There are a vast number of reasons that motivate employees to explore a career move – it’s rarely one factor. Invariably, candidates will be asked why they’re looking for a change during the interview process, so it’s imperative to be prepared with a sincere, professional answer. The response to this question can easily make or break the chances of moving onto the next round of interviews as it can significantly color a prospective employer’s perception of the candidate.
From time to time during the interview process, we hear unfortunate stories in which employees are unhappy with their current or former employers for very valid reasons. Despite the validity of the complaints or veracity of the stories, exercising prudence and maturity during your discussions with prospective employers is still of utmost importance. Networking is engrained in the real estate industry’s DNA, so bad-mouthing an employer can come back to bite you – and sometimes very quickly.
Here are some things to keep in mind when asked why you’re leaving or have left an employer:
- Take the High Road – When discussing your situation in an interview, take the professional high road. Rather than detailing all the reasons you’re unhappy, focus on the opportunities you’re looking for to advance your professional growth. Keep it succinct and straightforward. In the long run, you’ll be glad you did.
- Communicate the Value You Bring – Prospective employers want to know what you bring to the table, not just how this job will help you. After you explain why you’re looking to move on from your current position by focusing on the opportunities you’re seeking, pivot to the value you can bring to the company. Connect the dots on why you’re the right hire for them.
- Never Burn a Bridge – We’ve all heard the phrase “it’s a small world.” Well, that’s because it is, and the real estate industry has proven time and time again to be even smaller. No matter what led to your decision to leave your current position, it’s vital you don’t burn any bridges. It’s highly likely that the person interviewing you will know someone you know. Bad-mouthing people cannot only significantly hurt your chances of landing the position, but it also can damage your credibility.
Remember, your reputation accompanies you wherever you go – even if you make the transition from one industry to another. So, when making a career move, steer clear of sharing disparaging information about anyone. Instead, use your time in an interview wisely by highlighting the value you will bring to the company, and how your experience fits their corporate culture and meets their business needs.