There are many good questions to ask during an interview but one very powerful interview question is “Why are you looking to make a change?”

Easily Overlooked
This question is worth discussing here because it is one that we often skip. We will ask questions that help us to determine how the candidate matches up from a skill and experience standpoint. We then assess the how well they match up on each point and use primarily this data to determine whether they are they are the best fit.

There is More to the Story
But as you know, there is always more to the story. Every candidate has a set of skills and a background of experience. But they also have a lot of personality traits and a particular way of thinking. It is getting to the root of this that will help you to separate the good candidates from great and this is an interview question to help with that.

Identify an Important Data Point
The reason why this is a powerful interview question is that the reasons why the candidate is looking to make a change will provide a lot of clues as to their personality and/or way of thinking. To change jobs is a significant change for someone to make in their life and there have to be some reasons or factors motivating this desire or action. What is pushing them to change??

Uncover Something You Might Have Missed
This is a great interview question because it can help you to find some negative personality traits that you might have missed if you were just looking at their experience and skills.

When you dig into why they are making a change, you may find out that they do not get along with the people that they currently work with. This could mean that there may be some “does not work well with others” qualities that the candidate has.

Information Uncovered is not Always Negative
Although, this question does not only uncover negative qualities as the answer may tell you some very positive things about the candidate. The answer could tell you that they are very ambitious and want to grow more and are simply not able to do that in their current role.

How to Position if they are not Currently Employed
It could very well be the case that you are interviewing somebody and they are not currently employed. In this scenario, it is not completely applicable as to why they are looking to make a change since they are actually changing from unemployed to employed and this does not really provide any real valuable information. We know why someone would want to make this change and it does not reveal any key personality traits or tendencies.

When you are in this scenario, simply adjust the question to be one that asks why they left their last position. That is the change that you want to focus on, or learn more about – why was there a change in their last role that took them from employed to unemployed?


InterviewScripter helps you to find the key interview question that you need to ask to find the best candidate.