We are walking through the five part answer of the common interview question, Tell me about yourself.

The other steps are:

Step One: The Introduction

Step Two: Your Super Skills

Step Three: The Stories

Step four is a short section (30 seconds) where you explain why you want to leave your job, or why you are unemployed. It lets the recruiter know what your current employment status is and what has motivated your decision to apply for this job.

The Currently Employed

Be clear about why you want to leave your current position, keep it positive, and as short as possible. It could sound like this:

While there are elements of my current position I enjoy, I am seeking a new opportunity where I can more fully use my skill of program development. While I have the opportunity to solve problems and help people daily, the work I love the most is creating new programs and leading training programs. Your advertised position caught my eye.

Unemployed?

First thing. Job loss is incredibly common. It happens. Even if you are the first of your friends to ever lose your job, just know it is a very normal business experience. It doesn’t feel great, but hiring managers know how common it is and how often it has nothing to do with the kind of employee you are. It is nothing to be ashamed about. Seriously.

If you are unemployed, and it was due to job loss, you could say something like:

I enjoyed my role at XYZ company, but unfortunately, there was a restructuring and my position, along with other positions were eliminated. At first, I was disappointed, I liked the work and the people there but it gave me an opportunity to reflect on my skills and what I really want to do in a position. Your advertised position felt like a great fit.

If it was just you and you were told it was about fit. Try something like this:

I made a difference at XYZ company, but my manager and I had a different working style and after some consideration, it was decided I wasn’t a fit for that company. I’ve taken some time to think about the kind of places that I do my best work, and from my research, I think I’d fit in well here.

Keep it Positive

Try to keep it positive. Don’t try to hide why you are not working. If you try to hide it, the recruiter will often ask for more details later. If you state it, in the beginning, you can tell the story on your own terms.