The interviewer wants to see that you are the type of employee dedicated to professional growth. Give an example of a skill that you wish to develop. Bonus points if you can tie that skill in with a talent mentioned in the job posting!
"One skill that I am currently working on is my level of proficiency in Excel. I recently tested as an Intermediate user and would like to become an advanced level user. I have enrolled in a 6-day course at the local college which begins tomorrow. I see that your job posting asks for strong Excel skills. I am confident that I can meet those expectations, and even exceed them, once my course is complete."
"That is a great question! I am currently working on developing my ability to influence without direct authority. I have an executive coach that is helping me do this through mentorship programs and peer practice groups."
"This year I have been diligently working on my ability to create curriculum and new training programs for my staff. I hope to have my first course launched in the next month, or so, however, I still have some technical writing courses to complete before I know it will be perfect execution."
"I'm currently working on my proficiency in PhotoShop as well as Illustrator and InDesign. I would rate my current skills as intermediate; however, I want to be at an expert level."
"I am working on my assertiveness. Sometimes I have a great idea, and I fumble in asserting myself, and I believe that the team would be much better off if I were to have lobbied for my idea. Or sometimes I am too understanding to last-minute scheduling requests which results in an employee shirking their responsibility and me picking up the slack. I know that this is a weakness of mine and I have made it a point to work on it, including reading "Nice Girls Never Get the Corner Office."
"I'm working on my proficiency in Salesforce. I can indeed navigate it and execute any tasks needed, but I'd love to become a Salesforce admin and be able to customize fields. That said, I'm using Salesforce.com's tutorials online and YouTube videos to up my expertise. I understand that your CRM is Salesforce, so I hope to bring this newfound knowledge and expertise to the role."
"I have hired a Spanish tutor! I think it would be beneficial for me to have a second language. I do plan to travel to Spain this summer so the skill will be helpful in and out of the classroom."
The interviewer wants to make sure they can offer what you are looking for in your next position. Discuss with the interviewer the things you are missing in your current role. You can also talk about what aspects of this particular company excite you.
"One of the most important things I am looking for in a company is an organization that values its associate's growth. Companies that are offering internal training and development programs for advancement are appealing. For instance, I am interested in taking more technical writing courses and would love to land with an employer who sees value in that."
"In my next move, it is critical to me that I work with a marketing group where the directors encourage sheer creativity, even when it comes with some risk. I don't want to produce a product the same as everyone else. I love that your team has been part of some viral marketing material. This agency is just the place I want to be."
"I'm looking for a company that I truly believe in, to have a genuine interest in helping grow it. I'm also searching for a company that has growth opportunities and values its employees, looking for opportunities to help them learn and grow to bring the organization to the next level. I believe I've found this in your company, so I sure look forward to the opportunity to prove that I'm the best candidate."
"I want a company that is doing all it can to remain relevant, despite the shift away from brick and mortar stores. I am leaving a store after five years of employment, so I value loyalty given in return. I look forward to making this first in what I hope to be many moves up within your organization."
"I want an exciting, fast-paced company that values my talents and will ensure that I can grow professionally. I'm sad at the thought of leaving my current team and company, but there is not an opportunity for advancement on the horizon, so I want to ensure that my next move is long-term with advancement opportunities and continuing education."
"It is important to me that the next school I am in had a parent community that is involved and concerned about their child's' learning experience. Without buy-in from parents, it is challenging to gain and keep engagement from the students."
Onboarding new employees is a time consuming and costly endeavor, so the interviewer wants to make sure that this role will be a long-term fit for you. Be open to the interviewer about your dreams within this company, on a long-term basis. Share what promotions you hope to eventually receive and discuss what you wish to learn from being a part of their organization. The key to answering this question is to express to the interviewer that you plan to stay with the company for many years to come.
"While visiting your company website I noticed that you have some leadership opportunities available in a variety of locations. I would love to work my way into a management or leadership role with your organization and would be willing to relocate to do so. I like what your organization stands for, and I hope to see a current fit, and future growth, here."
"That is a great question! I see myself leading a small office team of like-minded and passionate individuals who enjoy the work we are accomplishing together. I also see myself working closely with a charity, on behalf of the organization, to give back to the community."
"I currently manage a small production team; however, in the longer term, I would like to grow into a regional management position. I researched the career path in your organization and saw that you spend a great deal of time grooming your employees for quick promotion."
"I currently am hoping to move from content manager, which is more focused on creation and execution, without tons of involvement in the calendar planning or sales initiatives, into your role of marketing coordinator. In the short term, I want to work on planning sales strategies to support those marketing efforts. Long term, I'd like to leverage that knowledge into a Director of Marketing position."
"I am in it for the long haul. I have been at my current employer for four years. I do not take this next move lightly, as I know I am leaving a safety net where I am known, respected, and appreciated. That said, I know I need to leap to advance my career and challenge myself. After an appropriate amount of time in this department manager position, I would foresee 2-3 years; I would look to move into a General Manager role with your organization."
"My long-term goals would be a management position. Dreaming big would be a director or VP level of sales position, perhaps moving into a customer success director role at some juncture. Within the next three years, I would look to be leading a small team, but would jump at the opportunity to run a pod in the nearer future."
"If offered this role my long-term plan would be to remain here, as a teacher, but perhaps work as a learning leader as well. I am ready for the additional responsibility, and I understand that your school would help me to achieve that long-term goal."
When an interviewer asks you this, make sure you always keep your answer positive. If you are leaving your position because you don’t like your boss, be sure to phrase it more eloquently. If you aren't sure how to reply, remember - it's always a safe bet to focus your answer on career growth and exciting opportunities.
"Our company went through a merger last year. Since then, the workplace culture I admired so much, is no longer there. I am on the search for a supportive and positive environment where I can continue to flourish."
"Career growth and professional development are driving me to seek a new position. As wonderful as my organization has been to me, I do not see an opportunity for upward growth. When I saw your posting for an executive assistant supporting the C-suite, I knew I had to apply."
"I do not take this move lightly. My current company feels like family. I need to see further challenge and growth so, after giving it much thought, I put my application out. My decision is on timing, the fact that you are the right company, and the position is not a lateral move for me. All of these stars have aligned in this one job you're looking to fill, and it is calling my name."
"I feel that I have outgrown my role as it is with a small marketing agency. I am looking for an opportunity in which I can work with more robust software, on larger projects, with clients who have bigger budgets."
"I have been with my organization for four years and have moved up through almost every rank the store offers to get to where I am today. I am so grateful to the store, the management, and customers for the opportunity and growth I've experienced over the last few years. However, I feel as though I need to conquer the next challenge. I need to stretch outside of my comfort zone to grow in a new industry."
"I feel that I've reached the highest point I can at my current position. I am exceeding sales metrics, but what I am longing for is a team to lead. Right now, and in the next year or more, there is no such position. Because of this, I need to look for another, better fit where I can grow to my fullest potential."
"I am seeking a transition to a new district because my spouse needs to transfer offices and we are looking to move to this area. Since my kids will be attending this school, I thought it would be an excellent idea to apply here as well. Your school has an excellent reputation, which sweetens the deal for me as well."
Now is the time for you to express your enthusiasm for the company, and the position to which you applied! Express your passion for your field of study or talk about how this role will provide you with the career growth you have been seeking. Be sure to compliment the company and give a strong reason why you want to work for them.
"Your organization is a leading player in the e-commerce space. I am an advocate of your platform and frequent shopper of your products. I think I can add a lot of value to this role and am excited to learn more about this online customer support opportunity."
"I want to work for a small company with a family-like feel, just like yours. I have always worked in large organizations where I am a number, not an individual. This 'corporate giant' type of environment made it difficult for me to flourish as a manager and a leader. I appreciate the workplace culture you have cultivated."
"I have been a client of yours for several years now and targeted your company as a top prospect for which I hoped to work, over a year ago. As soon as this position came up, I knew it was right for me. I was excited to write my cover letter to you and hit send on my application!"
"I have shopped here since I was a little girl. My grandma used to take me here, and it's where I bought my grad dress! To come full circle and work here in the very same department all these years later would be not only exciting for me, but very special. Your store means something to me personally, and I would do everything in my power to make it successful and continue to make special memories for others!"
"I have been looking for a high-growth startup for quite a while, and your company is what I've been seeking in a work environment. You value your people and have an awesome culture centered around achievement, growth, and accountability. You are disrupting an industry that needs some shaking up, and you have science that is allowing that disruption. The energy in here is contagious, which only make me even more excited about the opportunity."
"Your district is one of the top rated in the state, is considered a thought-leader in the educational community, and it is the district that I grew up attending. So, it's not only full-circle for me in setting, but also the place where I decided I wanted to become a teacher, so this is an extraordinary opportunity. I have always said I wanted to come back to teach in District ###, so this would be so exciting for me on both a professional and personal level."
The interviewer is trying to quickly gauge if you are qualified for this role, or not. If they have called you, chances are - you have something on your resume that they like. Most job postings will specify the amount of years experience that the employer is looking for but it's often a flexible number. Let's say the interviewer is looking for five years experience in a specific field or skill, and you have only three years: "I have approximately three years' experience in your industry; however, I have exposure to many similar job duties from my five years in position XYZ. I am well equipped to exceed expectations in this role." Let's say the interviewer is looking for five years experience in a specific field or skill, and you have 15 years. Avoid being labeled as overqualified by saying: "I have more than five years' experience in your direct field. My most recent position was similar to this role, and I was a top performer for the entire seven years of my employment there. I am eager to continue my path of success with your company."
"I have approximately three years' experience in your industry; however, I have exposure to many similar job duties from my five years in position XYZ. I am well equipped to exceed expectations in this role."
"I have been working in an administrative position for approximately four years. I also spent a great deal of time helping my dad with his bookkeeping business as a teen. I was exposed to organizing files, making appointments, and double checking the details of his work before he passed it back to his clients."
"I have over ten years of experience in my field, with seven years in your specific industry. Although I have a lot of experience I am always learning new management techniques to that, I can better myself and improve the productivity of my team."
"I have six years of marketing experience, from freelance to inbound marketing coordinator, and now as a content manager. Before that, I worked in sales for a CPG company, so I understand the business from varying perspectives. I look forward to continuing to learn about how your organization operates."
"I have been in the sales field since I was in high school, so for half of my life. I have worked my way up through the ranks from a part-time sales associate in various departments to assistant manager, to department manager. I know that I have learned much of what I need to succeed in this role and I look forward to exceeding your expectations as I gain even more knowledge."
"I have three years of sales experience in a traditional setting, and have been selling in some capacity since high school in a retail environment, and as a bartender while putting myself through University."
"I understand that you are looking for a teacher newer to their career. Although I have eight years' experience as a teacher, you will find that I am very open to learning new classroom techniques. I am a huge proponent of continued learning and pivoting my teaching style based on the needs of each classroom."
Many interviewers will start off with this question, which could throw you off a bit. You've done all of this research on the company but have you prepared to talk about yourself? The interviewer is looking for relevant information to the position for which you applied. Respond by mentioning your education, how many years of experience you have in your field, and be sure give some details about your most current position. Conclude your response with a statement about what you are looking for in a role at this time.
"With pleasure! I have over ten years of experience within the professional services industry and am interested in growing my career to the next level, and become an executive assistant. On a more personal note, I love to read, go hiking and spend a lot of my extra time volunteering with the humane society."
"I am a calm and quiet leader, with excellent written and verbal communication skills. Even though I am quiet, I can motivate my team and keep morale high. I was recently awarded 'Most Productive Manager' in my organization."
"I graduated with a B.A. in Economics and started my career in sales. After a successful three years, I decided to begin making the moves to the marketing side. Freelancing on the side to shore up my creative skill set prepared me for the leap to my first marketing position as an inbound marketing coordinator. I am still with the same organization, but now as a content manager. I help build out the marketing calendar and execute its items from blog posts to social media to email marketing efforts. In my next role, ideally with your company, I am looking to achieve the next step towards a director position."
"I started my career in retail very young. My first job at sixteen was as a sales associate at a large department store, and I have stuck to retail ever since. After high school, I achieved my associate's degree in fashion merchandising and continued to a four-year university where I obtained my B.A. in communications. Since then, I have held various leadership and management positions in both small boutiques and large department stores. I am currently looking to take my experience and career to the next level by pursuing this position as the department manager in your highest volume department."
"I started my sales career in a large corporate setting, and there I received a promotion within only a few months. I decided that I wanted to stretch my wings and made the leap to a startup. There, I earned the fastest promotion in company history and followed that up with the fastest deal to close after promotion. I have had continued success here and am in my preferred sales territory. However, I feel that I may have outgrown the position and right now, there isn't an opportunity for a managerial position here, so I'm looking at outside opportunities, such as this one."
"I am super excited and passionate about my job, the language, my students, and continual learning. I feel so privileged to have a job that I leap out of bed for every morning. I am a mom of boys, and I am a fitness enthusiast: as their soccer coach, the high school soccer coach for freshman girls, and a runner in my spare time."
This question can be tough to navigate! As a potential candidate, it can be challenging to show weakness for fear the company will lose interest. When you answer this question about a skill that you feel you are lacking, explain how you plan to become stronger in that skill.
"I am very excited about the job description and feel my qualifications align with the type of candidate for which you are seeking. I could have stronger skills in Excel; however, I am more than happy to enroll myself in a course immediately."
"I have read through your job posting, description, and learned more about your company online. I feel that I have all of the must-have and nice-to-have qualifications for which you are looking. Is there anything you feel I am lacking or anything that I can answer further for you?"
"I think that I meet all of the must-have requirements for this opportunity. If there's anything that I may not be 100% proficient at, I take it as an opportunity to grow and learn, but certainly, know I can rise to the occasion on any task asked of me."
"I think that I meet 99% of the requirements and the only skill I am not as versed in as I would like, would be the buying decisions. I have assisted in buying for two years now, but I have not taken the lead. I am more than excited and feel as though I am prepared to take on this responsibility, and look forward to learning from the more experienced members of the organization so I can be successful at this task as well."
"I feel as though that the job description has me in mind. I truly fit it to a "T," and it is directly in line with my targeted career path. I would love to clarify any areas for you that we haven't been able to cover yet."
"I am confident that I have the skills required for this role. Could you share with me any areas where you feel I may be lacking? I would love for you to see the same level of fit that I do!"
When responding to this question, make sure you answer honestly about your gaps of employment, whether your discrepancies are due to staying home with the kids, an illness, taking care of an ailing parent, or taking some time off to think about a career change.
"The first gap in my resume was from 2007 - 2008 when I took a year off after completing University, to travel. Even though I was not working, I learned so much about business and interpersonal communication during that year of travel. After being laid off in 2012, I was without work for six months. Those are the only two gaps in my resume."
"There were two times where I had a gap in my career. One gap was taking time off for personal reasons in between a great career pivot. The other, I took some time off to attend schooling for an administration certificate. The certificate greatly improved the quality of my work and my organizational skills."
"The gap in my resume was when my employer went bankrupt and my role dissolved with no notice. We were in a recession, and it was an incredible challenge to find employment. You will see that I ended up relocating to gain employment. It was certainly a trying year."
"The only gap on my resume is the three months after college graduation when I traveled a bit but had a job lined up for my return. Additionally, you may see that there are seven months between the two companies I've worked for, but that was when I left my sales position and worked freelance marketing before being brought on as a full-time inbound marketing coordinator."
"The gap in my resume was due to an apprenticeship with a professor while getting my associates in fashion merchandising. Technically I was still employed but very part-time during this time. The following semester was outstanding but in an unpaid untitled assistant role."
"I completely understand your interest in them. There is a gap between my college education as I left one University for another. Also, I took some time off when my mom was sick with leukemia. Thankfully, she is in remission. There is one other 6-month gap after I left my role at ABC company when I took the time to spend with my son when he was a newborn."
"I started my career as a substitute teacher in a smaller city where opportunities were few and far between. To try to fill the gaps, I did work as a bartender; however, chose to leave that off of my resume to avoid confusion."
The employer would like to know what methods and resources you are using in your job search so they can determine which of their advertising methods is working best. You can expand your answer to include any other exposure you have had to the company.
"I initially saw your job posting on LinkedIn. However, I have been exposed to your organization many times before through your radio commercials and advertisements on Facebook."
"I've been looking at job postings on Indeed, so I believe this is where I found your job posting."
"Word of mouth is the most powerful form of advertising! A friend that works in your Finance Department referred me here. We worked together many years back."
"Zip recruiter has been my new favorite place to look for fresh opportunities, and that is where I came across yours. Before seeing your job posting, I was familiar with your agency through some of your advertising efforts."
"For the last eight months, I have been contemplating a move and keeping my eye out for the perfect opening. When I saw this position open on your website, I knew I had to go for it, and I am so happy I did!"
"I heard your CEO speak at a networking event and the company sounded like a perfect fit, so I've been keeping my eye open for a job posting on your site, and now here we are."
"A colleague of mine saw your posting on a teaching forum and told me about it. He knew that my wife and I were discussing relocation to your area."
This question means excellent news! If the interviewer is asking for your availability over the next few days, chances are you are moving to the next round. Try to be as flexible as possible with your availability. Finish your answer by asking for the interview!
"I can make myself available at any time, with some notice. The ideal times for me to interview are between 8-9AM and 4-5PM Monday through Friday. I am very eager to move to the next round. Do you have a specific day or time in mind?"
"I would need to take a half day off to come in for an interview, so given a day or so notice; I can make myself available, no problem."
"Understanding things move quickly; I am flexible and adaptable to work around your availability. What day and time do you have in mind?"
"I am so happy that you asked! I have a flexible schedule and often work from my home office. What day and time do you have in mind? I will make it work."
"I am available in different pockets of time, depending on the day. I do have Thursday off entirely and greatly look forward to a second interview."
"I can make myself available, given a bit of notice. If it is an in-person interview, I'd need to take a half day, so would need a day to put in that request. I'm eager to move on to the next round, so please let me know as soon as possible so that I can make it happen."
"Since we likely work the same hours, I would need to take a half day off, and find a substitute. Can we set a date now so that I can get started on the requested time off?"
Background checks are widespread in many industries. If you are keen for the position, you much comply fully with their onboarding process. Show that you are cooperative. If there are any marks in your history, this is the exact time to disclose them.
"Yes, I am happy to comply with any background checks required. My record is clean."
"That is a great step in the process, and there will be no issues with me participating in this. I am happy to provide any supporting documents to help along the way."
"You are welcome to conduct a background check on me. I will disclose upfront that I have a DUI on my record from 2009. This mark does not affect my ability to travel for work, and I no longer have any restrictions on my drivers' license."
"I am happy to do any background check or references you'd like. There is nothing in my background that will hinder my ability to be successfully on-boarded."
"I do have a mark on my criminal record from a few years ago. If you can review and still accept me as a candidate, I would be happy to continue the interview process with you."
"No problem. I'm also happy to provide references or documentation you may need in addition to the background and education checks."
"Rest assured; I will pass any background check that you have for me. I have worked with vulnerable persons such as children, and the elderly, for the bulk of my career. There has never been an issue present."
Before applying for any position, it’s best to have an idea of your long-term career goals, and a great sense of the potential growth the hiring company offers. This way, you can highlight for the interviewer all of the great reasons why this position will fit into your long-term goals! Maybe you hope to be in a management position with them down the road! Whatever your reasons, be sure to provide a response that allows the interviewer to see your desire to stay with them long term.
"I feel that this position fits in well with my long-term career goals because it provides the project management piece that I have been missing. I would love to become great in this role and then earn a promotion to a leadership position where I can mentor other project managers."
"My primary career goal is to find a position where I can stay long term. Because your company has such a strong reputation for workplace culture, it fits perfectly with my desires for a long-term fit."
"I know that this position is precisely the best next step in my career. Not only is the position right, but the company is where I need to be. I am looking or more responsibility and an opportunity to grow into a director level position. I look forward to climbing the ranks in your industry. I plan to take additional coursework on leadership to prepare myself for regular promotions."
"My long-term career aspirations are to lead a large organizational effort around improving global marketing. This role as a Marketing Director will help elevate my experience towards that goal. Along the way, I will continue to develop my business and financial acumen to be a more well-rounded leader."
"I have been seeking a retail environment outside of typical big box stores. Your brand and brand story resonates with me, and I like the fact that you encourage continued education opportunities for your management team as well."
"I feel I have learned all that I can in my current role, and your Senior Account Executive focusing on Strategic Accounts is precisely the role I would have written for myself in an ideal world. I would love to be able to leverage my experience in the industry to help propel your company to the next level. After succeeding in the SAE role, I'd look to move into a management role. From what I understand of your company, you seem to promote from within, and I look forward to proving myself so that I can lead a sales team at ABC Company."
"I am, and will always be, a teacher first. This role fits with my career goals because you also offer opportunities for me to participate in extra-curricular activities like being a soccer coach. I love physical activity and have a strong belief in encouraging kids to be active."
Before answering scheduling questions, it's important to be clear on the interviewer's expectations. If you haven't had a chance to clarify their scheduling needs, now would be the perfect time to ask! Consider asking, 'What are the scheduling expectations for this position?' If they expect you to work 12 hour days, it would be important for you to know that before you respond with, 'Absolutely! No problem!' You want to be sure that you can meet their expectations. If it turns out their schedule expectations won't work for you, think about what you CAN offer and see if you can meet in the middle. It's much better to discuss these things in an interview than for you to commit to a schedule that won't work for you.
"I am available for full-time work which is preferably 8-5 Monday to Friday. I am happy to be a team player and work some overtime, as required. Will these hours meet your expectations?"
"My scheduling availability is flexible and adaptable to meet the needs of your organization. I am not afraid to put in hard work or long hours when needed."
"Whenever I ask my team to stay late to complete a project, I do the same. I would never ask anything of my team that I am not willing to deliver myself. Rest assured, I am a team player and will do what it takes to ensure the organization is successful."
"I am certainly a team player and willing to pitch in to help reach a goal outside of the standard hours, but I am accustomed to typical business hours and am looking to retain those. Is there a particular time of year or initiative that comes to mind when you refer to atypical hours?"
"I'm used to working nights, weekends, and holidays. I am flexible for days or nights, weekdays or weekends, and the like. In my current role, we are offered overtime pay for holiday hours and Sundays. Is this what your organization offers as well?"
"I know that sales roles can have some long hours, and am open to that as needed. For the majority of my days, I was hoping to retain my current schedule of 8-5pm Monday through Friday. Obviously, as extenuating circumstances arise, with KPI's in mind, I will certainly do more than my share to pull the weight."
"I work many additional hours in a week whether that be with students who need help after school, helping to coach a sport, or leading a club. I am certainly willing to do the same at your school."
Employers want to know if you are willing to grow with their company by investing in your industry related knowledge. Depending on the position description, relate your desire to gain additional education or certifications to the position for which you are applying.
"I am currently on the lookout for conferences and forums that will help expand my knowledge and help me become more competent at my job. As the daughter of a teacher, I am a lifelong student and have learned to value the continuing education hours, whether mandated or otherwise."
"I have attended school for my Master's Degree in International Business. I am constantly looking to learn more and seek to obtain advanced educational certificates to be better at what I do."
"I'm always interested in learning and expanding my knowledge base. At this point, I don't know that I'll seek an additional degree, but certainly always looking to learn from others, from conferences, classes, or seminars. I often seek out online tutorials and videos to help increase my skills in the graphic design arena, so I'm no stranger to continuing my education."
"I am interested in continuing my education, formally or otherwise. Currently, I jump at any opportunity to attend seminars, conferences, or other continuing education courses offered to me. Also, I have often peeked at the local college's brochure to see if they offer any classes that would help further my career. For now, it seems the best way to continue my growth and education is through mentorships and seminars."
"I love to learn, to the level of "nerdiness," honestly. So, I'm always looking for opportunities, both formal and informal, to expand my knowledge base. My degree is a B.A. in Communications and Spanish, and I've always dreamed of getting my M.B.A., ideally in management."
"I would love to obtain my Masters' in Education eventually. I do attend teachers' conferences at every opportunity and have a keen interest in professional development. Do you have any recommendations for courses or events for me to attend?"
Be sure when you respond to this question that you do not want to change aspects of your current position that are also the primary duties in the role for which you are applying. If you do this, the employer might think you are not that interested in the position and its functions. Keep your answer brief and avoid any negativity!
"I would not change anything about my current role because I believe there are lessons everywhere in situations. As I evolve in my admin role, I would like to see it make more of an impact on the organization's bottom line. I believe that proper organization can save a company thousands of dollars in time and error avoidance, but my current company has yet to see that connection."
"If I could change anything about my current role, I would create a stronger line of communication between management and the production team. I have thought about the benefits this would bring the company and would love to be in a role where my ideas and thoughts are more valued."
"What I'd like to change about my current role is having a hand in some of the planning that I ultimately have to execute. I sit in on the calendar planning and strategy sessions but mostly am asked to be a fly on the wall for now. 18 months into this job, I want to be able to have my voice heard and be a contributing member who contributes to strategy."
"I know it sounds crazy to say I wouldn't change anything about my current job as I interview for a new position, but it's true. The role is as it should be, it's just that I feel I have outgrown the organization and need the next challenge. If I had to choose something, I would say that I wish we had a more cutting-edge inventory management system and CRM. I feel that we have lagged a bit behind the times and have not kept up with industry leaders such as yourselves with the advances in technology in recent years."
"I enjoy my current role, but if I could change anything, I would hope for more of a support staff onto whom I can pass the client after the sale, so that I can be more effective in my prospecting and selling, rather than also wear the hat of an account manager. I'm thrilled to see that you all have a dedicated customer success team that would be responsible for maintaining and growing the account after its transition from sales."
"If I could change anything about my current role, I would make the classroom sizes smaller than they currently are. It is a real challenge to be effective when you have 35 young students at a time. Currently, I do not have a TA which would also be very helpful. I hear that you have smaller class sizes and offer teaching assistants readily, which is very appealing to me."
The interviewer wants to gauge better if their hiring timeline fits with your current schedule. Your answer will determine if they continue to engage with you, based on their timing and needs. If you are actively interviewing: "Yes, I am very active in my search and have had multiple invitations to interview. Currently, I am in the second interview stage with one company and third interview stage with another." If you are not interviewing: "I just started my search, so I am not in final interviews with any other company. I am aggressively seeking, however."
"Yes, I am very active in my search and have had multiple invitations to interview. Currently, I am in the second interview stage with one company and third interview stage with another."
"I am currently exploring opportunities with other organizations or similar roles. At this time, I am not at the offer stage but will keep you apprised should that change."
"I often have my eye on new opportunities, but at this time, your position was the only one that has genuinely caught my eye. Are you looking to find your candidate soon or is your timeline and interview process lengthy?"
"I am interviewing with a couple of other companies, but I am not yet in the offer stage. Could you share with me your timeline?"
"I am incredibly choosy about my next move, and I value your organization head and shoulders above all others. Right now, you are the only company for which I have applied. I am not looking for a new position because I have to, but because I believe the time is right for me to expand my horizons, which aligned perfectly with this current opening."
"I do have an interview on the books next week as a third, final round interview. I much prefer the sound of your role; however. If you and I can successfully progress over the next week or so I can certainly consider delaying an offer."
"At this time, I have two other schools who are engaging me in their process. With that said, I have been very clear with the interviewers to let them know that I am not looking to make a move until September. I am interested in each role for a unique reason and will not just take the first offer that comes my way. This decision will be one full of thought and discernment."
The type of culture you are looking for will vary based on your field and personality. However, every candidate is looking for a positive work environment and growth opportunities, so be sure to stress these aspects in your response. In regards to the position, think of three traits that get you excited about your ideal job. What work elements evoke happiness? Be sure to demonstrate to the interviewer how excited you are about this position.
"Ideally, I am seeking a role that offers a positive work environment with room for growth through challenging projects and continued training. I work best in a positive team environment where employees are respected and given some form of autonomy."
"I am looking for a role to which I can contribute value. An organization with a culture where administrative associates feel valued and appreciated. I'm passionate about working within a culture where people are recognized, ideas are celebrated, and innovation is happening all around you."
"My ideal workplace is somewhere that challenges me, allows for growth, and just somewhere I look forward to being, day in and out. So many hours are spent at work, that I want to make sure I'm a good culture fit for the rest of my team, and they for me."
"I am looking for a business that I believe in, with people who believe in what they're doing. Culture is essential to me, and I seek a company that values its people enough to go out on a limb for them. In a position, I'm looking for growth opportunities in the marketing department. I want a hand not only in execution but also planning the strategies and promotions."
"My dream workplace is comprised of a great team, selling solid products that I can stand behind with pride, and a place that values me as an employee and leader, and takes steps to nurture my growth."
"As far as my dream sales position, it's a team-oriented, sales position that pushes me daily and inspires me to stay on my toes, learn, and grow. I love a fast-pace and a collaborative team, and from looking at the entire section online dedicated to team culture and employee happiness, it's certainly super compelling and something I want to see for myself!"
"My ideal workplace is with a school and faculty that encourages collaboration, praises dedication, and fosters a safe learning environment for all."
Before your interview, make sure you have your references prepared just in case the interviewer requests them. If you don’t feel comfortable using your current employer as a reference, explain that you have other references better suited at this time. Those can be past supervisors.
"I am happy to provide you with a reference from my previous supervisor. Should the offer stage be reached, my current employer can certainly be contacted for a reference. In the meantime, if you wish, I can provide you with a current client or character reference."
"Certainly! When we get to that point in the interview process, I will be delighted to have you reach out to my professional references."
"My director is aware that I am seeking a new role due to the recent company acquisition. I will include a few references to you via email which you are more than welcome to contact."
"I will be happy to provide you with any references you'd like and of course, can connect you with my current manager once I have a job offer in hand, contingent on references. Until that point, I'd prefer they don't know that I'm looking. I have some clients with whom I worked as a freelancer, so I'm happy to connect you with them at any point."
"This is so tricky, seeing as my current employer would be the absolute best reference for me, but I cannot yet let them know I am leaving. That said, I have many managers who have left the company who would happily provide a reference. Upon an offer, I would happily provide my current manager and store manager as references to my quality of work and character."
"I have some references, but I would not be comfortable with you contacting my current boss, seeing as they do not know I am looking for a new position. My previous manager has since left the company, and I would be happy to provide his information, as well as some other helpful references."
"My current Principal encouraged me to apply to your school once he knew that my family was looking to relocate I have brought a letter of reference from him. In the letter, he encourages a phone call from you should you have further questions."