Looking For A New Job: What Do I Say During The Interview?


Lots of questions over the weekend about looking for a job. A three-day-holiday weekend will do that to a human being. You get a couple of days away from the office and you start to reflect on life.

Here’s one about interviews.

I have applied for a job at another company and just learned that the hiring manager is a former colleague from my current department. In fact, we worked together. Good for me — she likes me. Bad for me — she is going to want to know why I am looking, etc., plus she probably wants more ‘dirt’ on the current situation here.

Most interview advice is clear: don’t say you are leaving your current job because of something bad. Honestly, that is why I am looking. And that is why she left (although it was a different kind of bad). I need to be prepared. Is it one thing to tell some perfect strangers the reasons why you are looking but to tell something else to a former insider? How do you put a positive spin on why you are seeking new opportunities when you cannot state the real reason?

Here are the reasons why most people look for jobs.

  • Mo money.
  • Fewer problems with co-workers & managers.

When people ask you why you are leaving your organization, it is a test question.

We want make sure you aren’t an idiot who likes to talk. And you would be amazed at some of the absolutely stupid things that people say when they are asked this question. So you need to say what the smart and successful people say.

“I have really enjoyed my time at [my company]. I had an opportunity to [insert a few accomplishments]. I am looking for new challenges. I really want to learn and grow, and I want to contribute to a [smaller or larger] organization. I’ve done my research on the industry, and I’m very excited to be here — today — for this interview.”

Or something vanilla and lame like that.

Body language + confidence + not being too chatty will get you right through that question.

Sit up straight. Slightly lean forward when you say it. Look your interviewer in the eye. Be brief. Be done.

And honestly, this former colleague knows exactly why you are looking for a job. Of course she wants the gossip. She’s human. Don’t be stupid enough to say it.

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