So why are you looking for a new job? Looking for new challenges? Looking to leave a dead-end job or company? Changing careers? This question is a standard interview question which can be a pitfall if you are not careful. Your answer provides insight into your motivations, goals and attitude.
The standard go-to answer of “I’m looking for new challenges” has become so common place that it can be seen as an avoidance of the real reasons you are looking. It may actually be that you are looking for new challenges, but be prepared to go beyond this standard answer and explain in detail what you are looking for. What does this potential job and employer provide that your current employer does not? How does this opportunity utilize your current skills and what career growth does it offer? Take the opportunity to explain how you fit into the position and how it meets your professional goals.
If you are leaving your current job due to an unpleasant situation it’s important to focus on the opportunity in front of you, not on the negative aspects of your current position. Focus on what you can offer your new employer, not what is wrong with your current position. Don’t spend valuable interview time No interviewer wants the impression that you’re only considering their position as an escape from your current employer. As bad as your current situation is, you also do not want to burn any bridges. No matter how large your field and geographic area Karma has a good chance of popping up during a career that lasts decades.
An article by Monica Torres on Ladders gives a good overview and strategy on preparing for this question. By focusing on the positives and addressing your fit into this new position and company, you can avoid the pitfalls other qualified candidates may stumble on.