By Amy @BubbleJobs
Interviews, regardless of the industry or job in question, are a daunting experience. No matter how confident you might feel about the prospective business or how many positive vibes you feel you’re getting from the interviewer, all it takes is one tricky question to dash your hopes and bring your interview to a premature end.
Now, there are shed-loads of these potentially soul-destroying interview questions out there that are lurking in the shadows of any meeting room, ready to pop into any interviewer’s head and destroy your chances of bagging the job at any moment – but today I’ve decided to focus on just one – the dreaded “Why are you thinking of leaving your current job?” question.
From “Why are you leaving your current business?” to “Why are you looking to move on from your current position?”, this one can take many guises but at the end of the day, the interviewer wants to know what’s wrong with your current employer and why you’re not happy in your current job.
Now, this one’s tricky because you’re basically being asked to criticise your current employer… but wait, I thought that’s exactly what you’re NOT supposed to do in an interview?! – And there’s my point exactly! You’re being asked an impossible question – go too far down the “I hate my boss” route and you end up seriously alienating the interviewer, but be too nice about your current work place and you’ll have the interviewer wondering why you even applied for a new job in the first place.
So, what do you do?! Well you’ve got a number of options – all of which manage to nicely swerve the “bad-mouthing” your old boss dilemma and actually show you in a really good light. The right answer will depend on your current personal situation – but remember, you need to be honest!
First up, if you’re bored with your current job, rather than admitting it say you’re “looking for a new challenge”. Why? Because prospective employers don’t want to hear that you’re bored (after all, if you’re bored with your current employer, who’s to say you won’t be bored with your next one?) but they do want to employ candidates who want to challenge themselves on a professional level and advance in their career. With this option, you’re not slagging off your current employer personally but you are alluding to the fact that they can’t offer you the right environment or position anymore.
Similarly, if you’re looking to move up the career ladder don’t be afraid to say that there’s “not enough room for growth at your current employer”. Think about it; employers only ever have so many senior or management positions at any one time and they can’t magic any more up just because employees want to progress within the business. Telling the interviewer that there’s not enough room for growth at your current business shows them that you’re keen to climb the ladder and you’re not an employee that’s happy to sit back and watch the world go by – all interviewers want to hear that potential employees have ambitions and career aspirations.
Fancy a change of pace? Telling interviewers you’re “looking for a new career direction that your current employer can’t offer” is a great answer to the dreaded “So why are you leaving?” question. Just like the previous answer, it shows you’re not willing to stand still when it comes to your career and you’re keen to switch things up and aren’t afraid to change direction as the industry dictates. It also shows that if a company can’t offer you what you need, you’re more than willing to move on and look for other opportunities.
Just like the second answer, the phrase you’re “looking for more responsibility in your career” is always a winner when it comes to interviews. Employers want to take on employees who are willing to increase their work load and take on more responsibility in their career – again, it all comes back to having ambitions and a desire to advance.
Last but not least, if you’re uneasy about the future of the business, there’s nothing wrong with telling an interviewer you’re “worried about the direction the company is taking”. Similarly, if you’ve been made redundant – just be honest and tell the interviewer the truth. Remember, times are hard at the moment – it’s not your fault you were made redundant and it shouldn’t reflect negatively on your career in any way.