Switching Jobs: How to Stay Positive In Your Interview Responses

Interview CoachingYou might have any number of reasons for switching employment or looking for a new job. From everyday job dissatisfaction to downright unhappiness, any job change should bring about more positive and enlightening opportunities.

But when it comes to explaining to an interviewer why you want to leave your current company, it’s important to be honest without being negative.

Reasons for the Switch

The first thing you will need to do is determine why you are searching for a new role. For example, it could be because you:

  • Are unhappy with your salary, pay or benefits
  • Dislike the people you work with
  • Don’t enjoy your everyday tasks or responsibilities
  • Feel that your career is not going in the right direction
  • Don’t respect or value the company you are working for

Whatever your reasons are, it is extremely beneficial to be positive about your decision and the changes ahead of you.

Staying Positive

When an interviewer asks you why you want to leave your current role, it is tempting to start complaining, whinging or being negative about the company and your position. However, this essentially casts you (not your company) in a negative light and portrays you as a candidate who perhaps can’t handle pressure, deal with conflict or who doesn’t want to take on new responsibilities.

For instance, I once interviewed a candidate who wanted to find a new job because he said he was sick of being “scolded” in his current company. While this was understandable, it also indicated that he might not perform well under pressure or that he wasn’t open to criticism. Even though he was being honest, it cast many doubts in my mind as to whether or not he was competent enough for the job he was applying for.

What to Say

In any interview, it is crucial to stay positive and avoid negativity at all costs, since employers feel that if you’re negative about your current role, there’s nothing stopping you from being negative about your new role. Candidates with negative attitudes also come across as being unproductive, uncreative and inefficient.

Instead, your responses need to demonstrate the positive aspects of your decision to switch jobs. Here are some great examples and focus not on what you dislike, but what you are looking for:

  • “I don’t get paid enough” – “The salary on offer is not on par with my skills or with the industry norms. I feel that I bring a lot of value and strengths to the role, but this is not shown in the remuneration or benefits given.
  • “I hate the people I work with” –  “The culture in the company is quite unproductive and people tend to not pull their weight. I’m more interested in a role where I can do my job to the best of my ability each day and be supported by a passionate and likeminded team.”
  • “What I do is boring” – “I feel that my current role doesn’t allow me to use my main strengths and as a result I don’t enjoy my everyday tasks or feel as if I’m learning anything new. I’m keen to find a job where I can use my talents and find ways to learn and grow.”

Remember, whatever you dislike about your current job, make sure you shed some positive light on your decision to leave in any interview you attend. This will show you are an enthusiastic, determined and career-focused candidate who knows exactly what they want and who is making the right moves to achieve success.

Resumes Australia specialises in great interview coaching techniques that can significantly enhance your interview performance. Learn more about our interview packages here.


kylie hammond

About Kylie Hammond
Executive Search Consultant, Head-Hunter, HR Consultant, Executive Career Coach, Expert Resume Writer & Executive Talent Agent.

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