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How To Tell Your Employer “Why Are You Looking for a New Job?”

How To Tell Your Employer “Why Are You Looking for a New Job?”

When you are looking for a job, there are two important questions that you are likely to face in interviews: "Why are you looking for a new position?" and "Why are you interested in this particular role?" The first question, "Why are you looking for a new position?" is your opportunity to explain what is contributing towards your decision to leave your current role. You may be looking for more growth opportunities, a different company culture or a change in your career path. The second question, "Why are you interested in this particular role?" shifts the focus to the future. It is to get to the bottom of why you are interested in this particular opportunity. Are you excited about the company's overall mission? Do you see a chance to develop new skills? 

It is important to answer these questions openly but also professionally. You want to show that you are moving forward in your career for positive reasons and that you see a great fit with the new role that you are applying for. This article will dive into how you as a potential candidate can craft your answers in an authentic way and ultimately set you up for success in your job search.

“Why Are You Looking For A New Job?”

This question provides a clear picture regarding your suitability for the role and also the company itself. Here is why interviewers ask questions like this:

  • Cultural fit. Interviewers use this type of question to discover whether your values and work style are in alignment with the company's culture. They are looking to see if you will thrive in their specific work environment.
  • Your motivations. Employers want to find out what drives you on a professional level. Are you searching for a challenge, better compensation or growth? They want to ensure that your motivations align with what the role and the company can realistically offer.
  • Your work ethic. How you talk about your previous experiences can give interviewers insight into your work ethic. They will be listening for clues about your reliability, your approach to meeting deadlines and how you handle work related pressures. This can help them predict how you will handle responsibilities once you are placed in the new role.
  • Predicting your future performance. Your career choices, achievements and personal reasons for leaving a particular job can help interviewers predict your performance. They use this information to assess whether you are likely to succeed in the role and contribute to the company's objectives.
  • Identifying red flags. Frequent job changes, speaking negatively about previous employers or vague responses can be red flags for interviewers. They might indicate issues with commitment, adaptability or professionalism which could be concerning.
  • Measuring your enthusiasm and commitment. Your excitement for the specific role and the company is crucial. 

Self-Reflection Before Your Interview

What are you looking for in your next job? Before you walk into the interview, it is important to take some time for a good, honest chat with yourself about why you are really on the job hunt. It is not just about making a good impression during the interview itself. It is about ensuring this job change is really what you want. Understanding your personal reasons for a job change is essential. Are you after a new challenge or a better balance between your work and personal life or maybe you are looking for a career switch? When you know what is driving you, you can look for roles that match your career goals and values, which means you are more likely to end up on a career path that makes you happy and helps you grow as an individual.

Interviewers can tell when you are being genuine and it helps them see if you are a good fit for the job. When your interviewer asks, “Why are you looking for a new job?” Your answers can reveal why you are moving on and that you have thought about your career path and where you are potentially headed next. Preparing ahead also shows that you respect the interview process and are interested in the job. It is a chance to stand out from the crowd of other potential applicants. When you are clear on your motivations and have your answers, staying calm and being yourself is much easier.

How To Prepare Potential Answers For “Why Are You Looking For A New Job?”

You need to balance being honest and strategic while maintaining a professional tone. Whatever your reasons for wanting a new job, you have to make sure you frame them in a positive light. Avoid speaking negatively regarding your previous employer or colleagues because this can be seen as unprofessional. Instead of focusing on any bad situations at your current job, you can emphasize what you are looking for in a new role. If your reasons for leaving are sensitive, it is better to generalize by saying you are seeking a different type of work environment. Remember to frame your reasoning in the context of your career goals. Explain how the change aligns with your long-term objectives. For example, if you are looking for more growth opportunities, explain how the new role or company provides a path that is better aligned with your career aspirations. You can also talk about what you are looking forward to in the new role. This could be the opportunity to work on specific types of projects, the chance to develop particular skills or how the employer is in alignment with your personal values and interests. The goal is to show that your decision to seek a new job is a thoughtful one, aligning with your career aspirations and the company's values.

Potential Topics That Address “Why Do You Want This Job?”

When crafting your response, ensure that it is concise, clear and authentic. The best answers are those that are positive, focus on your goals and ultimately align with the specific job and company that you are interviewing with. 

  1. Career Growth
  2. Change in Career Path
  3. Relocation
  4. Company Culture
  5. Compensation & Benefits
  6. Job Security

Answering Pros & Cons

When answering "Why are you looking for a new job?" or "Why are you interested in a career with our company?"It is important to navigate your response carefully. By adhering to these following guidelines, you can ensure your response is thoughtful, professional and well-received by the interviewer.


  • Be positive. Focus on the positive aspects of your job change. Talk about what you are looking forward to in the new position rather than what you're unhappy about in your current position.
  • Be honest. When interviewers ask, “Why are you looking for a new job?” give genuine reasons for your job change but ensure that they are communicated professionally.
  • Remain future focused. Emphasize what you hope to achieve in the new role and how it aligns with your career goals.
  • Curated answers. Relate your reasons for changing jobs to the role you are applying for.
  • Demonstrate professionalism. Keep your answer focused and concise. 


  • Criticizing your current employer. Speaking negatively about your current or past employers is unprofessional and may raise concerns.
  • Oversharing personal information. Oversharing personal details can detract from your professional image.
  • Money. While seeking better compensation is valid, do not make it the sole reason for your job change. You need to balance it with other professional motivations.
  • Speak generally. When responding to “Why are you looking for a new job?”, avoid giving a generic answer. Instead, be specific about why you are seeking a new opportunity.
Showing a lack of commitment. Avoid suggesting that you are easily dissatisfied, as this might raise concerns about your commitment and longevity in the new position.