Why do you want to leave your current position?
If you are employed, but at an interview for another job then this question just might be asked.
The commute, the salary, the people
When answering this question you definitely don’t want to say that you’re looking to leave your current job for reasons like the commute, salary, or your co-workers. Basically, anything that doesn’t really have to do with the work you’re doing is definitely a bad answer to this question. It should be obvious that no company will want to hire you if you just want to leave your current position because the commute is too long, the salary too small, or your just don’t get along with your co-workers.
I interviewed a guy once who made it clear that he only wanted the job because the commute would have been much less for him than his current job. I quickly lost interest in him as a candidate, because he obviously had no real interest in the work itself.
The bottom line is that companies want to hire people who are actually interested in the work that they are doing.
Looking for more challenging work
A good answer to this question would be to say that you are actually looking for more challenging work. Of course – it’s only a good answer if you actually mean it! You can say something about how the place you’re currently working at just doesn’t have the challenging type of work that you would like to be doing – but then of course if you say this you must know that the job that you’re interviewing for has more challenging work.
What you’ll be working on is aligned with the core business of the company
A lot of software engineers work for companies where software is not the core business of the company – meaning software is not what the company actually sells to generate revenue. But, software engineers are needed for things like internal applications or for the web. It’s like you work for Mcdonalds – which is obviously not a company that sells software, but you work on their corporate website. If you are looking to leave a company like that, and you happen to be interviewing for a company where software is the end product, then you could say that you want to work at a company where software is the core business.
Once again – you should say this only if you mean it. But, it is true that when working for a company if you’re working on the core business of that company then the work may just be more fulfilling. Because when you work for non-tech companies, software is primarily just facilitating the rest of the business – and the workings of the software are often dictated by internal clients who may know nothing about software, or even about their own business. That can be frustrating!