Job interviews and meeting with recruiters can be nerve-wracking experiences, and one question that many candidates find particularly challenging to answer is…
“Why are you looking for a new job?”
This question is often asked to delve deeper into a candidate’s motivations and intentions, so it’s important to answer it thoughtfully and confidently.
If you ramble on and speak negatively about your current or ex-employer, it’s a big red flag for hiring managers.
I have heard many jaw-clenching responses to this question, so I had to share 5 tips and advice on preparing and successfully answering this question!
1. Be honest, but tactful.
When answering, “why you’re looking for a new job?”, be honest without being negative, badmouthing or critical of your current or previous employer.
Focus on the positive aspects of the new job that you’re interested in rather than the negative aspects of your current or old job.
For example, you might say something like;
“I’m looking for a new job that will provide me with greater opportunities for growth and professional development. I enjoyed my time at (XYZ company) but now feel like I am ready for a new challenge and opportunity to apply the skills I have learnt in a new environment.”
Never badmouth an ex-employer in an interview. It instantly is a red flag for the interviewer. Rant and rave all you like to your friends and family, journal it out, and do whatever you need to, but never take that energy into an interview.
2. Highlight your skills and strengths
You can use this question to highlight the skills and strengths that make you a good fit for the new job.
Talk about how your experience and expertise align with the job requirements and how you can contribute to the organisation’s success. Pull out examples from your previous role of how you achieved key milestones and how your personal contribution enhanced company performance.
3. Show enthusiasm for the new job
Demonstrate your enthusiasm and excitement for the new job and the company. Discuss what you find appealing about the company culture, mission, and values and how you see yourself fitting in and contributing to the team.
If you notice a current initiative or project when doing the all-important company research, offer insights into how your skills can contribute to the company’s overall success.
Roleplay some answers to showcase your experience and what you can add to the company and culture.
4. AVOID discussing salary and benefits.
While salary and benefits may be a factor in your decision to look for a new job, I generally do not advise candidates to bring up these topics in their response to this question “Why are you looking for a new job?”.
Focus instead on the broader reasons why you’re looking for a new job, for example;
- Career growth
- New challenges to work on
- A change in the environment
5. Practice your response
Finally, practice your response to this question before the interview so that you feel comfortable and confident when it comes time to answer it.
Finally, I know that answering the question “Why are you looking for a new job?” can be challenging if you are not prepared, but by thinking about how you will answer this question and using some of my tips above, you can turn this typically tricky question into a positive and impress your interviewer.
By being honest, highlighting your skills and strengths, showing enthusiasm for the new job, avoiding discussing salary and benefits, and practising your response, you’ll be well on your way to nailing your next job interview.