From the Northeastern Section of the ACS, focusing on career management and development

November 2021
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Interview Question: Why are you looking?
Filed under: Recent Posts, Interviewing
Posted by: site admin @ 3:50 pm

Whenever preparing for an interview, whether
it is screening or a more serious, in-depth
interview, it is important to prepare for the
question, “Why are you available for this job
at this time?”

It is a questions that is valid for those out of
work, doing part-time or project based
work, and for those currently employed.

One initial impression is to learn if you indeed
are a credible candidate and, if hired by
the new firm, will be willing to both stay
during the transition phase and long enough
to merit being considered a very good hire.

K. Hanson points out that relating the
situation you are in in a story with positive
spin.  She does it in the useful context of
the “Seven stories model” written about by
K Wendleton.

The story should form a framework for response,
since it puts your positions, responsibilities and
accomplishments in the perspective of a
career.  It focuses on the positives, passions
and your personality.

Strangely, it can be that looking for a position
while you have a position, would be harder to
describe than looking for a position due to
bankruptcy, downsizing, merger, or other
business decision that is not performance
based.  This candidate could do the same thing
when working for us.  The candidate may not be
able to use current supervisors or references.
So, being able to present a convincing
story relating the new position and its
opportunities to your career are important.

On the other hand, losing a position due to
a business decision is clear cut.  Just honestly
and with positive intonation state it and indicate
you have moved on, wishing the company well.

C Anderson has generated some concept
organized short responses–  There is quite
a bit of wisdom structured into these examples.

One Response to “Interview Question: Why are you looking?”

  1. site admin Says:
    Another artful approach about why you
    are available now is that you have been
    referred to interview for this opportunity
    by a current worker of the company.

    Alternatively, a mentor may have pointed
    out to you that taking an interview would
    be good for you and your career.

    Third party, strong connections like current
    employees or mentors reveal a thoughtful
    professional who takes the time to
    explore things before making decisions.

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