, but due to the current financial crisis, they are currently downsizing their operations. As a result, it's made a lot of people redundant and although I have been informed that my job is safe, there's a lot of uncertainty. So, I feel now is the time to move on and look for a more secure position.'
After you do the quiz below, learn how to answer other job interview questions by doing our below exercises:
Below is a definition/description of each of the words/phrases in bold from the above text. Now fill in the blanks with one
of these words/phrases in bold. Only use one word/phrase once and write it as it is in the text. Click on the "Check answers" button at the bottom of the quiz to check your answers.
When the answer is correct, two icons will appear next to the question which you can press/click on. In the first icon, , you can find extra information about the word/phrase (e.g. when, where and how to use etc...) and a Spanish translation. In the second, , is where you can listen to the word/phrase and do a pronunciation test (to make sure you can say it correctly).
Now that you understand the 'why do you want to leave your job' vocabulary, practise it by creating your own answer for this interview question.