Tough Interview Questions - Why are you looking for a new job?

Following is a tough interview question:

Why are you looking for a new job?

Why the interviewer is asking this question:
The interviewer is seeking to both understand your motivation for making a job change as well as exploring for any potential red flags about your present employment. Keep in mind that the interviewer is seeking to hire someone who will be loyal to the company and the team, yet they first need to find someone who is unloyal enough to consider looking and make a move. Also, if you are unemployed, this is the opening question to explore why specifically you are unemployed. You do not want to appear to be desperate.

The best approach to answering this question:
If you are employed, focus on being generally happy and productive within your current role, yet interested in finding out more about the opportunity. This puts the employer into sell mode to convince you to make a move. If you are unemployed, you will need to provide a quick and concise explanation of what put you into your current situation (i.e. corporate downsizing, elimination of role, change in direction for the company, relocation, etc.).

An example of how to best answer this question:
"I'm not actively looking for a new role. My current position is going well and I'm making a strong level of contribution to my team. However, the Recruiter for your company called me asking me to at least consider this opportunity. Since this may be an opportunity to perform higher level work, I agreed to come to the interview. I have successfully taken on higher level work in my career. As an example, in my current role, I had the opportunity to..."

An example of how you should not answer this question:
"Well, my current role is not going well and my new boss ranks up there with one of the worst I've ever had. I'm at the point where I can't stand to get up for work in the morning. So I'm very open to considering this role. Tell me what you have for me."

Remember to answer each interview question behaviorally, whether it is a behavioral question or not. The easiest way to do this is to use an example from your background and experience. Then use the S-T-A-R approach to make the answer a STAR: talk about a Situation or Task (S-T), the Action you took (A) and the Results achieved (R). This is what makes your interview answer uniquely yours and will make your answer a star!