Career Q&A: How to Talk About Leaving a Sinking Ship During an Interview?

posted in: Career Tip, Interviews | 0

Q: The startup I’m working for is not financially sound anymore, so I’m applying for jobs. What is the best way to mention this interviews?

Our CEO makes bad financial decisions, and the company is barely standing. I’m applying for other jobs and want to know how to answer the interviewer when they ask why I’m leaving my job.

A: I’m sorry to hear that the start-up you’re working for is not being managed well. Unfortunately, this happens everywhere and the best thing you can do is to learn from it. For example, you’ve learned that poor management can be the death knell of an organization, so make sure you research the management practices of the companies you apply to in the future. Your future staff and employers will thank you!

I always encourage my clients to respond to this type of interview question as your desire to move *towards* something rather than leaving a sinking ship. Being positive is always desirable in an interview! This means that you should apply for jobs that you actually want and know what is appealing about it to you. Then you can say things like “I’m looking for a situation where I can apply my xyz skills.” You don’t have to directly discuss the poor financial state of your current company. Just prepare a simple and straight-forward response, then pivot to the value you know you can bring to your future workplace.

Knowing and articulating your strengths is crucial during interviews. It’s also great to target companies with similar values. If you want to learn how to articulate your worth and identify worthwhile companies, sign up for My Career Design Studio.

(First published on the website The Muse)

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