Pivoting your response when asked why you want to leave your current job!

response In my last post, I discussed pivoting your response to this dreaded question. This is part of step #4 of the Cure for Career Insanity.

You should never go negative when asked why do you want to leave your current job. I talked about Robert’s desire to leave a comfy but low paying and unrewarding university position(unrewarding by Robert’s definition of not getting pats on his back from his bosses).

Let’s talk about James this time.

  • Works for a huge insurance company
  • Director of HR responsible for managing the medical benefits
  • Has been climbing the corporate ladder with a plan to get to be a VP
  • He is not happy in his current position working for a huge slow moving organization
  • Has worked for medium size companies where he has had led or had a leadership role in HR
  • His boss Steve, VP of HR, who he just adored left because Steve’s boss was a workaholic and expected all of his staff to do the same

After much self exploration James has decided he would rather work for a smaller company again. He wants to be a big fish in small pond. He has applied and is interviewing for Steve’s old VP position but cannot see himself working for the workaholic boss. If offered the job he will be put in a very difficult position. He has a family and wants a personal life.

He is interviewing for the Director of HR for a small/medium size company that is growing rapidly. He would have a small staff but would be responsible for all of HR for the entire company.

How should James be pivoting his response to answer the question — Why do you want to leave your current position?

One response could be –

“My current position is ok but I have decided that I want to work for a smaller company where I can have an impact on all phases of HR within the company. I want to work in a dynamic environment. Can we talk about the new initiatives that are planned for the coming year?”

The interviewer could come back with a follow up question:

“You say your current position is ok, can you elaborate?”

One response could be –

“In my current position I manage medical benefits which is ok but I want to have a broader focus. I want to have an impact on all phases of HR within the company. I want to work in a dynamic environment. I hear that there are many initiatives planned for the coming? I would really like to discuss those?”

James did not answer the question but stated where he wanted to go which implied why he might be leaving. He immediately pivoted the conversation to a topic he wanted to discuss.

When the interviewer set the bait, he did not take it.

You may remember in my post “It is all about you! It is your DAMN Interview!” you have control of the interview.

Whenever you are posed with a question that has bait attached deflect the bait and pivot the conversation back the other way.

How would you have pivoted your response?

Have you ever done this? If not, practice this with a friend, mentor or coach.

Does this sound interesting? Are you suffering from Career Insanity?