Why do you want to change jobs?

This question might be the most tricky-to-answer question in a job interview you face. You may be already prepared to answer this but looking at the interviewer’s face, you knew that you just screwed up the interview. Interviewers ask this question knowing already they are not going to get anything special but still they try-out this with the expectation they will get something new. But again, why do they ask? Here are my views, and I being an interviewer, also ask this question sometimes. Now a days I focus mostly on senior position / experienced candidate interviews for Orion Business Innovation but this article is applicable for all the positions across any industry.

Here are my reasons:

  1. This is just an opportunity for the interviewer to see if you are genuinely looking for a job
  2. Checking if you spit anything negative about your previous employer(s)
  3. Analyzing your body language whether you are a liar or trustworthy
  4. Are you ambitious?
  5. Are you emotional?
  6. Are you confident?
  7. Any contradictions in your statements
  8. Are you going to lead the same job style and life here also?

One important point to remember is that when an employee is sitting in the chair of an interviewer, he subconsciously believes he/she is the CEO/owner of that company and he/she acts and talks like a boss. Anything you say which are not beneficial for the growth of the company will be caught on-the-spot even though he/she may not reveal it. It will reflect in their IAS (Interview Assessment Sheet) for sure.

While most people give one line answers such as “Career Growth”, “new Challenges”, “Learning opportunities” etc., these might lead to a counter question why you are not getting such opportunities in your current job and, eventually these answers will end up talking negative about your previous employer. This is considered a big sin in a job interview.

Many people say “moving back to my home town” or “Father ill” like excuses, but don’t do that. These are not real answers but just “excuses” which will not be appealing to be heard by the interviewers. A “salary hike” as a reason for job change is such a bad idea to give as a reason.

Well, I do not have a silver bullet to handle this situation but still, you can manage to answer with below points but be prepared to handle the after affects also:

  1. As part of my career progression
  2. New challenges
  3. Salary hike
  4. Less responsibilities 
  5. Less risk
  6. More learning opportunities
  7. New technologies / domains
  8. Relocate city
  9. No projects in current company
  10. Current employer inconsistent in paycheck
  11. Improve work life balance
  12. Transition from X to Y role
  13. Want to work in a big company
  14. To fulfill a long term goal

Finally, be honest.

Do you have a better, or innovate answer to this question? please comment in the box below.