Following on from our previous ‘How to Actually Answer’ blog, I’ve put together a few words of wisdom on another commonly asked interview question:
“What are you looking for in your next role?”
It may seem like an easy opportunity to rattle off a few key elements you’ve memorised from the job description, but it also provides employers with a first insight into who you are as a person as well.
Hopefully, this article will give you a peace of mind on what not to say and how to get the interviewer on your side.
What do interviewers mean when they ask this question?
The question “What Are You Looking For In Your Next Role?” is designed to get the candidate to reveal a bit more information about themselves.
This can include future ambitions or what makes you tick as an individual.
The latter could be anything from money and job satisfaction to the feeling of being wanted or the platform to progress through the company.
What makes this question so hard to answer and valuable to employers, is that the ideal reply depends on the nature of the business and the position.
Ultimately, the employer will have an ‘ideal employee’ in mind who fits the job spec and won’t upset the apple cart. It’s just your job to persuade them that you’re that person.
What shouldn’t you say?
If you want to pass your interview with flying colours, I suggest you avoid answering the question by mentioning any of the following:
Own a business
Whatever the job role is, an interviewer probably won’t want to hear that you’d like to own their business or your own for that matter.
Firstly, you’d sound like a crazy dictator wanting to knock everyone in your path out of the way.
And secondly, alluding to having your own business could suggest that you’re treating the job as a stepping stone in your career.
Opportunities to progress
Now, this can work as both a negative and a positive answer. For some roles, where businesses encourage entrepreneurial flair and a willingness to progress, this would be like music to the employer’s ears.
However, if you are going for a job in a smaller company where budgets are tighter and different job roles are hard to come by, I’d avoid mentioning it altogether. The chances are, employers will think that you’ll outgrow the company and want to leave – therefore discarding your application.
Instead, try saying that you’d like to “learn new things,” as a large majority of businesses will believe they can offer you that.
While this answer isn’t entirely negative, it’s probably worth avoiding to air on the cautious side of things. This is because the idea of stability may sound sensible, but it might tell an employer that you’re just settling.
A lot of businesses will want a new employee that is hungry to succeed and get results. It’s also a bad answer if the job you’re going for is a temporary position or a contract role.
How should you answer “what are you looking for in your next role?”
What you really want to get across with your answer is:
- That you are enthusiastic about the position
- That you’ll be committed to the company
- And that you fit the job description
With this in mind, here’s a quick example to help inspire you:
“Over the past five years, I’ve developed a multitude of skills that are vital in the recruitment industry – including communication, customer service and a relentless/can-do attitude.
Looking at the job spec for this role, I instantly fell in love with it. I believe I have the necessary skills to not only fulfil what is required of me, but it’ll offer me a challenge too – which is something I relish and thrive on.
To produce my best work, I want to feel a part of a team. Looking at the in-depth job spec, I can see you value your employees by investing in team-bonding trips for everyone. This is something I’m extremely passionate about, as I think to get the best results for the company, we need to work for each other.
Combining this feeling of being a part of something with my passion for recruitment, Coburg Banks looks like the ideal company to get the best out of me and satisfy my long-term desires to succeed.”
These types of answers will vary depending on the seniority of the role and how big the business is. However, they should work as a boilerplate to work from.
The key to answering this question is getting a firm understanding of who the business is and what they are looking for.
Once you’ve established this, formulate an answer using this structure:
- Start with your skills – “Over the past 5 years, I’ve attained these skills…”
- Describe what motivated and attracted you to the role – “I believe I have the necessary skills to fulfil the job spec. It’s like a match made in heaven…”
- Relate the role with your long-term goals – “This job will give me the freedom to work autonomously and enable me to grow as an individual – allowing me to create some of my best work…”
- Finish on something positive about the company – “I have a great passion for recruitment, so I’ve always wanted to work at an ambitious and industry-leading agency. And I feel there’s no better example of this than Coburg Banks…”
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