Why Are You Looking for a New Job? | JobSearchTV.com

By Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

So many videos and I had not covered this one! Here, I offer answers whether you’re junior and senior, working or not working.

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Somewhere along the line, on every interview, you’re gonna be asked the question “So why are you looking for another job? This one shows up all the time and I want to give answers to those of you who are junior and particularly experienced. And there are going to be similarities between the two. But I’m going to start with the junior folks.

They don’t want to hear the truth. They want to know that you’re smart enough to lie to them. They don’t want to know that you hate your boss, your job is boring, that you’re underpaid, anything along those lines. They want to hear stuff. . . . I remember when I was in college, there was someone from the Protestant Reformation named Max Weber. And the idea was, “I want to learn, I want to work hard, I want to get ahead.”

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Any answer you frame should be along those lines. And I want to encourage you, if you’re still working, to say something along the lines of, “and I wasn’t really actively looking for something. But you know, so and so the recruiter (use their first name) described the situation to me. It seemed particularly interesting. And what made it interesting. . . And then you talk about some of the things they spoke about. And it seemed like a place where you could learn, work hard, move ahead. Notice, everything gets tied into those themes.

And since employers have a bias in favor of people who are not actively looking, you’re covering that. You’re also complimenting the recruiter who found you. Follow me there. They dislike hiring people who are actively looking for work. So if you’re working now, you compliment the recruiter.

Now, if you’re not working, you have to shrug your shoulders and say, “Hey, look, I wasn’t looking for a job. But the economy has been what it’s been. And in my firm, we’ve really been suffering for a long time. And the ideal thing is, if you can honestly say it, I survived a lot of cutbacks, and I was one of those people who was well relied on, but they’re fighting for their life right now. And eventually, they got to me and they cut back on me. And again, it’s not just what you say that matters. It’s how you say it so that it sounds sincere.

For those of you who are more senior, again, if you’re not working, you can use a similar answer. But if you are working, the idea is to talk about the way the search firm described the role. And you can say, “and I was doing some networking.  I stay in touch with people all the time. And one of my friends commented about this role, and it really seemed interesting. And part of the what was interesting about it was you and the way you were described.

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“And how do they describe me?”

And you provide a compliment to them. If you got there through networking, if you got there through an executive search firm, you talk about the way the search firm describe the role, and how they reached out to you. You’re a visible figure professionally, and they thought this was a role, that would really be a nice step for you. Part of that was the organization. Part of that was the leadership. Part of that was the opportunity that was here. Again, not vastly dissimilar but we don’t have to go the Max Weber route here– you know, we don’t have to talk about learning, working hard and getting ahead.

You are there and this is a challenge for you. And these are the themes that you, as a veteran person, strike. Don’t hesitate under all circumstances, whether your junior or senior, to slow your speech down and make eye contact with them because that oozes sincerity like I’m doing with you right now. And thus, if you do that, if you act the part, what you say is going to be that much more credible. From their standpoint, they want to know that they can trust you. They want to make sure that they’re not hiring someone else’s problem because they’ve made that mistake before or  they’ve heard stories about people who’ve made that mistake before. Again, it’s not just what you say that matters, but how you say it.


You may also find “10 Best Practices for Job Interview Preparation” helpful


Jeff Altman, The Big Game HunterJeff 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 2000 episodes.

Are you interested in 1:1 coaching, interview coaching, advice about networking more effectively, how to negotiate your offer or leadership coaching? Schedule a discovery call at my website, www.TheBigGameHunter.us

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