I have been opportune to interview hundreds of people as a recruiter, and one of my favorite questions to ask a prospective employee is, “What are you looking for in your next position?”
You might be wondering why it is usually the most likely question that a recruiter asks during an interview.
There are a couple of specific reasons why your recruiter will ask this question while conducting an interview with you.
So in this article, I’ll walk you through how to answer this question and impress the interviewer, no matter which way it is asked.
But firstly, do you know why most recruiters find it very important and interesting to inquire from you what you are actually looking for in your next position?
I bet you don’t….
Let’s look at the two most important reasons behind this question.
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Reasons Why Recruiters Ask You What You Are Looking For In Your Next Position?
Hiring managers, recruiters, and Human Resource staff all like to ask this question.
You could hear this among the questions in a phone interview, or in a late-stage interview near the end of the hiring process.
Here are the two big reasons why recruiters ask this question; “What You Are Looking For In Your Next Position”
1. They Want To Make Sure You Are Targeting Something Specific In Your Job Hunt.
Recruiters want to hire people with goals and motivation for their careers. No recruiter will want to hire someone who is just looking for the first job they can find or any job they can get.
They will prefer to find someone who has specific reasons for wanting their job because, from their perspective, that person is going to be more motivated and interested in the work and more likely to stay long-term in the organization.
They just want to hire someone who can fill their immediate need and do the job. They would like to find somebody who they can promote and help grow in the organization.
2. They Ask This Question To Make Sure Their Job Fits The Overall Theme Of What You Looking For In Your Next Position.
If you are interviewing at a company with a very relaxed work environment where you self-manage a lot, and you tell them that you’re looking for a rigid work environment where you can just follow instructions from your boss, then they wouldn’t consider offering you the job.
So make sure you research the company culture and work environment to help you prepare ahead of time on how to answer this interview question.
Now let’s talk about what you should do in order to give a great answer when the question pops up.
How to Answer The Question, “What Are You Looking For in Your Next Position?”
When the recruiter asks this question to you while in an interview, the first thing you need to do in order to give the answer is to have a specific idea of what challenges you’re targeting or what type of learning opportunity you’d like to find next in your career.
There is a need for you to sound motivated and eager to learn, and you need to be able to explain it clearly and concisely to them.
Let’s look at a sample of the above question and answer now, so you can see how this would sound in a real interview.
Sample Question and Answer 1:
Recruiter: Can you tell us what you are looking for in your next position?
Prospective Employee: I will love to lead more client projects in my next role. I have enjoyed communicating with clients in my current Account Manager position, but my Team Leader manages most of the projects in terms of being responsible for the deliverables, delegating tasks, and more. I feel ready for that challenge now, so I’m hoping to do that in my next position.”
The sample answer above is effective because:
- It is detailed and specific.
- It is clear and concise.
- It makes you sound self-motivated, energetic, and excited about your work.
There are also better ways you can make your answer sound more enticing to the recruiter and that is to mention something specific that excites you about their position (usually something you saw on the job description, or something you learned in a previous interview with someone else in the company).
So let’s look at the same example of the question and answer above, but with more information at the end, “tailored” to the recruiter’s job.
Here’s the same Sample Answer for the question above, But with a more “Tailored” Ending:
Prospective Employee: “I will love to lead more client projects in my next role.
I’ve enjoyed communicating with clients in my current Account Manager position, but my Team Leader manages most of the projects in terms of being responsible for the deliverables, delegating tasks, and more.
I feel ready for that challenge now, so I’m hoping to do that in my next position.
When I spoke to Bethany in a phone interview, she mentioned that the person you hire will start by leading one or two client projects at a time, and could grow into leading even more. So the position sounds exciting.”
Now with this above answer, you have been able to calm the mind of your recruiter and prove these necessary facts:
- You’ve shown the recruiter that you are motivated and energetic about your work.
- It also depicts to the recruiter that you’ve put thought into your job search and know what you want which proves to the recruiter that you are less likely to change your mind and leave after a few months, or lose motivation.
- You’ve shown them why you’re excited about their particular job and why you want to work for them.
That’s the best way to get the hiring manager excited about offering you the position.
If you can do this, they’re going to forget about those other candidates and offer you the job with no regrets.
Let’s look into another sample answer for the above question;
Sample Answer 2:
Prospective Employee: “I am hoping for a job that will allow me the chance to boost sales at an already successful company, such as your own.
I am looking for the opportunity to use the skills that I have developed during my years in marketing to engage your sales force and increase productivity and international sales.”
With this, you are demonstrating that;
- You understand the organization’s specific goals and that you’re enthusiastic about helping them achieve those goals.
- You’re also showing that you have the skills and experience necessary to do so.
If you follow the examples provided above, you will have a great answer when a recruiter asks interview questions about what you are looking for in your next position.
You will be more memorable and will bring about more job offers, and will help to quench their fear or doubt about whether you’re the right person for the job.
I hope that this article was very helpful in guiding you on how to answer the question, “What are you looking for in your next position.”