How to Talk About Your Current Job in an Interview
By Bonnie Johnson
If you’re already in a job interview situation, chances are you aren’t crazy about your current job. You’re anxiously waiting for the interviewer to ask you that inevitable question, “Why do you want to leave your current position?”
How can you eloquently discuss your current job, boss, and why you are leaving?
You know the saying “Keep your mouth shut if you don’t have anything good to say!” While it’s true, silence is not an option in a job interview. There are a few very basic reasons that can be simply explained, such as an employer going out of business, a long commute or relocating with a family member. Beyond that, it’s important to stay clear of negativity regarding your current job. If you spew hatred for your current supervisor or employer, it only makes the interviewer think you will do the same with their organization someday.
The first step is preparing for this question BEFORE the interview. Make a list of reasons you want or need to leave in one column. I hate my boss. My coworkers drive me crazy. The hours are too long. They don’t pay me enough. Note that these reasons are for your brainstorming only and should NOT be said in an interview.
Now translate these reasons into an acceptable response for an interview. A few examples:
The Real Reason: I’m bored.
The Interview Reason: I’m ready to expand my skill set with new challenges and responsibilities.
The Real Reason: I’m tired of working excessive hours.
The Interview Reason: I want to improve my work-life balance while remaining committed to my employer’s mission.
The Real Reason: I can’t stand my boss/coworkers.
The Interview Reason: I want to be part of a company culture that encourages employee engagement and positive leadership.
The Real Reason: I’m stuck in my position OR I need more cash/better benefits.
The Interview Reason: As a goal to move my career forward, I’m ready for advancement opportunities that will utilize my experience and knowledge.
The Real Reason: My employer is on the verge of bankruptcy.
The Interview Reason: I’m looking for a stable organization where I can contribute to overall company success.
Now take these even further by immediately segueing into why you want to work for the interviewer’s company. Not only are you staying positive, but you are showing that you did some research and are focusing on the company rather than yourself.
Bottom line: Remain positive and show your enthusiasm for the potential new employer and role.
If you’re ready to start exploring, check out AgCareers.com and post your resume to our database. Check out our Career Cultivation blog for more helpful tips!