Thursday, April 30, 2015

Hinterview: What's your RFL? (Reason for Leaving)

Candidate/Rob:  "Hey Karen, I think the interview went well, but I think I could have done a better job explaining why I'm leaving XXXXXX (company name).  Can you give me a call when you have a minute?  I want to know if I need to call him back and offer a better explanation."

Rob's RFL (Reason for Leaving) is because the company is changing their focus.  The reason he joined was to help expand a specific market segment.  This is a perfectly acceptable reason to leave a job.  While not exactly a bait and switch, Rob is disappointed.  That came across in the interview, and now the client is wondering whether he really wants the job he interviewed for.

What Rob didn't say, and what my client wanted to hear, is why he is interested in this job, this company.  He had an opportunity to align his interests and experience with what my client is looking for, but instead he talked about his disappointment in his company's decision to pivot.  This is not an unusual strategy for a company with multiple business units or products, stars and dogs.  Pointing fingers or blaming the management team for their decision to drop a division or product that is limping along might put Rob in a position to leverage other skills in a more intriguing group, but Rob is focused on Rob's happiness and his inability to see the future is fueling his desire to look elsewhere. 

The Answer:  Rob needs to talk to his current management team and ask directly where he can offer the most value to the company.  He should continue keeping an eye on the job market if the new direction does not leverage his skills/experience in a way that provides him an opportunity to grow and be successful.  He should not call my client back, but can improve his chances for a second round by conveying his strong interest in the role and company in a Thank You note.  It won't guarantee he'll be asked back, but it's better than an obvious attempt at a do-over.