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Updated: Jan 24, 2020

Are you about to quit your current job and look for the next one? Well, good for you. Among the myriad of things that you are anticipating for the next big interview, you are most likely to be asked the slated question – Why do you want to quit your job? While there could be a number of reasons for your next career move, you may or may not want to reveal each one of it with your potential employer. The trick is to wrap honesty with diplomacy.

I am Swarna Gunasekaran, a hiring manager in a Delhi based HR firm. From the myriad of interviews I had handled, this is one of the most crucial responses that I look forward to hearing from my candidates. And to hear most of them say “Well I am looking for better opportunities”, is not only boring, but also appears to be aimless and futile. Dude, you are searching for your next job. Of course you are looking for “better opportunities”. We all are. Tell me something I don’t know. Here are some of the most common reasons and approaches to tackle the subject.

Big Bucks! Of course!!! Salary hike is one of the most common reasons for a job change. And you CAN say that for an answer. But be prepared for the most certain follow up question – Did you request for a hike with your current employer? And this should have been your first logical step. Assuming you have been turned down by your boss, the safest reason to cite would be budget constraints. It is safe because it is the only reason that could validate your employer’s rejection in spite of you being completely qualified for the raise.

Climb the Corporate Ladder

You are looking to move into a senior role. Instead of blatantly saying that you are looking for a higher rank, you can try to attune your prospective job to your current role and skillsets. You may use phrases like “I would like to lead the development of… ”, “manage a product”, “educate and counsel the team” etc. to emphasize that you are prepared to higher managerial roles.

Making a career shift Although this reason sounds like a tough one to sell, it is more common and happening than you think. I have witnessed a pediatrician transforming into a primary school teacher, many software engineers into successful recruiters and HR professionals. So no career shift is considered taboo as long as you have the passion and relevant skill sets. All you have to do is make a strong case with facts that match your talent and interest with your dream job. You will be pleasantly surprised to see that the emerging market is quite accommodating of such shifts.

Horrible Bosses! Unfortunately, working with an incompatible leadership or in an unpleasant environment is also one of the top causes of attrition. While it may not be a great idea to bad mouth your current employer, you can subtly imply your discomfort by saying, that you are not adequately challenged in your current job and again pull your answer towards your prospective employer by saying that you are quite intrigued by their newly launched application and would be eager to learn and work on the same.

Too many changes? Apart from all the reasons cited, if you feel like you have been changing more than 2 jobs in less than a couple of years, then it’s time to reconsider your choices and find out the best job and company that works for you. In this case, the best way to convince your next employer would be to say that you are looking for a more stable organization that would allow you to tap and explore your growing skill sets.

All roads lead to… well, your next job!

Just remember whatever response you provide, it should be tailored to benefit the employer and not the other way round. Interviewers ask the question in subject to try to understand a candidate’s intention for the job. So the best way to gain their confidence is to focus on the job you are applying for, and imply that you are here to contribute for the long run.

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