John Borrowman, CPC
Borrowman Baker, LLC
The question can throw you for a loop. “Why are you leaving?” You know it is coming. Why not prepare for it?
Think of it as a buying signal. They wouldn’t ask if they didn’t think the answer was important. They don’t realize that it’s just not the best way to ask about your motivation for being there and talking with them. That is the question they’re asking, though.
Begin by changing the premise:
I thought you might ask me that. But, to be honest, I didn’t come here because I’m leaving. I am here to see whether I could grow and develop farther and faster than where I am. That could mean I would leave, of course.
Be prepared to talk about things you’re not getting to do and would like to; things you’re doing a little of and would like to do a lot of. Ask how that fits with what they have in mind.
Turn a tough question into a platform to explain what you want for your career. Employers are eager to hear what that is, and you have a better chance of getting it.