Many job interviews incorporate a question about reasons for job change. It’s common to explain your reasons for leaving a job when filling out a job application or resigning from your current position. Prior preparation allows you to provide a clear and concise response, aiding your employer in comprehending your future aspirations. This article explores various approaches to address this potentially uncomfortable question on job change, offering tips and examples to help you grasp an interviewer’s perspective.
How to Respond to the Question ‘Why Are You Looking for a Job Change?’
Consider these tips and methods when answering the question ‘why are you looking for a job change’:
Reflect on Reasons for Leaving
Review your CV and contemplate the reasons behind leaving each listed job. Write down the specific reasons for your departure. If details are unclear, ask yourself:
- Why did you initially take the job?
- What were your expectations?
- How did the actual work environment differ from your expectations?
- What aspects did you dislike about the job?
- Were you passionate about achieving assigned goals?
- Did the subsequent job align with your career goals? Why or why not?
Once you identify possible reasons, choose one or two primary, professional reasons for each job. For example, if you shifted jobs due to marriage, it’s better to avoid mentioning personal reasons in an interview. Instead, if your previous job involved night shifts, you can prefer a day-shift role.
Avoid elaborate storytelling and get straight to the point. Summarize your reason for leaving in a sentence or two. Promptly redirect the focus to what you appreciate about the new job and why you are the ideal candidate.
Since the interviewing company may contact your former employer for verification, maintaining consistency in information is crucial. Respond honestly, explaining the situation genuinely without disrespecting your previous employer.
Maintain a Positive Outlook
Even if a challenging experience prompted your departure from a previous job, presenting your response positively is crucial. Position yourself as a proactive problem solver adept at navigating difficult situations. Highlight positive aspects, such as the new skills you acquired, the positive relationship with your manager, and the enjoyable times with your team.
For example, rather than stating, “The manager did not appreciate my work. It was a tedious job. I was not getting to learn anything new.” Consider rephrasing it: “Although I found the job to be tedious and the manager didn’t value my work, it did provide me with an opportunity to learn several new skills. I seek a position to allow me to learn those skills on a larger scale.”
Anticipate Follow-Up Questions
Based on the reasons you provide for your job change, anticipate potential follow-up questions from the interviewer. For instance, if you desire to work in a different role, the interviewer might ask if you sought the desired position within your previous company. Similarly, your response hints at outstanding issues resulting from miscommunication. In that case, the interviewer may inquire about your steps to resolve those issues or your plan to prevent such miscommunication.
As you prepare your response regarding the reason for a job change, consider potential follow-up questions that may arise during your interview. Being prepared and planning your response helps you appear confident and compelling.
Reasons for Job Change – Example
Example 1: Dissatisfaction with the Current Company
Every company has its strengths and weaknesses, and it’s natural to have preferences. If your reason for leaving is a general dissatisfaction with your current company, consider addressing both positive and challenging aspects while framing your response positively.
“My current company has provided valuable opportunities to enhance interpersonal, managerial, and professional skills. However, I’ve realized my true passion lies in a different sector. I aim to leverage my skills to make a more significant social impact. I’m drawn to your company’s mission of serving underprivileged children, aligning with my aspirations.”
Example 2: Seeking Higher Compensation
Please exercise caution when citing a desire for higher pay as a reason for changing your job, as interviewers may interpret it differently. If you choose to address the issue of higher pay, frame your response by touching upon broader motivational factors and the rewards associated with taking on challenging assignments.
“I thrive on taking up challenging assignments. Client satisfaction, recognition from management, and the financial rewards accompanying success motivate me to push my limits. The opportunity to work as a sales manager in your esteemed organization excites me, allowing me to achieve my financial goals while promoting products I am passionate about.”
Example 3: Seeking a Better Job Fit
If you’re contemplating a job change due to dissatisfaction or a lack of interest in your current role, it’s essential to frame your response based on your skills and the opportunities you seek.
“I decided to leave my previous job because I recognized a misalignment between my skills and aspirations and the demands of the position. While the company was commendable, the role needed to provide more challenges to leverage my skills and abilities fully. Having researched your company’s work culture and values, the job description aligns seamlessly with my long-term career goals. With my adept resource utilization skills, I am confident in bringing substantial value to this role.”
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