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The Monkey – Swinging Through The Interview Questions

Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Jun 27, 2014 in Interviewing Skills

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Interviewing Questions Series: 5-6 of 29 Monkey2

Answers to popular (and sometimes tricky) questions you might hear in your next interview. Suggestions and requests are welcome in the comments. If you are currently a job seeker, a great way to help you prepare for the interview is to prepare a brief answer to all of the questions here. Download all of the questions here: Interview Prep Guide.

What led you to leave your current job?

If you are currently employed and a recruiter calls you, you don’t necessarily have to find something glaringly wrong with your current employer or work scenario to consider the position(s) they describe. You can actually focus on the positives of why this new company/role is of great interest to you. Perhaps it offers you something new to learn or an innovative way to apply your talents to the benefit of the new organization. Surrounding yourself with new people you can learn from is also considered a positive reason for seeking a job change.

If you are discontent or unhappy at your current employer, do your best to avoid speaking poorly about your boss, the company, the business strategy, the work environment, or politics that may be at play causing your to seek a new position. You never know who knows whom, so keep it light. You could be walking into the office of the spouse of someone you work with. People gravitate toward positive energy, so focus on the good rather than looking for negative reasons to leave your current job.

If you are no longer employed, you will need to be comfortable discussing why you left; especially if it wasn’t by choice. Being let go or transitioned out of a job is a very difficult emotional experience, particularly when you didn’t see it coming. Take some time to reflect on what you could have done differently and what will be important to you going forward so that you can find a positive reason for the separation. Even if it is only in your mind, this will make it easier to discuss in an interview. If you really did make a grievous error and were let go for cause, it’s ok. As long as you can admit to your mistake, know what you need to do to avoid that mistake in the future and be comfortable discussing it factually rather than emotionally, you can get past it.

“When would you be able to start?”

“Within 2 week of acceptance of an offer” is a good place to start when you are still at the interview stage. If you know you need to give 3 weeks at your current employer, then tell the recruiter. What you don’t want to do is get into particulars about your summer vacation plans, your prepaid cruise trip, holiday trips with your family that you always go on and couldn’t possibly miss, or that you will need 2 weeks off for you wedding or your kids’ wedding at a certain point. These are all topics that can be broached AFTER you start. It’s normal for people to have life plans; everyone does. Be aware that you may have to take some of that time off without pay if you haven’t accrued enough personal paid time off.

Plans like this are not something you bring up until you have a written offer in hand and a better understanding of the job cycles and how they correlate with your vacation plans. Many cruises can be rebooked for another date if they coincide with a major deliverable or a beach house deposit can often be moved to another week should need be.

 

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