4 Steps for Answering “What Are You Looking for in a New Position?”
Ever felt nervous about answering this simple question?
After all, what more can you expect in a new job, it’s the same routine with the same challenges right?
An interview is usually packed with distinct questions to analyze if the candidate makes the cut or not. Among these questions, hiring managers are bound to ask, is the ever famous —“What Are You Looking for in a New Position?”.
You are likely to go through a mixed bag of emotions when presented with the question.
“Surely, this is a trick question, after all, why would he bother asking this question in the first place. I should stick to answering professionally.”
“Wait a minute…. what if he’s looking for a unique answer to try and see if I have the chops to perform well. I should answer with a more personal emphasis.”
Answering the question requires you to understand the perspective of the hiring manager and what he’s looking for.
By reading through the article further, you can begin to assess what a perfect answer’s like.
WHY DO HIRING MANAGERS ASK THIS POPULAR QUESTION? WHAT ARE THEY TRYING TO ASSESS?
Determining your Honesty
No company likes a dishonest employee who can’t be upfront with them as to why they are joining the company in the first place. This question aims to put your reasoning skills to test and gives a clear understanding if you’re indeed a great fit for the job.
Utilize the “less is more” approach and ensure your answers are concise yet informative to the job description that you are applying for.
You may provide answers related to your experience and add value based on what you provide to the company over a long term. Hiring managers are always interested in knowing the value an individual employee can add to their company.
Remember, don’t throw around industry knowledge that you aren’t sure about, if a hiring manager senses that you are making up tall claims, you could find yourself in a regrettable situation.
Ensure you read up on the company you are applying for before taking the interview to get yourself in a better position to be able to answer the question aptly.
Hiring Managers are looking for employees that’re creative, not destructive
Employers want to know what their candidates are interested in rather than the things they are looking to avoid.
Never answer the question in a negative tone such as claiming you are only taking up this job because they were the first company to interview you. Laidback answers have no place in a professional environment
Don’t bring up negative encounters you’ve had in the past or mention how your ex-boss wasn’t the right person to work for. Hiring managers tend to frown down on candidates looking to blame others for their lack of achievements.
Leave your past issues at your former desk and concentrate on compiling a well-thought after explanation based on your technical skills.
Stick to explaining how you’ve solved challenges in your previous company and how this new position can suit you and your experience.
A good answer should be able to provide insight on the type of career path you are looking for and be able to provide a long-term goal for the company to decide on whether they want to hire you.
Assessing your Enthusiasm for working with a Team
In a professional environment, bonding with your fellow co-workers can bring many positive benefits to the company.
Hiring managers want to know how your social skills fare when you answer this question. Answer in a collaborative tone, if referring to a past project, say “We’ve completed the project” instead of “I’ve completed it on my own”.
Hiring managers would also like to test if you prefer to work in a team environment or you tend to follow a solo adventure.
Playing well with a team can earn you brownie points as interview managers prefer hiring job hunters that look to assist others rather than their own self-proclaimed goals.
Ensure your answer is organizationally related, stick to using terms such as “squad”, “group”, “crew”, “team”, etc. in your answers.
This can demonstrate your team player qualities and your hiring manager will understand that you put team efforts above everything else.
Above all else, be energetic and spirited in your answers. Maintain a smile throughout the interview to show your interview manager that you aren’t failing under the weight of expectations.
An informative video is provided below by “Don Georgevich” providing a statistical data on why individuals leave their job and what they look forward to.
HOW NOT TO ANSWER THE QUESTION“WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR IN A NEW POSITION”?
Here are a few examples demonstrating how you shouldn’t answer the following question and why it can be counter-productive to your recruitment process.
Example 1: “Any Job is better than my old job… My Boss was a terrible person… Your Company seems to be more relaxed”
Explaining failures can lead to disastrous results and no matter what your skillset is, one aspect is proven to the hiring manager — that you enjoy blaming others for your own inability to achieve success.
An interview is a place to demonstrate your inner skillsets and shouldn’t be treated as if it were your personal psychiatrist session. Don’t ramble about how the former job was tough for you and how you are seeking a more relaxed working environment.
By placing your blame on your former colleagues and boss, you prove to your interviewer that you are unable to handle challenging projects and meet the deadlines. Ensure you never bring up topics that refer your previous company in a bad light, there’s no way you are getting hired by badmouthing an organization.
If you must mention a problem with your former company, then utilize the words “challenge” over “problem” to sound professional. In this way, it doesn’t sound like you’re placing blame on anyone and you are only pointing out a challenge that was too much for you to handle.
Example 2: “I don’t have an idea of what the future holds for me, So I am unable to predict it.”
With no aim or plan of action, you may be dismissed as a person that’s only looking for a current form of employment to make ends meet. It’s critical that you create an actionable path for your career and ask yourself where you would like to see yourself in 5 years of time.
Enthusiastic candidates often get promoted often when they have a goal in mind and seek to achieve it.
To setup, a plan, write down your passions and visions on a piece of paper and come up with what you would like to become and the duration you require to achieve it.
Now, create a dialogue based on this plan in a professional manner, and explain to your interviewer why you see this goal as your foreseeable future.
Remember, your chances of being recruited is doubled when you have a more long-term position in mind rather than just demonstrating your core abilities. Loyalty is what the company seeks in an employee along with their talented skillsets.
Example 3: “I need the Experience that your company offers… I need the money.”
Under any circumstance, don’t come off as a desperate and needy individual looking for a free handout of the job offer.
A professional company hires only candidates who can prove their mettle and can ensure their talents standout along with their communication skills. Anything else stays off the book. You’ll most likely be turned down up front if you decide to take the route of narrating a sorrowful life story filled with life struggles.
If the company is looking for “X” skills, you need to center your explanation based on these skillsets. Anything else is purely secondary, the company needs to have a reason to hire you over the dozen other candidates that applied. Don’t just mention benefits that you receive by joining the job like — money, insurance, allowance, vacation pay, etc.
If you truly wish to highlight your weaknesses, instead demonstrate how you overcame them and how you are a person that truly has the confidence to rise above the rest and solve the challenges that life throws at you. “Working too hard” isn’t a weakness and shouldn’t be mentioned as one.
4 EXCEPTIONAL STEPS FOR ANSWERING THE DREADED QUESTION
Show them it’s more than just collecting monthly paychecks
Motivation plays a key role in your hiring chances. If your hiring manager can understand that you love your job and you aren’t just working to make ends meet, your interview process is going to be a smooth ride. Use this opportunity to sell your communication and interpersonal skills. By building a rapport with your interviewer, you can give them a chance to learn more about you.
Explain why you care about your job so much and how much time you are willing to invest to get things done. Every company is actively searching for employees that are constantly developing and growing on their own personal time. It’s important to demonstrate why working with the company isn’t just a chore but your own personal need as well.
Companies value efficiency and promote creativity in their employees, if you can manage to convince your interviewer that you’re looking for the freedom the job offers in letting you do your best for the company, you might be able to ace the interview by answering the question in a terrific manner.
In a realistic scenario, your answer as a professional should be —
“I am a people’s person and my skills revolve around marketing and communications. As a customer service representative, I would have the chance of putting my past expertise to full use as well as learn the latest techniques in developing my skills past their prime.”
If you are an entry-level applicant with no prior experience. You should try to construct a story before you sell your expertise. Such as —
“I have always wanted a job ever since I graduated to prove my worth and although I don’t have any experience on paper, I have plenty of reason to learn what this position offers. I believe in making my own money and climbing up the ranks. For now, here are the side projects that I have been working on and it should give you a good idea of what you can expect from me.”
Explain Your Skillsets In-Detail
Any company looking to hire your professional services is bound to assess your talents and skills. After all, hiring you is an investment for the company and the more they know about your expertise, the clearer their investment looks on paper. Ensure you list your hard skills first over your soft skills.
Hard skills are the skills that are required by your job description and is the main reason your employer is out to hire you. This can refer to skills being learned from a certified course or academic institution.
These skills need to be explained in detail to your interviewer to show them exactly why they need to hire you. You can then proceed to explain why these skills are best suited to your new role.
Soft skills, on the other hand, are your communicational abilities and show how a person interacts with others. Soft skills can make the difference between an interviewer choosing you over another candidate with similar career experience as you. Demonstrate that your skills are adaptable to the company’s needs and that the new position is a perfect place to display your soft skills.
Let’s say you are a graphic designer, the first step is to put down your hard skills on paper.
This could contain — Typography, Web Design, Creative Designs, Software Knowledge, etc. Next write down your potent soft skills such as Communication, Problem-solving, Leadership, etc.
Now that we have a fuller understanding of what you’re capable of, you can use these terms to create an answer to what you are looking for in a new position. The answer could be something like —
“I am a Graphic Designer with 7 years of experience that is committed to providing creative designs with regards to Typography, Web Design, and Creative Designs. I am well-versed with the industries leading software such as Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop. I am also adept at handling clients as I possess superior communication skills and have considerable knowledge of leadership-related responsibilities.
I would like to take this opportunity to develop further as a Graphic Designer, and I understand that your company has the working environment for me to meet my goals.”
Maintain a passionate stance on the company
Demonstrate your willingness to work with the vision of the company. Believe in their mission and the aspirations and show that you want to be a part of their workforce.
Always ensure their company remains at the forefront of the conversation while answering the question. Hiring managers are constantly in search of committed and creative personnel.
While the question is entirely about you, your answer needs to be aligned with the perspective of the company. Aim for providing an in-depth breakdown of why the company goals and your vision go together.
Your work represents your passion, diving into an explanation based on your talents and why the company can benefit from hiring you is where the core of your answer should center around.
Explain in simple words, what gets you excited every morning when you reach for the alarm and get ready for a new day.
Hiring managers love to hear your motivational story translated into a short story that they can analyze and help in a clearer decision-making process.
Lay emphasis on the fact that you would love to see the impact of your work on the organization and its clients.
Answering in a positive sense such as —
“I understand that your company is looking to develop a software that can track pets by adding a nanochip to their collar. I am an animal lover myself and as a pet owner, I understand how useful a technology like this can be for animal owners. I would love to offer my software developing skills as part of the experience and work with your team to make this dream a reality.”
Prove You are in this Job for the Long Haul
Challenging yourself beyond your limits and achieving success is every employer’s dream candidate. Showcase your long-term goal strategy and bare your plans out in the open for your hiring manager to be impressed. Proving you can get the work done along with an ability to take on new challenges is a perfect answer to the question.
While describing your long-term goals to the company, it’s important to ensure you don’t say anything that makes the hiring manager assume you are using the company as a stepping stone. This can work against you and you might be rejected based on utilizing the company for your own personal career goals.
Give them the impression that you are worth the investment. Specify details on how your career goals align well with the motives of the company for the long foreseeable future.
You can win your interview manager’s respect by demonstrating your strong enthusiasm in working for the company by connecting your career’s overall path with their goal in mind.
Here’s a great answer that pitches in your long-term goal and demonstrates your professionalism —
“In the last company that I worked in, I spent over 6 years in the Research and Development department trying to come up with a product that the company entrusted me with. Although I was looking to leave the company after 5 years, I stayed back an extra year to complete the project and oversee the product launch.
I did this as I strongly believed in the product and today I am glad to see that the product is a massive success among its consumers. In this new role, I’d like to extend the same amount of everlasting commitment with renewed vigor. “
In the following video, Deniz Sasal shows us how to answer the question “Why Do You Want to Work Here” in 2 convenient answers.
Demonstrating your excitement when answering the question can go a long way in securing the job. Hiring managers dislike candidates that are low on energy and answer the question in a few lines. You need to pour out your career goals onto the interview table and ensure you can answer the question in detail as to why exactly you wish to work for the company.
The hiring manager is interested in your commitment to the company and the values you possess in understanding their deadlines. The question serves a purpose of assessing your overall loyalty towards the company and hence, requires you to explain at great length as to why your values are what the company is looking for.
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