If you attend a job interview while you're still employed, the recruiter or interviewer may ask why do you want to leave your job? Out of many questions you have prepared before the interview, this question was not on your preparation list. Should you be honest about the toxic environment that makes you want to leave or find another good reason? Honesty is good, but in this case, you should reword any bad things that are happening at your current workplace. A job interview is when you show positive things and even if bad things are happening, make sure they are out of your control.
- Looking for new opportunity to grow your career
If you have worked for years at the same company, you may face a dead-end job where you can't step forward to a higher position. Explain this to the recruiter or interviewer that you didn't have option to advance your position with the current employer, therefore you're looking for new job to move onto higher position.
- Leaving because you want to switch career into new industry
Perhaps it's a burn-out or you have new interest you want to pursue. Tell to the recruiter or interviewer that you have new interest and passion you want to chase as your new career, and the job position you're applying for is very suitable with what you're looking for.
- You're planning to relocate, so you had to leave your current job
You may want to move to another city or move out of your hometown, but the current job will be very far away from your new place that's why you want to leave your current job that is closer to your new place.
- You're looking for better pay and benefits
You've asked to your current employer for a raise and more benefits but they say not possible anytime soon due to company's financial. You can tell to the recruiter or interviewer about this and explain why you deserve for a raise at your current job.
- You're looking for a new challenge
Your current employer can't give you new things to learn or more responsibilities you've asked for and you feel like it's time for new challenge. Since you can't get it from them, now you're looking for it from another company.
- The company downsized. You were terminated or let go
This is out of your control and something that nobody expects. You can be open and honest about this reason to the recruiter or interviewer.
- The company is facing bankruptcy
Same as the reason above just tell it like it is. You need to get a job before your employment with the current employer ends.
- There is personal issue
For example you have to take care of your sick family member or you are dealing with your own health issue, the current job could make your health condition worse.
- You're not actively looking for new job, but you were approached, and invited to the job interview
Probably your friends or former colleagues refer you to this job. You did not apply but as a courtesy, you sent your resume, and attend the interview. Let the interviewer knows about this.
Many people don't like their jobs, you're not alone. But it doesn't mean you should state this reason right away. Explain the reason with the opportunity you look for. For example, at my current job I have gained communication skill, but there is no room for me to learn more skills so I'm looking for new opportunity that is challenging to improve my other skills.
Everyone wants to get paid more but sometimes companies can't accommodate or maybe don't want to do so. In a job interview, you can explain that you have developed strong skills at your current job but you want a company that can value your skills and experience. You're motivated to get more pay and benefits that match with your skills and experience.
- You don't like the company
It happens to some of us but you should reword this answer. Say this instead, although the company is a great place to work but my personalities don't align with the company culture. I didn't feel that I was a good fit therefore I'm looking for new company that will be fit in with my personalities.
The only golden rule for a job interview is you shall not bad-mouth your current or former employer. Highlight about positive things that you have and can offer to the new company, instead of bashing your employer.