When it comes to answering interview questions, you have to be honest and smart at the same time. Lying to the recruiter during an interview should not be an option. According to a career builder report; 75% of recruiters revealed they caught candidates lying in their CV.
A candidate that lies on the CV will most likely lie during the interview. The thing about lying is that if the recruiter discovers that you are lying that is it!
It is important, to be honest during a job interview, but some questions will require you to be smart about telling the truth. Questions like; why are you looking for a new job?
When you are asked this question, you may be tempted to complain about how horrible your boss is or how uncomfortable the working environment is. Giving these kinds of answers can ruin your chances of getting the job.
If you go on complaining and being all-negative about your current job, then the recruiter will have the idea that you are the problem in the company and will likely be one in his company. As much as you don’t want to complain, you should also not lie but frame your answers carefully such that the recruiter sees you as a potential hire.
You don’t have to worry about how you can answer this question smartly, because we carefully put together all you need to know.
In this article, you would learn:
• Why recruiters ask this question
• How to answer the recruiter without being negative
• 10 good reason you can give for leaving your current job
• Mistakes to avoid when answering this question
• Sample answers
Contrary to the opinions of job seekers, employers don’t just ask this question to confuse you or to intentionally make you fail your interview. Employers ask this question for the following reasons:
• They want to know what kind of person you were in your previous job.
• They want to be sure you did not cause a problem to be sure you will not cause the same trouble in their organization too.
• They want to understand your goals to see whether you will be a great fit for the company.
It is also important for you to know that employers can frame these questions in different ways like:
• Why are you looking for a new job?
• Why do you want to leave your current job?
• Why are you looking for a job change?
• Why are you interested in new opportunities?
We know that this question can bring out all the negativity in you, but you have to be careful to remain positive if you want to land the job. These tips will ensure you remain positive when answering the question.
Sometimes interviewers ask this question to understand your mindset and perception, they also ask this question to find out how you think things through. They assume you have made a big decision and they want to understand why you made the decision.
Even if your current job is, nothing to write home about, you still decided to move on. Therefore, this means that you ready for another stage in your career. This can form the basis of your response.
Focus on what you want to achieve
To answer this question effectively and positively, you have to concentrate on what you want to achieve in the future rather than what you experienced in the previous job that you want to avoid.
When answering this question talk about the opportunities that you see in the company that you are interviewing with and how you would love to add value to the position that you are applying for.
If you must talk about your current employment, talk about the skills that you have learned in your current job and how you are planning to transfer these skills to the new job if you are given the opportunity.
Take note of the interviewers’ reactions
If you are leaving your current job because you want to change your career or looking to change your industry entirely. The interviewer must have experienced or known someone that has experienced a career or industry change.
Going this route can help you start a conversation with the employer. Initiating a conversation with the recruiter during the interview can help you reduce anxiety and nervousness.
Appear confident and convincing
No matter what your reason is for leaving your job, make sure you express it without fear. You have to appear confident and convincing when telling the recruiter your reason for leaving your current job. If you cannot believe your own story, then you should not expect someone else to believe it.
Answering without confidence can make it look like you are not telling the truth.
1. You want to advance your career.
2. Your current company is laying off staff members due to some financial struggles that they are experiencing. Although I am not laid off yet, I think this is a good time for me to look for a more secure job opportunity.
3. You are looking to grow your career and your current employer cannot provide the kind of opportunity that you are seeking.
4. You would like to move to a management position and your current job does not give room for that kind of advancement.
5. You want to change industries.
6. You want to gain exposure and experience in a different kind of organization. (if you have worked in a startup all the while, but now you want to gain the exposure of working in a multinational company.
7. Your job role has gradually changed in your current job and this change does not fit into your career goal anymore, so you want an opportunity that will fit into your goal.
8. The company you currently work for has been acquired, so you think it is a good time for you to look for an opportunity somewhere instead of adapting to re-structuring etc.
9. The company you currently work for is struggling financially, and you think this is the best time for you to look for other opportunities.
10. You are relocating to be closer to your family, so you need an opportunity that fit your skills and at the same not so far from your location.
To ensure you give the best answer to this question, you must have a plan to give a structured answer that will show the recruiter that you are the best person for the job.
These (3) three steps will ensure you give the right answer:
Here you can talk about some helpful skills that you were able to acquire on the job, you can also mention how these skills have helped you grow your career.
You can also mention other things that you enjoyed about your job like flexible work hours, a great work environment, etc.
After you must have started answering the question by saying something positive about your current employment, the next thing for you to do is to talk about your skills.
You can talk about the skills that you were able to acquire in your current job or the new skills that you want to acquire in this new job, and even the new skills that you have acquired that would be more useful and harnessed in the new job.
Knowing nothing or very little about the company that you are interviewing with is one of the mistakes that many job seekers make.
That is why before you go for an interview; always make sure you research the company that you are going to be interviewed to ensure you understand their goals, mission, and vision. This will help you see where you come in and how your role and skills can help the company achieve its goal.
Knowing this will help you answer the question perfectly.
Earlier, we talked about how to structure your answer to the question: why are you looking for a new job?
Now, we are going to frame our answers based on the structure that we noted in the previous section. Let us look at some examples that use this formula to answer the question.
“I have been working in my current company for 2 years now and I have gained a great amount of experience in content development. (Saying something positive about your current employment)
I have learned a lot too about video creation and animation working closely with the media/production team. (Talk about your skills)
I would love to incorporate these skills in the position of a creative director here at ABC company. I also look forward to being a part of the new media re-strategy plan to give a new face to its internal and external communications” (Highlight the company’s goal and how you fit in)
“My current company is a mulita-national company that has achieved success over the years. I have learned to be positively competitive working in such a fast-paced environment. (Saying something positive about your current employment)
I learned a lot about marketing in my current job, but working in such a large company does not allow you to grow beyond your job description. I decided to apply for this job because I want to be a part of a system that I can be a part of the growth process and at the same time apply my skills and ability to help the organization achieve its goal. (Talk about your skills)
This organization is a start-up that is looking to attract more client base; this is why I am excited about this opportunity. (Highlight the company’s goal and how you fit in)
From these examples, you can frame your answer to the question by following the structure above and using the examples as a guide.
We have looked at some sample answers based on the structure we gave to answering the question. Now, we are going to look at sample answers based on the different reasons why you are looking for a new job. These examples will guide you in writing your answers based on your reason for leaving your job.
“My current job is good and I think the company is a great place to work. I have learned a lot working in the company for 5 years, and now I think it is time for me to move on in my career since there is a limited opportunity for growth in my current employment.
I want to expose myself to new challenges that will help me grow professionally. I have read a lot about your company and your goal to reach the whole of Africa in 5 years with your unique product is one of the reasons I would love to be a part of your company”
"50% of staff members in my department were laid off and unfortunately, I was a part of them. The company was experiencing a decrease in sales, and as a result, they had to down-size its staff members. I enjoyed the role because of what I was able to learn. I look forward to working in a company that is financially stable and at the same time will allow me the opportunity to grow and develop my technical skills.
I look forward to taking on more responsibilities if I am allowed to work in this company. One of the things that attracted me to this company is the innovation the company has brought to the travel industry, and I would love to be a part of it."
"It has been a great experience working with my current company over the last 4 years, but I think I have learned all that I can learn in this company. Joining the company as a marketing executive years ago and working my way up to being a manager leading a team of three salespersons. Now I am looking to take on more challenges to grow my career, joining a bigger team will help sharpen my skills. This is the reason why this opportunity appeals to me."
"My family is relocating to XYZ where we have a family house, so I am looking at getting a job opportunity that aligns with my skills and a place that I can also contribute my skills here in Kampala."
"I enjoyed my job as an accountant in my current company, but I am looking for a new opportunity because I look forward to working in an industry that I can put my skills to maximum use. Seeing that your organization is one of the leading organizations in the Finance industry, I looked forward to contributing to the success of the organization.
Sample answer 6 (if you want to gain experience in a different kind of organization)
I have spent the last three years growing a strong team of content developers. My team has helped push product awareness with the content that we create by 28% in the past year. Currently, I want to work for a bigger company and take up even greater challenges. Your marketing strategy and plans are what attracted me to this position.
I am ready to make a move in my career by working on more challenging projects, and I know that your company is the perfect fit. This is why I would consider leaving my current job."
"I appreciate the 3 years that I have spent with my current employer. Another company has acquired the company I work for currently, and due to the restructuring, the value of the company has changed.
I look forward to working for a company that my skills aligns perfectly with the company’s value. Looking at this company, I am sure that the values of the company properly aligns with my skills and that is why I am excited about this opportunity."
This question can be very tricky because you can easily lose your guard and want to go on to say everything that you hate about your current or past employer. You must be careful not to say the following things when answering this question:
1. Avoid badmouthing your current job/employer
Regardless of the issue that you must have experienced in your current job, avoid falling into the temptation of badmouthing your current employer during an interview. Doing that shows that you are immature and unprofessional.
Saying that will also give the interviewer an idea that you are a part of the problem that you complained about all along. This will also give the employer an idea that you may create a toxic work environment if you are employed and they would not want that.
Instead of going all-negative, you can find something positive to say about your current employment even if you had a bad experience. It shows that you can make a negative situation a great opportunity.
2. Avoid lying
While it is not good enough for you to badmouth your current employer, you should also avoid lying to the interviewer because most of the times they would know you are lying.
You don’t have to lie about your reason for leaving, but you can still be wise to give a smart response that will still make sense to the interviewer.
Even if you are looking for a new opportunity because you were fired or laid off, you can still present your negative circumstances in a positive light.
3. Avoid talking about money
There are very few scenarios when talking to an interviewer about money is okay. Most of the times it is not ideal, and answering this question is one of the times that it is not ideal.
Don’t tell the interviewer that you are looking for a new job because you want better pay. Recruiters want to know if you are truly interested in the job and not just because of the salary that you want to get at the end of the month.
When you talk about money, the recruiter becomes scared that when you get a better offer, you would leave as well. Never tell your interviewer that you are leaving your current job because you are not fairly compensated in your current job.
4. I am looking for a better office environment
When you are answering this question, you should try not to give the reason that you don’t like your work environment and that your co-workers are not nice enough.
This can suggest to the employer that you were a part of the problem, and if you have the opportunity to work somewhere else you would leave as well.
There are many reasons why you may be looking to work somewhere else and there is no one single correct answer to this question since there are different reasons why people look for opportunities.Use the structure and examples given above to ensure you answer the question correctly and ace your interview.
Do you have any questions? Let us know in the comment box below. We would love to hear from you.