Congratulations… You’ve landed an interview! You’ve prepared yourself to talk about your skills, why you’re a great fit for the company and you’ve done your due diligence on your potential boss and their team.
The interview is going great until… curve ball… the interviewer asks ‘Why are you looking for a new opportunity?’
You think.. ‘Is this a trick question? Should I really tell them about my horrible boss or how I dread going into work every day?’
The short answer is no, definitely NOT!
This question can be awkward and uncomfortable. This is not the time to speak badly about your current job or your boss even though it seems like the easy way out. The best way to answer this question is to talk about what you’re looking for in an opportunity, rather than what you’re looking to avoid. You can easily speak to this if you’ve done enough due diligence on the company and speak to what draws you to that specific position. *Pro tip- you can also talk about what you will bring to their team and how you plan to bring value.
For example: “I am looking for a new opportunity because I can’t stand working for my boss. He micromanages me and it’s hard for me to work in an environment like that. There isn’t any room for growth and I don’t see a future for me there.”
vs.: “I am looking for a company that I can bring value to and I feel as though my skills would be an asset to your team. The opportunity to grow and advance in a company is very important to me”
Tell them what you’re looking for, not why you’re leaving.
If the career or job change is specifically about money- avoid using this as an answer. It will automatically make the interviewer assume that you’ll leave their company for the next best thing. It will also show that you don’t necessarily want to work for the company specifically, but your motive is strictly about money. Again, this is where your due diligence really comes into play.
The main tip here is to never throw your current employer under the bus and never speak negatively about your current situation. Think of it as an opportunity to show what you know about the company, why you want to work for them and what you can bring to the table!