Describe what you are looking for in your next job is a popular question, and this article will help you understand how to answer like a pro.
I have interviewed many people as a recruiter and one of my favorite questions is, “Describe what you are looking for in your next job“
There are a couple of specific reasons your interviewer will ask this question, and some major mistakes to avoid if you want to get the job.
So in this article, I’ll help you through how to answer this particular question and impress the interviewer, no matter what variation of the question you ask … including:
- “What challenges do you look for in a position?”
- “Can you describe what you are looking for in your next job”
- “Describe the three things that are most important to you in your next position.”
Let us begin…
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Why Employers Ask You To Describe what you are looking for in your next job?
Hiring managers, recruiters, and human resources staff like to ask this question. You can hear this between questions in a phone interview or in an advanced stage interview near the end of the process.
Here are the two big reasons employers love to ask this:
- First, they want to make sure that you are targeting something specific in your job search.
Employers want to hire people with goals and motivation for their career. No employer wants to hire someone who is just looking for the first job they can find, or any job they can get.
- They would rather find someone who has specific reasons for wanting their job, because, from their perspective, that person will be more motivated and interested in the job … and more likely to stay long term!
- And if they ask a variation on this question that mentions challenges … like, “What challenges are you looking for in a job?” … then it’s a clear sign that they want someone motivated and eager to grow their career.
- Some companies will not care so much about this; they just want to hire someone who can meet their immediate needs and get the job done. But when a company asks a question like the one in the previous example, it is NOT that type of company. They would like to find someone they can promote and help grow in the organization.
And then they ask this to make sure their work fits the general theme of what you’re looking for.
If you are interviewing in a company with a very relaxed work environment where you are very self-managed, and you tell them that you are looking for a rigid work environment in which you can follow the instructions of your boss, then they are not. I’m going to offer you the job.
So be sure to research the company culture and work environment to prepare to answer this interview question. Next, we’ll talk about everything else you need to do to give an excellent answer …
How to respond, “Describe what you are looking for in your next job”
When you are going to answer this question, the first thing you need to do is have a specific idea of the challenges you are addressing or the type of learning opportunity you would like to find next in your career.
You want to appear motivated and eager to learn, and you need to be able to explain it clearly and concisely.
Let’s now look at a sample interview response, so you can see what it would sound like in a real interview.
Sample Answer 1:
“I would love to lead more client projects in my next role. I have enjoyed communicating with clients in my current role as Account Manager, but my Team Leader manages most of the projects in terms of being responsible for deliverables, delegating tasks, and more. I feel ready for that challenge now, so I hope to do it in my next position. “
The sample response above is effective because:
It’s detailed and specific
It is clear and concise
It makes you seem motivated, energetic, and excited about your work.
However, there is a way to improve your response … and that is to mention something specific that excites you about your position (usually something you saw in the job description or something you learned in a previous interview with someone else at the company) .
So let’s look at the same example answer above, but with more information at the end, “tailored” to the employer’s job …
This is the same sample answer, but with a “custom” ending:
“I would love to lead more client projects in my next role. I have enjoyed communicating with clients in my current role as Account Manager, but my Team Leader manages most of the projects in terms of being responsible for deliverables, delegating tasks, and more. I feel ready for that challenge now, so I hope to do it in my next role. When I spoke to Bethany in my phone interview, she mentioned that the person I hire will start out leading one or two client projects at a time, and could become a leader even more. So the position sounds exciting. “
In a bid to describe what you are looking for in your new job you have now shown the employer that you are motivated and energetic about your job … you have thought about your job search and you know what you want (so you are less likely to change your mind and leave after a few months, or lose motivation), and you have shown them why you are excited about their particular job and why you want to work for them.
Here’s how to get the hiring manager excited about offering you the position. If you can do this, they will forget about those other candidates and offer you the job ASAP!
In general, this is very similar to how you would answer, “why are you applying for this position?” or, “why do you want this job?”
However, questions like “Describe the challenges are you looking for in your new job?” They are a bit more complicated because it is easy to fall into the trap of talking only about yourself and forgetting to relate it to the employer and your job.
The best answers, like the sample answer above, will show what you are looking to do in the next position you take and what excites you as a professional … but will also show the employer that you took the time to understand your job and that you, there are specific things that excite you about working for them.
Sample Answer 2:
“I enjoy working as part of a team, so one of the things I am addressing in my next role is a collaborative, team-focused environment. Based on what I saw while researching your company and reviewing the job description, It seems like that’s the kind of work culture that it promotes here, so I’m excited to learn more about the opportunity today. “
How to respond, “What are the three things that are most important to you in your next position?”
If they ask, “Describe the three things that you are looking for and are most important to you in your next job,” take a second to think, organize your answer in your head, and address the question directly at the beginning of your answer.
You should start by saying, “The three things I’m looking for are …”
Then mention those three things and conclude by talking about why your job seemed like a good fit for what you want. Tell them what stood out to you about their position or why you asked for it.
Sample Answer 3:
“Three things I want to describe which I’m looking for in my next job are a collaborative and team-focused culture, opportunities to learn and develop my skills from a technical point of view, and the opportunity to learn more leadership skills over time. After reading the job description for this position, it seems like this might be a good match for what I’m looking for, so I was excited to come interview for the position and learn more. “
If you follow the tips above, you will have an excellent answer when asked by employers about the type of challenge you are looking for in the job interview. You will be more memorable, you will receive more job offers and you will avoid giving them fear or doubts about whether you are the right person for the position!