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How to Answer Interview Questions About Why You Want to Change Jobs


Businesswoman and man talking across desk
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Hiring managers are often curious about why you want to change jobs. They often need to be reassured that you aren't covering for poor performance or difficult working relationships. 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 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 Change Jobs?

Emphasize the positive reasons why you are targeting a job with their organization. Refer to specific aspects of the work and employer which correspond well with your interests and skills.

Frame your move as a path to advancing your career without disparaging your current job. One way to do that 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 considerable time in the first job and mastered it).

Integrate positive references about you current job in your response, so that it is clear that 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 or the number of hours worked.

Incorporate some positive reflections upon rewarding relationships with supervisors, co-workers and clients, whenever feasible.

Consider giving an external reason for leaving. Another option is to refer to factors such as relocating to a more urban area or looking for a job that is closer to home. 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 on the fit of the job itself.

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. A vague reference to your employer's difficulties will usually be sufficient.

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