Knowing Why You Want to Leave

apply your mind

I recently went and saw a recruiter that a former colleague recommended (he was lucky enough to have left Company X). Although I felt I was prepared, it’s been five years since I’ve done a serious external interview.

My preparation consisted of this: re-read my copy of “What Color Is Your Parachute”, took note of my strengths, wrote down a list of things I was looking for in an organization, and the type of industry I’d like to be part of. It’s a sound platform and (from memory) should have been sufficient to make a good impression. Not so.

I got thrown by a speculative question, “If you were starting at this Firm, XYZ tomorrow, what could you do for them that nobody else could?” I dithered on this one and gave an answer that 99 out of 100 people would have. She said, “Don’t you think they’d do that already?”

The tip here is to have something up your sleeve that demonstrates uniqueness. I’m sure I could have used something but hadn’t done enough of the hard work. Dig deep.


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