Interview Questions About Why You Want to Change Jobs

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Hiring managers are often curious about why you want to change jobs. They want to hear that you're leaving for the right reasons - a better opportunity, more challenges, and career growth. 

Your interviewer will want to be sure that you aren't leaving your job because of poor performance, difficult working relationships, or because you . When responding to questions about why you are switching jobs, it's important to provide reassurance that you are moving on for career reasons, not just to get out of a bad work situation.

Here are some approaches you can use to reassure the interviewer that you are leaving your job for the right reasons.

How to Respond: Why Do You Want to Change Jobs?

Emphasize the positive reasons why you are targeting a job with their organization. Refer to specific aspects of the work, company culture, and employer which correspond well with your interests and skills. Placing the focus upon your potential employer subtly redirects the conversation from your previous work experience to your strong potential as their next employee. It is also a great way to show that you’ve done your homework in researching their company before your interview.

Frame your move as a path to advancing your career without disparaging your current job. One way to do this is to reference the aspects of the new job which appear to carry more responsibility. Even if the new job doesn't have a higher status, you could mention that you believe it would provide a springboard for future career advancement down the road (after you have spent appropriate time in your initial new job with the employer and have mastered it).

You might also comment that you feel that the job you’re applying for seems more aligned with your long-term career goals (which you should be prepared to list).

Integrate positive references about your current job in your response, so that it is clear you are not fleeing a bad situation. You are just seeking to improve upon an already good situation.

Of course, you should avoid any negative references to management, to salary, or to the number of hours worked.

Incorporate some positive reflections upon rewarding relationships with supervisors, co-workers and clients, whenever feasible. You might describe opportunities they gave you for career development, or discuss a particularly rewarding experience you had with a client.

Consider giving an external reason for leaving. You might refer to factors such as relocating to a more urban area or looking for a job that is closer to home. But be sure that it is clear that this is not the primary reason that you are applying for a job at the organization. The primary emphasis should always be placed upon the fit of the job itself. Perhaps you can explain that you are seeking to take your career in a different direction or use your skills in a new way, and this position offers opportunities your old company was unable to provide.

If it is a well-known (public) fact that your current employer has a shrinking market share or other financial problems, you might refer to this issue after making a strong case for why the new job is suitable. Be sure to avoid sharing any proprietary information or painting an overly negative picture of your current employer's situation, though. A vague reference to your employer's difficulties will usually be sufficient.

More Interview Questions About Leaving Your Job

  • Why are you leaving your job? - 
  • Why did you quit your job? - 
  • Why did you resign? - 
  • What have you been doing since your last job? - 
  • Why should I take a risk on you? - 
  • Why were you fired? - 

Tips to Help You Ace Your Interview

Job interviews can be stressful, particularly if you are a recent graduate and haven’t had much experience interviewing with potential employers. Reviewing commonly asked before your actual interview will help give you the confidence you need to shine during your conversation.

The purpose of an in-person interview is twofold, however. Not only is it a chance for a potential employer to get to know you and to evaluate your skills and experience, but it is also your golden opportunity to interview them in order to assess whether you will be a good fit for their organization.

Most interviews end with queries similar to “Do you have any questions for us?” or “Is there anything else you would like to know about this position or our company?” It’s essential to have a few questions prepared to ask your interviewer, since this demonstrates your enthusiasm for their organization and the job they are offering. Here are some you should pose to your interviewer.