How to answer interview questions: What are your reasons for leaving a job?

If you are up for an interview, one of the most common interview questions you would get is “What are your reasons for leaving a job?”?

Making a decision to leave your current job is never easy. Whether you’ve been a long-standing employee who have been with a company for years, or are relatively new to the company but felt that it’s not a great fit, it’s always daunting to think of how you’d like to position yourself to let your hiring manager know why you’re looking for a move. In fact, there may be various reasons for leaving a job that you might ponder on.

But how do you answer “What are your reasons for leaving a job?” such that it will give your interviewer more confidence in hiring you?


Below are some reasons you can list reasons for leaving a job:

  1. I want to prioritise a healthy work-life balance

Although most employers will be happy to hear that you are willing to work hard, you want to make sure that you are joining an organisation that values work life balance. Afterall, this is the reason why you’ve leaving your current job.

Be honest about your long working hours – whether it’s an issue of understaffed or increased projects – simply explain them. Remember that you can let them know you don’t mind working hard, just not constantly working 12 hours a day.

If the current company that you are applying to offers a hybrid working model, you could also mention how this would also benefit your current lifestyle to strike a cord with your hiring manager.

  1. I want to be paid what I’m worth

Be prepared to phrase this carefully. It can be interpreted in many different ways, and you want to make sure you get your point across the right way. Let them know that you work hard to enjoy a lifestyle you deserve, and a good compensation package motivates you to work even harder. You may even want to go ahead and mention about how you’ve surpassed all your goals but have not been rewarded accordingly.

  1. I want to envision greater career progression

Depending on your current organisation structure, maybe you don’t foresee any type of progression or perhaps you didn’t receive a promotion that was due. It’s absolutely fine to change jobs if you feel that you can find a better progression in another company.

There’s nothing worse than feeling stuck in a job with no room to grow, and according to Indeed’s survey, nearly one in four workers in Singapore intended to leave their current employer in the next six months due to increased stress levels, heavier workloads with no progression and feeling isolated.

Being honest with how you would like to see your career progress can be a positive sign to your interviewer. It may show that you’re willing to work hard, work smart and achieve your targets to progress in your job.

  1. I want to take on greater challenges

Some people go to work, do their job, and go home. And that’s fine. But do you ever find yourself wishing you were more involved in a team? Or that you were challenged in your role?

It can be hard to stay motivated in your role if you feel bored at your job. But make sure not to come across spoiled or negative. You want to make it sound like you feel that you’ve more capabilities and wanted a greater challenge to fully utilise your skills. This can also be a positive sign for your interviewer as it shows that you’re ambitious. You would also want a job that challenge, motivate, and offer you the opportunity to continuously learn new skills. This could also be a question for your interviewer on their development programmes to ensure you’re constantly growing – professionally and personally.

  1. You are looking for a new experience

When all is said and done, if the time has come to move on – you’ll know. Just as there’s no perfect timing, there’s no right or wrong reason for quitting your job. But the time has come that you want to work in a variety of companies to add to your CV – this can be the size of companies, the type of industry or even a complete change in job role.


*Bonus tip*

remember no matter what the reason may be, do not speak negatively of your current job or employer. This never goes down well as many believe that people who speak poorly of their previous company are more likely to speak poorly of their current company. Since company morale can be negatively, you might create a deterring factor to consider you for the current role you are apply for.


Whatever your reasons for leaving a job may be, Huxley is here to help if you wish to move to a new role. If you wish to access other resources such as interview or tips to create an effective LinkedIn profile, fill up the form below for a recruiter to get in touch with you.

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