21 March 2013 ~ 0 Comments

why are you leaving (or did you leave) your current position?

I was reading through one of my favorite books, “65 Interview Questions,” and I read the following question. “Why are you leaving (or did you leave) this position?”  because it reminds me about one of the most important principles of getting the very highest rates, and it underscores the importance of working in the highest-demanded areas possible, and it perfectly represents one of the best strategies you can employ when looking for and getting new jobs in SAP (and anywhere, really…)

Your most important, your strongest leverage in this business is scarcity. The very best answer is that you’re not 100% committed to leaving your current post. That you’re happy to stay put, but you’re always open to new and interesting opportunities if the right offer comes along. This is important because it means you are scarce – even if you receive an offer, you may decide that it’s best for you to stay put. This is counter-intuitive, but think about it.. this is human nature. Do you want something that is in abundance? Somebody who is falling all over themselves to come work for you?  Or do you want the person who is in-demand, the person who has plenty of opportunity. Hiring managers are just the same as you and me — they want to work with the person who is so in demand that even if they receive a job offer… they may not accept.  You need to be in a position to demand an offer by a certain date, or else risk losing your further involvement or consideration by the company.

This is an introduction to the concept of scarcity that I discuss at length in Breaking into SAP – how to present yourself as a scarce resource (your time, of course is scarce…)

What if you are not currently employed?

The standard “career counselor” answer is “Never lie about being fired.” But I’ve yet to hear of a successful interview after somebody says “I was fired from my last job.” So you’re going to have to be a bit more creative.  If you’ve taken a break to raise children, travel, or do something entrepreneurial – if it has something to do with software, so much the better.  I like hearing from people who have started their own software companies, or who have dedicated time to studying internet marketing or extensive international travel. These stories make you interesting and desireable as a workmate.  So please don’t go into detail about your latest firing – rather, talk about what you’ve been doing with your time between jobs. If it’s interesting and relevant, you may find yourself at an advantage in the interview.

I hope this helps.

Truly, Jim Stewart


P.S. this week, if you haven’t heard — I’ve been offering people a CV/resume review and one round of commentary for people who pick up a consulting pack before March 27th. This is a HUGE bonus, obviously, so don’t wait – this will NOT be available after the 27th.




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