Although this question can be asked of someone at any level, is more likely to be asked of the more senior person. No matter how you answer the question, the follow-up question is more important and will tell them a lot about you and what is going on for you professionally.



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Hi, I'm Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter. I'm called The Big Game Hunter. I started to use it when I start off when I did recruiting, and now I coach people through their job search. And I've got a great, tough interview question for you. And this one is "Have you ever thought about leaving this position before?" To which the follow up is, if yes, "what held you?" If no, "why now?"

See, it's an interesting question because from their standpoint, they want to learn whether you're prone to doing this and under what conditions you chose to stay. So let's start off with the circumstances where, "yeah, I thought about it before, but I decided to hang in there."

"What prompted you to stay?" Change in the work assignment. My boss came to me and said, "I know I've been tough on you before . . . for a while now but this is what's been going on." I understood. And thus, that leads to why now? "Why now are you open to something?" And you have to be prepared to talk about the changed circumstances from then to now?

"And what's different now?" If no, I had never thought about before, why now? And you can't talk about the money as being the primary variable but it can be one of them. You can talk about how the firm isn't doing that well, you can talk about issues related to the work. "You know, money could always be better." You can throw in there, "because I don't think anyone's always completely satisfied about compensation." But do it in a matter of fact, casual way. Focus in on the work related stuff.

And in terms of who can be asked this question, in theory, it can be asked to people at any level, but I think there's less of an expectation that you as a less experienced person might be asked this question, then for someone who's more senior. So just make sure you don't say dumb things and be aware that they're learning about you--Particularly, they're trying to see what could cause you to stay where you are. What could cause them to say things and whisper sweet nothings in your ear that's going to make you go, "Oh, I'm going to turn down an offer from from this company. I want to stay with them. "

I'm Jeff Altman. I hope you found this helpful. Visit I've gotten a lot there that can help you in the blog, and in other places on the site. If you're interested in one on one coaching or have questions for me, you can schedule time through the website for a free discovery call or schedule time for coaching. I'd love to help. I also want to say, follow me on YouTube; click the icon in the lower right. You'll get notified whenever I release something new.

And follow me on LinkedIn. Go to Have a terrific day and be great. Take care.


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 2100 episodes.

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Have You Thought About Leaving Your Position Before?

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