“Why are you looking for a new job?”
It’s a question that comes up frequently during job interviews that can be understandably challenging to answer, particularly for survivors whose reasons for seeking work may be tied to cancer-related concerns such as a resume gap, financial issues, etc. But what’s important to remember during this process is that your cancer experience is only one part of your story, and the way to ace any interview is to prepare answers that focus on the aspects of your professional life that are most relevant to your potential new employer.
- Take the opportunity to talk about your strengths and long-term career goals. After all, your number-one priority at any job interview should be positioning yourself as the savviest candidate for the position. So it’s a great choice to respond by discussing why your skill set is an ideal fit for role.
- Rather than focusing on any personal or professional obstacles you’ve encountered in the past, steer the conversation toward your hopes for the future. Talking about areas in which you hope to grow professionally, why you’re passionate about your chosen field (or the one you hope to transition into), etc., is a great way to ensure your answer is compelling.
- A sentiment that should always be a through line during any interview is your enthusiasm for and admiration of the company with which you’re interviewing. Highlighting why you want this organization to be your next employer is a great way to (a) explain how you ended up at that job interview and (b) show that you’ve done your homework in preparing for the meeting.
- If you’re currently employed but find it a struggle to stay at your current employer or want to make a career change, look for ways to position your perspective as a positive. Rather than explaining why your current job isn’t up to snuff, talk about your desire to engage in more meaningful work or to take on new challenges.
If you are in the midst of looking for a new job or thinking about how to start the process, check out these CAC resources: