Currently, I have been working for my employer for 2 yrs, with a full time 40 hrs a week schedule - but I am only actually doing 3 hours a week of work. This is a family construction business, and I was told once business picked up I would have more work.

Well, that is the case now but my work load has not increased. I am actively looking for new employment due to benefits and boredom. I was recently told only family members of the business owner will handle accounting, invoicing, etc. I do not want to get paid to read, play on fb, etc. I do payroll & human resource dept for the company. If I would have known I would have been paid for just being a body to be present, I wouldn't have taken the job!

What do I say when asked why I want to leave current job during an interview?

  • 3
    Possible duplicate of How much should I say in an exit interview? – gnat Mar 12 '19 at 12:40
  • 2
    @gnat, I believe OP is talking about a hiring interview, not an exit interview. – Based Mar 12 '19 at 13:40
  • @gnat have to agree with peter, this is probably a duplicate, but not of that question specifically. – Trevor Mar 12 '19 at 14:17

I am looking for new challenges and areas to grow my skills

It's the stock answer for "I'm bored".

This question is usually just to see if you fly off the handle at your previous employer.

Avoid all negativity in your answer. Sound as positive as you can, and never ever bad mouth your previous employer. Your interviewer will be able to read between the lines anyways when they see your references contains none of your current managers or supervisors.

You don't usually need to elaborate on this answer either. But sometimes they will ask you what you are interested in. This is your moment to show off how much research you've done ahead of time and say something you know the company does. It doesn't even have to be specific to your job, just the industry in general.

  • "Never bad mouth your previous employer". Totally agree with this one. But recently had an interviewer who had the same employer as me and he was doing all the bad mouthing. Really had to bite my tongue on that one. But I managed to persevere in the end. – dan-klasson Mar 12 '19 at 16:16
  • @dan-klasson good job. I actually fell into the trap once by that same way. The interviewer asked me who else I have interviewed with, I stupidly answered. Then they bad mouthed one of them and I joined in. – Trevor Mar 13 '19 at 12:42

The key when answering this question is to make it about opportunity at the new employer instead of disaster at the last employer.

Doing so will elevate the new opportunity and personally connect you to the new opportunity. Focusing on the disaster at the last employer will leave them wondering if you caused it. Why did the last employer not trust you to run the books by yourself? Why did they need a family member to do it? And so on. Even if these are not legitimate concerns, you don't want them to enter anyone's thought process.

It can be a very good idea to be specific when you're answering this question, but you need to be specific about the right things. Again, you don't want to focus on the disaster at the last employer, you want to focus on the opportunities at the new employer. Pick something positive and specific from your current job, and tie it to something positive and specific at the new opportunity:

Well, when I was at Acme Construction, I implemented X new process, which taught me Y. I see from your website/job description that you also do X, and I'm looking forward to the opportunity to contribute improvements towards your process as well based on what I learned at Acme.

Of course, being able to do this means that you need to do your research about the new employer before showing up for the interview. If you can't logically make a specific jump like this, its better to leave the answer generic, rather than fake something specific, which will just feel fake. But if you can do your research and make this sort of tie to an opportunity at the new job, it will show your initiative, your ability to learn, and it will take a potentially negative question and turn it into an opportunity to show off a bit.

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