In continuation of my article How to convincingly answer the interview question “Why do you want to leave your current job?“, let me share with you few guidelines on handling tricky reasons like
A] not getting along with your boss
B] not enjoying your current job profile
C] not happy with the work culture of your current organization and
D] you have been jobless for some time. With my interview coaching experience, these are common reasons job seekers generally have for seeking a change.
Please do remember that in an interview situation, presenting any kind of limitation or discontentment with your current employer has the risk of reflecting a negative mindset and that can become a concern for an interviewer. It depends a lot on the way it is presented. So let us see how to circumvent the hurdle and tackle these reasons.
Reason 1: You are unable to get along with your immediate boss.
Suggested approach: It is said that professionals leave managers and not organizations. While it might be a genuine challenge for you, one needs to remember that the interviewer is also human and someone’s boss. It is a natural tendency to think “Will he/she has a problem with me too?” So unknowingly you end up building a wall between you and your prospective boss in the interview. Because not getting along with people is a sensitive matter for every organization, blatantly mentioning it as a reason can boomerang. Instead, keep the focus of discussion on the excitement you have for the prospective job profile because it matches your skills and shares the value you would get to the table.
Advantage: There is no blame game but a positive value add.
Reason 2: You are not enjoying your current job profile.
Suggested approach: You may mention that the prospective job profile aroused a high interest level in you because while you enjoy your current job and have been meeting the goals, the scope to expand your learning horizon is getting somewhat limited. And then immediately emphasis on the wider scope the new job offers which has excited you.
Advantage: You are seen as a contributor who likes to grow and is enthusiastic.
Reason 3: You are not enjoying the work culture of the organization.
Suggested approach: We need to remember that the work culture in every organization will be different and one needs to adapt to it. In case you are not enjoying the environment, it is expected by the interviewer that you be equipped to handle the challenge. Let me explain with an example. If the issue in your current job is regular uncalled for and unreasonable late working hours on a daily basis and over weekends, then it might be affecting your health. But if unreasonable working hours is a challenge in your current organization, there could be something else in the prospective employer company. And remember you need to present yourself as an individual with a positive mindset who manages the crests and troughs of life by focusing on the solution. So it is expected of you that you discuss the issue with your current boss/seniors and try to arrive at a win-win situation. If the issue still remains unresolved and is affecting your health, you may decide to leave but it does not help by presenting the same as the reason. If you do, then the interview might get into a discussion on how are the others managing and so on. For you to take a call, you can always do an independent research with employees or HR in the prospective company and find out if there is a similar situation of late working hours. In the interview situation, focus on the attraction of the job profile and the value proposition that you bring along with you.
Advantage: You continue to be seen as a valuable resource who will be a solution provider.
Reason 4: You have been jobless for few months to a year.
Suggested approach: It is important to share a reason why you left your previous job. For example, if it was due to downsizing in the organization, then present it as an incidental situation wherein you were part of a number of other employees who were affected by the transition process. While one understands the pain to be in a jobless situation, you need to present it as a learning experience and share what you gained positively during this trying phase. A solution-oriented approach would be to take up freelance assignments to keep honing your skills. In case it is difficult to get freelance projects, offer to be of service within your domain to smaller companies through known sources. Compensation is not as critical as much as reflecting the continuity in your career. The point is that such an engagement reflects a positive attitude which impresses an interviewer.
Advantage: You are seen as an individual who has the maturity to take things in his/her stride and is a solution seeker.
Do study the above approaches and use them to create a winning situation for yourself by getting the job you so much deserve