When you go for a job interview, the interviewer will ask you why you’re looking for a new job. Unless you stay prepared, this job interview question can be a minefield. You must strike a balance between not criticizing your former or current employer and relaying to the interviewer information about your desire to find another job.
Hiring managers can find out a lot about you and if you’re a good candidate from your answers to this issue, so prepare ahead of time. They will be on the lookout for any red flags that might appear. For instance, how do you deal with conflict resolution? Are you going to resign soon after being hired? They will become concerned if you say negative things about your former boss, asking if you would one day say negative things about them as well.
What is precisely the interviewer hoping to achieve by posing this question?
When you go for a work interview, you should be prepared to answer questions about why you’re leaving your current job or why you quit your previous one. Rather than reflecting on the past and any negative experiences, your answer should open the door to a discussion about why this new position is a good fit for you. The interviewer is searching for a response that will aid in the hiring decision.
When interviewers pose this question, they are not only inquiring about your work search, but they are also attempting to deduce why you are applying for their position. They will also use how you talk to your current employer as a barometer on how you will speak to another employer. Since these are crucial considerations in the selection process, you must respond appropriately to this issue.
Why Do Interviewers Ask You Why You Left Your Previous Job?
A potential employer will always be interested in your reasons for leaving a job. Here are some of the things your interviewer will most likely be looking for:
Did you have a good reason for leaving? — If you left on a whim or for an unusual reason, the interviewer will question whether they can trust you to be responsible, loyal, and reasonable.
Did you leave of your free will? — If you were let go, your interviewer will want to know whether it was due to poor performance or a lack of integrity.
Were you on good terms when you left? – If you can demonstrate that you are still in contact with your previous manager (even better, if he is one of your references), it will go a long way toward demonstrating that you were a good employee with good interpersonal skills.
What are your professional values? — Your reasons for leaving a job can reveal a lot about who you are. Did you leave for good or because you felt slighted or unappreciated? It makes sense to leave a job if you are underappreciated, but keep in mind that this reason should be expressed skillfully so that you do not appear to be a head case.
How to Respond to the Question “Why Are You Looking for a New Job?”
You can expect to be asked why you’re looking for a new job if you’re currently employed and interviewing at other companies. If you don’t come prepared to answer this question, you might end up trash-talking your boss simply because you don’t know what else to say.
Follow these valid responses to this common question to ace this common question.
Interviewers ask this question to see if you’ve given this major decision enough thought.
You are not required to tell the whole truth. Just remember to keep the real reason for your departure in mind. For example, you could state that you were dissatisfied with the lack of opportunities. Begin by describing some of your accomplishments, then pivot to explain how you were hampered in your ability to accomplish more. You’ll get bonus points if you can connect your answer to why the job you’re applying for is a better fit because you’ll have more opportunities.
To effectively respond to the question, focus on what you want to create rather than what you want to avoid. Bring up more opportunities you see at the company where you’re interviewing, and how you’d like to contribute to the objectives of the organization while also adding value to the role.
Showcase your enthusiasm for the new challenges that await you, and demonstrate how the position is the next step in a career path that you are extremely interested in and passionate about.
Examine the Interviewer
If you are looking for a new job in your industry or a related industry, your interviewer has most likely gone through a similar transition at some point in his or her career.
It is beneficial for you to be conversational during your interview. This question may provide you with an opportunity to inquire about the interviewer’s background. After you’ve given your responses, ask the interviewer to describe how their career got to where it is now and how they’re enjoying the new challenge.
Project some Industry Knowledge
You’d better have come into this job interview with a lot of company knowledge memorized. This is where you’ll demonstrate that you know what you’re talking about. Mention a recent award received by the company or a new project or client they’ve taken on. This shows that you’re committed, but also that you know exactly why you want to be a part of the team.
Don’t say anything negative about your bosses, coworkers, or the company. You can, however, speak broadly about corporate goals or express your dissatisfaction with the company’s current direction. Make an effort not to get too personal in your response. Industries are frequently small, and you never know who knows who. You may criticize a coworker only to discover that he or she has a close relationship with the interviewer.
Prepare your responses ahead of time.
You must prepare an answer to this question ahead of time. You don’t want to make a stumbling mistake when answering. Prepare a brief but honest response, omitting personal information.
Examples of some ideal answers
Here are a few good interview responses to the question, “Why are you looking for a new job?” Finally, you should frame your response in such a way that your interviewer feels confident that the position you’re interviewing for is a good fit for your personal and professional goals.
Remember that the delivery of your response is just as important as the content. Make sure to practice aloud so that your response sounds positive and clear.
Explore examples of how to respond, tailoring your response to your specific situation. Be direct and focus your interview response on the future rather than the past, especially if you left under challenging circumstances.
- Acting Ethically I am looking for a different challenge and to advance my career, and I didn’t feel like I could devote the same amount of time to both my job search and my full-time work responsibilities. I felt it was unethical to slack off from my previous job to conduct my job search, so I left the company.
- Reallocation -I am relocating to this location due to family commitments, and I left my previous job to do so.
- Give a positive answer-I’m looking for a job where I can put those skills to use for a cause that I’m enthusiastic about.”
- Provide a recap-“Unquestionably, I’ve learned a lot in my current position, but I’m searching for the next move where I can continue to develop and use the skills I’ve honed to contribute to a company I adore, and this opportunity appears to be the ideal fit.”
- Laid off -Sadly, the company’s largest client went out of business at the start of the year, which had a significant impact on revenues. As a result, some positions had to be eliminated, and I was one of the five most recently hired employees in our department. I am proud of the work I did there; I received excellent performance reviews, and my former manager is one of my most reliable references.
What to avoid while answering the question, “Why are you looking for a new job?”
During your interview, you should avoid making the following mistakes:
- Don’t try to avoid answering this question with a vague answer.
- Try not to show distaste for your responsibilities or your current employer.
- Even if you have personal reasons for leaving, avoid bringing them up first.
- Do not try to appear overly saddened that you are leaving your current position; this can be confusing and come across as deceptive.
- The very last thing you want to do is raise any doubts in the interviewer’s mind about your decision to leave your current position.
- Unless the interviewer specifically requests it, do not bring up salary during the first interview.
- Try not to go beyond your prepared response.