Interview question: "Why do you want to leave your company?"

“Why do you want to leave your company?” This was asked of me in an interview recently. In the spur of the moment, I could reply was, “I am looking for a remote position. I am much more productive at home. There are a lot fewer distractions, especially when working on complex tasks I don’t have interruptions of people coming by my desk or loud office chatter.”

I know this may not be the best answer but it is the truth… Do you think they would take this negatively? Any other ways I could spin this or improve it?

Please give your feedback on this.

Thanks in advance.


I would have answered this like:

  1. attracted to new job and company,
  2. I love challenges.
  3. want to grow professionally,
  4. prefer a remote environment as I perform better. (I won’t even include this point tbh.)

A lot of top companies are providing a remote option to attract top talent. I’d say it’d land better if you positioned it as the in-office policy being recently introduced and that you’ve realized the superior quality of life or work/life balance remote work provides. I think there are a lot of very talented people that have left good in-office roles for remote work (Tesla comes to mind). Google, Facebook, Airbnb, and LinkedIn are some of the companies offering fully remote roles to existing and new employees.


Don’t use that answer, if you simply want any remote job, that you’re missing why would you want their company, also add questions about your ability to work with others. Working remotely can tend to be equally interactive during the day as well. What you say is not why you’re leaving but why you found their role too interesting to pass up. You came across their opening and were compelled to apply because 1. About the company reputation and 2. About the team and you think it would be an important step toward your goal of … related to your role.


You’re ‘answering the question’ BUT you’re also risking playing your hand on what could be perceived as weaknesses:

  • Unwilling to work in an office environment (whether you’re saying that or not I can read that into your answer, I’m ambivalent to the office or not discussions but others may be quite opinionated)
  • If they need you to work in an office environment, you’ve said you can get distracted and infer you underperform.

Whatever you say, make sure you still look positive at the end of it.


My go-to for this is usually something like “ I love . Unfortunately, I’ve reached a point where I’m looking for growth in my career and those opportunities don’t exist at .” Or something like that.


Fortunately, there are plenty of reasons for leaving a job that can be explained in a manner that paints you in a positive light. Consider the following:

  • I want to learn more
  • I feel like I’m ready to take on more responsibility
  • I believe I’ve progressed as far as I can in my current role
  • I need a change of environment to motivate me
  • I want to develop a new skill that isn’t required in my current job
  • I don’t feel like my current role is challenging me anymore

It’s sensible to prepare a couple of answers to this question because people often leave jobs through a combination of factors. Your interviewer may ask for additional reasons.


In my opinion, all of the following answers are great reasons for leaving a job and are safe to say in your job interview.

  • Seeking new challenges/opportunities
  • Seeking a higher-level job title or position
  • Seeking a role that’s more closely aligned with your long-term career goals
  • Wanting to be in a new industry or type of company
  • Wanting to experience a new work environment after spending a long time at your current company already
  • Wanting to be in a larger or smaller company (as long as you can explain why you want this for your career)
  • Having to relocate and needing to find a job in a new city or state
  • Wanting an opportunity to take on more leadership work
  • Wanting to change careers entirely
  • Layoffs or other uncertainty at your current employer
  • Changes in company vision/direction at your current employer
  • A change in management at your current employer

Hope that helps.


What are some good reasons for leaving a job?

There are many acceptable reasons for leaving a job, and you shouldn’t be embarrassed to talk about them. In fact, you should relish the opportunity to describe your work ethic and underscore your desire to grow. Here are five examples of reasons for leaving a job that a hiring manager would view positively:

1. More responsibility and better career growth

One thing all hiring managers want to hear from interviewees is that they’re hungry to develop their skills. If you aren’t being given the appropriate resources to grow and learn in your current role, it’s important to bring this to the attention of a possible new employer when sharing your reasons for leaving a job. Give examples of the kinds of skills you want to build on and tangible ways you’d like to go about doing it.

2. A career change

Wanting to move in a new direction professionally doesn’t make you fickle. It can serve as an indicator that you’re dedicated to finding interesting and meaningful work. By explaining your career development plan and outlining your ultimate end goal, you can demonstrate your drive and commitment.

3. Company reorganization

Company restructuring can often lead to cutbacks or new team dynamics, which can cause employee dissatisfaction. If this is your reason for leaving a job, it’s helpful to give some examples as to why the new structure isn’t working for you, what you’ve done to try to improve things and what you’d change if it were all up to you. This shows your level of investment, your problem-solving skills and how you gave a serious effort to be a team player in the face of a challenge. Finally, show that you’ve researched and understood the potential employer’s organizational structure by explaining why you think you will thrive in their setup.

4. Better work-life balance

One positive outcome of the COVID pandemic is both companies’ and employees’ renewed focus on the importance of work-life balance. You may find, however, that your preferred work arrangements no longer align with your employer’s needs as pandemic restrictions unwind. If that’s one of your reasons for leaving a job, be upfront about it with hiring managers, making the case that any flexibility on their part will be rewarded with high levels of productivity and engagement on yours. When discussing work-life balance, focus on what you’re seeking for the long term, whether it’s remote work, a 4/10 workweek or flexible hours.

5. Relocation

Sometimes a good answer to why you’re leaving your current job is as simple as the desire or need to relocate. This would be the case if you feel relocation is best accomplished by physically moving near the office of the potential employer rather than asking your old company for remote work, which they may or may not honour. Explain why you’re making the move, what skills you can offer the company and what you feel are the benefits of a new job and location. In an age when many candidates want to work from home, showing you have the drive and determination to put down new roots may impress a hiring manager who needs their team to be in or near the office.


Great replies @DhirajMehta and @MichaelYoffe. Apart from giving reasons for leaving a job, I think one should also keep a few things in mind as to what to avoid as a response while interviewing.

What should you avoid doing as a response?

It’s easy to stray into treacherous territory when giving your reason for leaving your job. So, be sure not to fall to any of the following when you respond, no matter how well you think the interview is going or how much the hiring manager puts you at ease:

  • Complaining — Avoid launching into a barrage of complaints about your former workplace or colleagues. Doing so can make you look bitter or negative — qualities no employer wants to see in a potential hire. Instead, emphasize the positives, such as the opportunities you enjoyed at your previous job and what you learned from the experience.

  • Criticizing a manager — Even if unhappiness with your manager was your reason for leaving a job, approach the subject in a tactful, positive way. If your boss tended to micromanage your projects, for example, you can say you always appreciated their interest in your work but you were ready to take on a role that would give you greater autonomy.

  • Reciting boilerplate — Your reasons for leaving a job may be simple and clear, but that doesn’t mean you should trot out the same explanation in every interview. Research a potential employer’s organizational culture and policies, so that you can tailor your answer to what they’re offering. A much better answer than “My current employer doesn’t offer flextime” is “My current employer doesn’t offer flextime, so I’m excited about your 4/10 workweek policy, which will really suit my working style."

  • Highlighting salary — Dissatisfaction with salary is one of the most common reasons for leaving a job, but it’s best to leave this unspoken, or, at least, wait for the interviewer to raise it first. Hiring managers are smart and experienced, and if you talk positively about looking to stretch yourself and take on bigger responsibilities, they will intuit that you are also looking for a raise. Then after you get a job offer, you can negotiate your salary.

Thinking ahead about your reasons for leaving a job — and how you can discuss them in a positive, professional manner — will help you feel more confident going into a job interview. And, while you’re at it, you may want to consider how you might address other commonly asked interview questions, just in case they come up.


In almost every job interview, recruiters have asked “Why do you want to leave your current job?”

This frequent job interview question is asked to assess whether you are a flight risk or someone who will stick around and align yourself with the company’s mission.

How you answer this job interview question can make or break your chance of bagging the job.

Here are a few ways you can answer “Why do you want to leave your last job?”

How to answer “why do you want to leave your current job?”

  1. To learn more
  2. To take on more responsibility
  3. Willing to relocate
  4. Desire to commute less to work
  5. You are looking for new challenges
  6. You want to take a break from frequent travel away from the city
  7. Your contract will expire soon

How NOT to answer “why do you want to leave your current job?”

  1. Avoid mentioning office politics as a reason
  2. Avoid mentioning troubles with the boss
  3. Assigning unrealistic deadlines/ targets
  4. Avoid being negative altogether

Makes sense?

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Some of the responses to this question could be as follows:

  • “I have been working with a great team in the company for the past 3 years. They have helped me a lot in learning the basics since I joined as a fresher.

  • However, I feel like I have reached the optimum point of learning here, and would like to take a step ahead to learn the intricacies and more complex aspects of my field.

  • I have read and heard of the amazing talents that your company has recruited over time and it would be a privilege for me to learn from them.”

  • “I have had a great learning experience in this organization. However, the reason for switching jobs is that I want to take up new responsibilities that the organization is being unable to provide me with.

  • I have read and heard a lot about XYZ Company and it would be a great opportunity for me to work here and learn with the new responsibilities that will be provided.”

  • “ I have been working at for almost 6 years now. I am looking to return to my hometown since my parents need attention and I need to take care of them. Although my current organization is a great place to work in, it does not have a branch in my hometown where they could transfer me.

  • The job profile offered has great scope of learning for me and I am sure that I can also add value to the team.”

  • The company where I am working currently is a great organization. I have no complaints about it. The only reason why I am looking for a change is that the distance from work to my current organization is quite a lot and my health is getting affected. Also, the job profile that you offered is a great opportunity for me to learn and challenge myself further, and being close to my place I will also be able to focus more on the work.