'Why Do You Want To Come Back?' How To Handle Another Tough Interview Question

returning to an old companyIt sometimes happens that you make a move, regret it and look back fondly at a company you were with, sometimes years ago. When you re-apply to a past employer, you can expect to be asked about your motivation for wanting to return.

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Tricky question, you can't complain about a current or recent employer, neither do you want to be seen as lacking judgment. The best advice is to talk about the people factor, as well as the work in your response.

Position your latest job positively, identifying how it has helped you develop new skills. You'll itemize the ways you have grown professionally because this adds to your desirability, and you can also introduce personal factors as a reason for returning.

Angela switched school districts for a job that would build her skills and pay more, but it wasn't working out. In response to this question she says, "I really loved working for _______.The only reason I left the district was for a great opportunity to broaden my skill set and learn more about school district finance. In the last year and a half I have managed accounts payable, receivable, bookkeeping, auditing, payroll, taxes, purchasing, cash management, financial reporting and grants. It has been a great experience that has helped me grow considerably.

"But I also learned that the people I work with are just as important as the paycheck and developing new skills. I still have friends in _____ district and I have this deep feeling that I want to come back home with my new skills. I know I can make real contributions right away."

Next: Do Cover Letters Help Get Interviews, Or Are They A Waste Of Time?

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Martin Yate


Martin Yate, CPC, author of Knock 'em Dead: Secrets & Strategies for Success in an Uncertain World, is a New York Times and international bestseller of job search and career management books. He is the author of 11 job search and career management books published throughout the English speaking world and in over 50 foreign language editions. Over thirty years in career management, including stints as an international technology headhunter, head of HR for a publicly traded company and Director of Training and Development for an international employment services organization.

Within the profession he has a global reputation as the thought leader on job search and career management issues. He has lectured on four continents and has maintained a coaching practice since 1991.

The current recession is the 5th he has helped people navigate over the last 30 years.

For more information please visit http://www.knockemdead.com and follow the author on Facebook and Twitter.

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