Explaining in Interview Why You Want to Leave Your Job


Angie writes:
I am not unhappy at my job but I am currently exploring my opportunities because I know I am worth more than I currently get paid. What is the correct way to answer the question when a potential employer asks you why you are looking for a new job?


The Career Doctor responds:
Angie you have to remember that job-hunting is all about marketing yourself — how to best position your experiences education and skills to convince a potential employer you have what it takes to help the company succeed to make an impact on the company’s success.
And you’re right to be thinking ahead to the job interviews because preparation is a critical success factor. While I don’t know enough about your background beyond that you feel underpaid I can say that the one answer you don’t want to give to the question is that you deserve to be paid more.
The best way to answer the question about why you are looking for a new position is to state that you have accomplished all your goals with your current position and that you are looking for a new challenge. This answer is even better if you can say that you’ve mastered one or more new skills (or advanced your education) and thus seek more responsibilities and new challenges. The key to this answer is how you answer it more than what you say — interviewers will try and interpret your body language.
Finally though you didn’t ask you might consider taking a spin through our Salary Negotiation Tutorial so that you can be better prepared for your next job offer and get the salary you feel you deserve.