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How to Answer ‘What are you looking for in a new position’


The interview comes packed with various sets of a question to check the authenticity of the candidate. This question ‘What are you looking for in a new position’ may though seem obvious but is not so to answer, as this question intends to reveal a lot of information about you.

We will be first dealing with the reasons as to why an interviewee would like to ask you such a question then we will move on to some of the most obvious answers that job hunters have given, followed by how you can deal with the question in the best way possible.

Also at the same time, dealing with saving yourself from losing the job and finishing the article with some standard manners as to how to answer this question and the standard follow ups after it.

What are you looking for in a new position

Why are Interviews Conducted?

Now before we start to deal with the topic we will first look into the basic definition and why companies use the interview for selecting the right candidate.


An interview can be defined as the process of ‘viewing each other’ i.e. to say that it is through the interview that the company gets to evaluate you and you get to evaluate the company.

The interview has been at the center of the selection process for many reasons. Though it has its setbacks it performs an important job of filtering out unwanted candidates.

Benefits of Interview:

  • Through an interview, a company can conduct preliminary filtering of unwanted candidates thus saving a lot of money on selection procedure.
  • It can be best used to determine the right candidate by extensively studying their attitude and behavior in a controlled manner.
  • An interview gives a chance for both parties to communicate and seal a deal before the starting of a new job.
  • In the final stages of selection, it acts as the barrier to differentiate between candidates who have practical skills and those who only look good on papers.
  • Now that we have some idea about the interview and its reason for existence in the selection process we will now dive into the matter of our interest. To understand this question, we will first try to understand the logic behind asking this question.

Why Do Interviewers Ask Such Questions?

Just like every interview question, ‘what are you looking for in new position’ and ‘why are you looking for new position’ questions also serves to fulfill a different purpose of knowing your different side.

Every question strives to explore different components of your working life, attitude and your behavior in an organization. This question serves to fulfill the following purposes:

1. To learn about your personality:

It serves to identify your personality type. As per your answer, an interviewee can assess your personality and your temperament in a working situation.

Although you may think that it is no way related to your personality but just as with any other question, this question also serves to explore a part of your personality.

2. To learn about your vision:

This question tries to identify your vision regarding your career and your opinion regarding your future company. For the success of a company, they need to know that the vision of its employee matches the vision of the company.

In the case of a clash, it can lead to loss to the company in terms of money invested for the candidate.

3. To learn about your opinion regarding your previous company:

You may not recognize but the company needs to know your attitude about your previous company. It helps them to learn about your attitude and whether you will fit into the present organization or not.

4. To learn about your opinion regarding your colleagues:

Just like in the case of the company, your attitude and your behavior regarding your previous colleagues can help to determine whether you have the personality and the temperament the company is looking for and that you will help further the success of the organization.

Now that we know the reason behind this question you must now be wondering what type of answer you should give which will not only satisfy the appetite of your interviewee but also save the trouble of speaking anything unintelligent.

We will first review some of the reasons for which people like to change their position. Though you may state it as a reason unless you can give a solid backup, it is not recommended to state it to your interviewee.

The Most Obvious Reasons for Looking a New Position:

1. For monetary reasons:

In the scene of an economic crisis, the monetary cause is the most obvious reason for people to change their position. Better package, better salary is not only the need for the time but it also succeeds to attract a large pool of individuals.

It might be possible that it is one of your reasons that you are opting to change your current job. Or it may be that you feel that you are currently being underpaid by your organization and that the prospective job can offer you according to your worth.

2. For safety reason:

As you gain experience and maturity you will generally prefer to go for stable and secure jobs that can also give you a handsome salary. This can be a good reason to change your job, though you must ensure that while you discuss this point you also include those points that would be seen in favor of the organization and line with the vision of the organization.

3. For the commute problem:

A daily long commute to the work can be a very hectic job especially when you could use that precious hour for useful work.

Changing the job for commute reason can be a good point as it gives an impression to the interviewee that you are pretty serious about your job and that you want to commit yourself for some pretty serious work.

Also, less time in commute can be beneficial for the company as it will ensure the availability of the employee around the hours.

4. For location reason:

Maybe because you are currently working at a place and your spouse relocates to some other place or maybe the weather condition and other environmental factors have recently perished in your current job location. Because of the above reason, you may be seeking to change your job or work in a new company that is located in a better place.

Keep in mind that you may use this as the reason but just like previous points it should be backed up with a solid reason.

In the above points, we explored some of the reasons why someone will seek to change their job and work in a new environment.

If you want you can state those points in an interview but some of them can be a red flag for some managers while others may have no satisfactory reason.

Therefore, it is time when we should explore those options that will not only be suitable for your needs but will also help answer this question in a very pleasant way.

How to Answer ‘what are you looking for in a new position and company environment’:

If the interviewer asks’ what are you looking for in this position’, you must think about a few things which we have mentioned here.

1. For some new challenge:

A new job position and a new working environment will offer you a new set of challenges. And if you give your explanation in lights of new challenges then it will give the impression that you are the type of person who is excited to take new challenges and will not be afraid of them. Also, you should explain how your old job was not much excitement but you hope to get something new and challenging in the new ones.

2. For a new source of motivation:

Everybody needs a new source of motivation to be at the top of one’s performance level. So you can explain this to your advantage stating how this new job will provide you with a new source of motivation and that your new excitement will bring back your will to commit to new, long and vivid problems that this job has to offer. Also, you can use this as an explanation as to why you will be a better candidate than the rest.

3. For long term goals:

You are changing your job because more or less you are interested in a better salary or security. But that is what you are getting. So why should a company select you? You must explain your application in line with the vision of the organization.

A candidate whose long term goals are matching with the job requirement and with the goals of the organization are more favorable for the company in terms of investment.

4. For your interest in joining this company:

You cannot give anything else better than this explanation. It requires a bit of research about the organization and the job for which you are applying from your side.

You can explain it in the way you are interested in the working condition of the company that is what makes you excited to join this new job.

Not only you will be comfortable explaining it but it will assure the interviewee that they are getting a rightful job seeker.

5. For the overall development:

A person who is concerned about his development and the achievements in the future is seen as a guy who is serious about his work and is ready to commit to the company.

This makes it very suitable for a company to offer a job and get those candidates who are self-driven, driven by the action of self-realization.

You should note that like any other explanation it should also explain why the manager should not worry about your stay in the industry and how well you are committed to their cause.

Those points mentioned above can help you to satisfactorily state your reason as to why you want to take this new job. But sometimes the boss can ask you certain follow up question that can put you in doubt.

If not handled well, it can guarantee you losing the job. If you were just trying to see a new land then that’s fine but if you were interested in the new job then that would be bad news.

So now we will be dealing with certain standard answers that backfire and how to handle them efficiently so that you can be sure to win the heart and mind of your interviewee.

1. You want to get this job because you want a good salary. So does it mean that you will leave this job if you get a better salary at some other place?

Answer. Most of the organizations are aware of the salary rates of their competitive organization and therefore they knowingly provide higher pay to attract more talent. But even then they ask such a question to test your loyalty and your commitment towards the job and that you are not joining the company just for the sake of better salary but for something more than that.

2. You say that you want new challenges and you want this job. So we can conclude that when you stop finding anything new you will leave this job.

Answer. Again in this question, the company is interested to know about your commitment towards the company’s core value and its success. Though in this case, you can cross question by explaining your expectations and assuring them that as long as you get to do something important that has real life impact, you will be interested in the job.

Therefore, we can say that though this question may seem to be so simple you don’t need to answer it easily. Be true to yourself and answer the question according to your needs and the needs of the job and the organization.