I need some interview advice. I am currently working in a positon I don’t like with a horrible atmosphere and an unprofessional owner/boss.
I have a job interview next week and when they ask why am I leaving my current position, what is the best kind of answer? I’ll be doing the same kind of role in my new job as I will be in my old.
Dee Dee, Australia
If the only reason that you are moving to your new employer is because you loathe your last one then that does make it tricky.
When a potential new employer asks, “Why are you leaving your present job?” it’s not a trick question. They just want to know that you can jump through this hoop creatively.
First off, it’s the old chesnut of turning a positive into a negative:
“I originally joined the company because of their focus on ______ but their focus is completely different now and it’s time for me to move on.”
“I loved the team when I joined; there was an energetic vibe about the place but they’ve lost their way a little bit now.”
Or straightforward bluntness:
“I have spent a good two years with my old employer and I’m looking for a new challenge.”
You are the only one that knows your current situation is a bad one and this can lead you to overthink it. Answer cleanly and calmly and the recruiter will read the cue to move on from this.
The flip-side to that question is this one: “Why do I want to work here?”
Ask yourself, is there any other reason that you applied for this new vacancy? If there isn’t any other reason than the need to scramble out of your current job, ask yourself what other reasons there might be:
“You’re right here in the arts district and it’s where I’ve always wanted to work. You’re close to home too and that helps a little!”
Take time to think about who they are, the quality of their product/service, their reputation, where they are based and what makes them successful. If you need some information you could prowl their website looking for nuggets of information that might explode into interview-ready phrases:
“I noticed you do a great deal of work for the Cornelius Cancer Foundation and it’s a cause that’s close to my heart.”
“Your website says that you are committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2015 and I was really impressed by that.”
They might have a mission statement or something else that could help you.
If you don’t want to go guns blazing you could just keep it simple:
“I’ve been a customer of yours for a few years now so I was excited when I saw the vacancy; it’s the right time for me.”
“You have a good reputation and I want to be a part of that.”
I hope that helps. If you could, leave some feedback here after your interview and we can all learn from your experience.