Remember that while you are interviewing someone as a job candidate, they are also interviewing you as an employer candidate. Potential employees want to know as much as possible about the career and will often ask questions that have a deeper meaning. A question like “When people leave this career, what are the usual reasons” is really an inquiry about the company culture and employee satisfaction. What the candidate really wants to know is what you do to encourage your employees to stay.
Points to Emphasize
Whether employees tend to leave for higher paying jobs or personal reasons, you need to answer this question as honestly as possible. Doing so provides an excellent opportunity to also explain the reasons people stay in this career. It’s the perfect time to highlight advantages offered by the company.
Discuss the required working hours and whether you offer flexible hours, such as arriving between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. and departing between 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.
Talk about any telecommuting opportunities that may be available.
Give examples of professional development opportunities offered by the company.
Address competitive salaries and advancement opportunities.
Honesty is always the best way to answer the question, “When people leave this career, what are the usual reasons.” Just don’t forget to balance your response with the reasons people remain.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
Again, honesty is the best route, but you should do your best to present former employees, the company and yourself in a positive light.
You should never, ever, ever make negative comments about former employees.
Try not to appear tense or uneasy as you answer the question.
Do not attempt to avoid answering the question.
Do not become defensive.
Understand that the candidate wants to be just as sure that the position is right for them as you want to be that the candidate is right for the position.
An effective answer to the question, “When people leave this career, what are the usual reasons” might go something like this:
“ In truth, people leave for a variety of reasons. We don’t have a large employee turnover rate here, but we do lose people to retirement from time to time. There are some who have left to pursue other opportunities or other fields, and occasionally, someone will leave because they don’t feel our company is the right fit. Right now out of ____ employees, ____ have been here at least _____ years.”
Remember that the candidate is looking for reassurance that people want to keep working at your company. Being honest and forthright is the best way to give that assurance.