Interview Tips

How to Answer: Why Are You Looking for a New Job?

By: Melanie Bacallao
Jan 20, 2022 • 3 min read

How to Answer: Why Are You Looking for a New Job?

Whether you’re new to the workforce or a senior looking for opportunities, hiring managers love to ask: “Why are you looking for a new job?” Interviews can be nerve-wracking (and we recommend you study!) There are many questions a hiring manager or recruiter can ask to determine how interested you are in the role. This is a common interview question to find out the candidate’s genuine interest. We’re here to make sure you answer the best you can!

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Understanding the Question

When you leave your current job, you should expect this question in an interview. Hiring managers are looking for red flags. The way you respond to this question impacts their decision to hire you. Would you bad-mouth your ex-boss? Did you contribute anything negative that made you leave? Are you planning on sticking around for their company?

If you answer with negative reasons, this could discourage them from hiring you. The interviewer wants to understand why you left or planning to leave your job to work for them instead. There’s a lot of competition and a lot of options. So they just want to know – why them?

Use Positive Answers

We mentioned earlier that interviewers lookout for red flags when you answer this question. The main one being the way you talk about your former employer or job. If you speak foul of them, who’s to say you won’t do the same to them? Interviewers want to make sure the candidate they hire are culturally fit. By speaking ill of your former employer, they might not see you synergize well with their company.

Instead, use positive answers when speaking of your experiences. Reflect on what could’ve been better from your last job and explain why you are excited to work with them.

Example: “My former position felt limiting to my true potential. When I read your job description, I knew I could do that here. My HTML and CSS skills have been underutilized, and this position gives me the chance to expand on it.”

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Focus on the Future

When answering “why are you looking for a new job?” make sure to keep your response future-oriented. Dwelling on the past is uninformative to your interviewer and doesn’t clarify why you want to work for them. You should be blunt and honest when stating your reason why. Things like being laid off or family business can be talked about. Just don’t go too personal with your reasoning.

Example: “I moved here with my family to seek new opportunities in this area. Being a Project Manager at XYZ Brand is something I have always dreamt about. I believe my skills perfectly align with your job description.”

Example: “My former position didn’t feel challenging or rewarding to me. I know according to the job description, I would anticipate challenging work in a fast-paced environment. This position will test my skills and encourage me to go beyond.”

We hope you’re ready to answer “Why are you looking for a new job?” Keep being positive during your interviewer, and you’ll make a good first impression. By following our tips, you’re ready to ace your interview!

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