Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The slippery slope of explaining why you want to leave your job…

Last week, a friend of mine had a job interview. During dinner, he asked me whether I had any tips that could help him prepare. My main advice was not to be negative about his current employer.

Research shows that the number one reason for voluntary leaving a job, is a bad manager or a bad company atmosphere. Isn’t it strange that although I advocate for honesty and openness during a selection process, my advice is not to tell the obvious?

If you speak poorly of a company or boss during an interview, a new employer will automatically assume that you’ll do the same to them one day. And everybody knows that would be bad for business.

So how do you avoid the slippery slope of entering in discussions about the non-existing people management skills of your current boss, the low company morale or the below-market compensation packages?

The key is in the preparation. Combining an honest response without spilling your guts requires some investigation and some soul searching.
  • Find a non-biased statement about your current employer that is not focusing on individuals. Be candid, yet respectful.  For example, if you think that your current manager totally lacks interest in people and is treating you like a slave, you can say that you have a different view on people management that will impact the long-lasting working relationship.
  • Indicate what you have learned from the disappointing working situation. Getting back to the previous example, you can explain that this situation has made it obvious to you that you prefer to work for a manager that empowers his staff and that acts as a true role model. Even if this will prove not to be the case in the position at hand, you still win because you don’t want to get trapped in the same situation twice. 
  • Move as quickly as possible to the positive aspects of the position that you are applying for. In the example you can state that your research has shown that the company that you would like to join highly values empowerment.

The question of why you voluntarily want to leave your current job will always pop up. Your answer may very well be a decisive factor in the selection process. Investing time in finding that positive, yet honest response may prove to be an asset moving forward.

I look forward to hearing from you,

Through a personalized and tailor-made approach, Ingenium Executive Search aspires to assist you in attracting the right talent that matches the DNA of your company

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