Interview: should I mention that my current position is ending?
April 14, 2014 2:04 PM   Subscribe

I'll be interviewing for a new position next week. I'm worried that if they ask why I'm leaving my current job, and I tell them that my current position is going will no longer have funding within a 6 months, I will give up some potential salary if it comes to salary negotiation. Is that a valid worry and if so, should I not mention that and just go with other (also true) reasons such as "I'm no longer feeling challenged"?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I would just say that your position is ending, or that your company is eliminating the position. No need to specify the details of your company's financial strategies or whatnot.
posted by Sara C. at 2:10 PM on April 14

Tell them that your position is winding down and will no longer be funded in the near future. This indirectly addresses any concerns about leaving (or not being kept) for performance reasons, etc. Don't mention the bit about not feeling challenged.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 2:16 PM on April 14 [3 favorites]

As others have said, it's a common enough reason to cite. Do your homework on the salary, and be prepared to make the case why you deserve the high end of published ranges.

What does give them some leverage is the timeframe, so best keep that to yourself.
posted by ottereroticist at 2:31 PM on April 14 [1 favorite]

You initiated, you're probably applying at a few companies at once (or you could pretend to), so while this company is not competing with your past position they are still competing with the general market for your skills.
posted by Tobu at 3:08 PM on April 14 [4 favorites]

When I've been interviewing at a job while I still have one, when asked this question I focus on the positive of the opportunity in front of me. Something to the effect of "I like my current job just fine - but this opportunity is one that I just couldn't pass up." If pressed about why this opportunity seems better, if there is a skill that this job would require you to use that your current doesn't, focus on that. If the positions are truly exactly the same, I'd simply say that this company seems more stable and like they have a brighter future to you. It truly ain't none of their business where you're going to be in six months unless it's working for them. :)
posted by pazazygeek at 3:20 PM on April 14 [4 favorites]

I'd say 'I have concerns that the position might be eliminated' which means you're giving up less advantage while not lying.
posted by Sebmojo at 3:44 PM on April 14 [1 favorite]

no, you should not tell them your current position is ending, and no, you should not offer a trite cliche like "i no longer feel challenged." tell them "i am exploring higher and more challenging objectives for my career arc, and the possibility that your company might elevate my trajectory."
posted by bruce at 3:55 PM on April 14 [6 favorites]

no, you should not tell them your current position is ending, and no, you should not offer a trite cliche like "i no longer feel challenged." tell them "i am exploring higher and more challenging objectives for my career arc, and the possibility that your company might elevate my trajectory."

This. Never give any information in a negotiation that might weaken your bargaining position if you're not obligated to do so.
posted by stenseng at 4:37 PM on April 14

Don't tell them for the reasons above, but also because if you end up interviewing with them in 12 months for another job, they won't ask you what you've been doing since your last job ended.
posted by Rock Steady at 4:42 PM on April 14

I have occasionally seen management teams let a position's funding run out as a graceful way to have someone with subpar performance move along. I wouldn't say that.
posted by slidell at 5:39 PM on April 14

You don't mention whether your current job is a permanent position that is being terminated, or a contract that is expiring.

If you are on contract, I think it's safe to say so, and that you're looking for a permanent salaried position.

It's not necessarily as safe to say that a current salaried permanent position is going away, unless it is something that peers outside of your current office are aware of and recognize as a finite gig, eg, a major research project that has already made publications and is downscaling to a core group continuing data analysis.
posted by ardgedee at 4:07 AM on April 15

I'd focus on what's great about the company and job you're applying for, not what you're leaving.

"I've always admired XYZ agency, and I feel that my experience coupled with the new challenge would be a fantastic opportunity."

It makes them feel like you're enthusiastic about THIS JOB, and not just looking for ANY JOB.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 8:00 AM on April 15

What Ruthless Bunny said, but be specific about how you're looking for certain attributes that New Job actually has. For example, you want to work in a group setting, or you're interested in a specific field or type of work mentioned in the job description, or you're interested in moving from a nonprofit into the private sector. I am interviewing people now and I tune out stuff about challenges and career trajectories. On the other hand, if someone says, "I enjoy what I'm doing now, but I've always had an interest in [the type of work someone in this position would do] and want to do more of that, and I've always worked in the same type of company before but what appeals to me about working here is [something that's actually true and a benefit of working here]," then I take notice. If possible, try to talk to someone in the company or the industry to get the inside scoop on what they think of it, what they like and don't like about it, what people might not expect about working there, and what they think the group that's hiring might be looking for.
posted by chickenmagazine at 11:55 AM on April 15

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