A job change is never easy for a candidate. During the interview, they are subjected to a barrage of questions — such as why do you want to leave your current job? Or why are you looking for a job change? And the answer to these questions determines the overall fate of the interview.
Reason for job change is a significant question that is asked in almost every interview. Therefore, one cannot just go unprepared to answer such tricky and trivial questions. Questions about job change can be tough and tricky, but they also pose a wonderful opportunity for the candidate to showcase their thoughts about their previous company and the motive behind their job change.
So let us discuss the main reasons for job change and how to effectively tackle the questions on reasons for job change for each scenario, followed by examples that you could use during your interview.
There may be many reasons for a change job, but it is important to give an appropriate and honest answer, as it will either enhance or depreciate your chances of getting the job.
Now, people leave their job for many reasons. Some are personal, while others may be professional. But the most common reason is a better opportunity. Every person views an opportunity differently. Some view promotion as an opportunity, while some view a better salary as an opportunity, while others think of big companies as wonderful opportunities. They all are correct in their respect. After all, what all of them seek to do is to move one step higher from their current situation. So, let us find out the reasons for job change and understand more about each of the reasons:
Career enhancement or advancement is usually the most common reason for change job, and also the easiest to answer when asked in the interview. You could begin by speaking about your goals and career objectives and how the new job aligns with your qualifications and work experience. Then, go on to explain your experience and the kind of work you did, and how all this would benefit the new organisation.
Also, include the reason why you have applied for that specific company. It offers you a wonderful opportunity to highlight your skills and relate it with the current immediate requirement of the company. This way, you can build a connection between the demand and supply and enhance your chances of getting the job. Always remember that your answer must contain an equal blend of your personal and professional goals and should emphasise on how your knowledge and skills would benefit the new organisation.
These days, most organisations prefer to hire employees on contract rather than permanent employment. This is because more and more companies have become aware that employees are prone to changing jobs after a certain period. So, if your contract is about to expire and you wish to apply for a new job, then there is a different method of answering reasons for a job change. The four scenarios of job change after the end of the contract are:
It is a nonrenewable contract, which clearly states to the interviewer that this is the reason for a job change. You don’t need to add any other specific response. And do remember to mention your learnings from that employment.
If your current employer doesn’t intend to renew the contract, due to various factors, then mention the reasons why the employer is not willing to renew the contract. This may bring in some genuineness and credibility into your answer. However, mix it well with your skills and abilities, and how they can be useful in the new organisation.
The current employer may agree to increase the contract but is unwilling to increase the salary. However, at this time, you are looking for a raise in salary. In this case, feel free to discuss the issue with the interviewer and mention this reason for your job change. You can add to it by saying that you are more interested in full-time employment rather than contract employment.
A situation may arise, wherein the employer discovers that you don’t have all the skills needed to renew the contract. Or your performance may have been poor or unsatisfactory. Well, the reasons for this can be many, but they are not worth explaining to the interviewer as they will show you in a negative light during the interview. You can tackle such situations by explaining that your skills and experience were not relevant to the nature of the job. Therefore, both parties decided that you should look for better opportunities.
The reason may vary but always ensure that the emphasis stays on career growth and advancement. And show a positive outlook for your previous employer.
Most of the time, individuals seek opportunities from large organisations, and this becomes the reason for a job change. However, most large companies don't normally ask about the reason for a job change. Because, for them, the reason is most obvious. They know that a large corporation like theirs will be more beneficial to the candidate, as they offer better pay, prestigious work environment, and excellent career growth opportunities.
If in case, the interviewer happens to ask about the reason for a job change, then you can explain how the company will provide you with immense career opportunities and a great work environment. Don’t emphasise too much on the financial aspects as that may derail your answer. Focus on the positives and how you possess the required skills and knowledge to be a part of their prestigious organisation.
For most of the candidates, better pay is one of the chief reasons for a job change. It is okay to expect better pay, perks and benefits for the work you do, but mentioning that upfront during the interview may become counterproductive. It may imply that you are an unreliable candidate who can easily switch jobs for more money.
Therefore, you must be more balanced in your approach while answering the reason for a job change. Start with speaking about the positives of your previous company, then explain their difficult financial situation and its impact on your financial standings, and how it has affected you and compelled you to look for a job change. This way, you will explain your point of view without sounding too money minded.
An overall change in career
Often people seek a change in their career due to various reasons. Such candidates have to encounter a host of questions from the interviewer about why they wish to change their career altogether.
You could start by explaining the reason why you feel dissatisfied in your existing career. Then, provide strong enough reasons for choosing a new career. Additionally, you will have to convince the interview about why they ought to hire you.
Most of the time, a straightforward and genuine answer wins the battle. However, for other situations, you may have to acquire certain skills to improve your chance of getting a job after a change in your career. In both the scenarios, prepare your answer well in advance. After all, the genuineness and credibility of your answer will determine your success in the interview.
Now, let us find out the various possible answers samples for ‘why do you want to change your job?’
Answer 1 — Reason for job change is ‘resigned already’
My situation is not a case of a job change; rather, I am looking for a new job as I have already resigned from the job. It was a wonderful organisation, no doubt. But after a week or so of joining the organisation, I realised that my skills, expertise and strengths were not in line with the job requirements. The organisation had different expectations which were a mismatch with my knowledge and understanding.
Therefore, I decided that in the best interest of everyone involved, I should leave the organisation and seek relevant opportunities where my skills and expertise would be aligned with company requirements and hence, will be put to the best use for the job. My supervising manager was also my mentor, my advisor and a great man. He helped me decide to actively search for different, more suitable opportunities. I have even added his details as a reference in my resumé. It highlights that I was on good terms with the company when I left, and the overall experience, though short, was quite educational.
I wish to be a part of a company that encourages creativity in the workplace. Yes, reputation is a significant factor, but the job description needs to also align with my career objectives as well. I have read almost every piece of information related to your company. The company has experienced unprecedented growth in recent years, and it has favourable reviews from your existing employees. Besides, your job description mentions your requirements and your expectations. After going through all the information, I felt that your company is the perfect place where I could start anew once again. With the amount of experience and the skill that I hold, I am confident that I will add tremendous value to the role and will certainly excel within the company.
Answer 2 — Reason for job change is ‘resigned due to lay-off’
I have resigned from the company already, so it's not a job change, but a new job is what I seek. (Give an appropriate reason for your resignation). It was great working with the last company; I had many things to learn and many new experiences which I would certainly apply in my professional life. It was a good company, but financially, they were going through a prolonged rough phase, which only deteriorated recently. As a result, the management decided to resize the company to limit its expenses. Thus, my department was shut down, and many employees, including me, were either switched to different departments or were asked to look for other better opportunities.
I thought that by switching to a different department, I would do a gross injustice to my knowledge, skills and expertise. The new department was way different from the knowledge and skills I hold, and I would only end up wasting myself in that department. Therefore, this seems to be the best moment to leave the organisation and seek better opportunities with better companies. My team leader was a great human being. She helped me immensely in making the right decision of seeking job opportunities that suit my skills. She was a true mentor, and I have added her as a contact under my references.
I look forward to working with a company that challenges my knowledge and skills and provides me with a newer avenue to grow and learn. I read and researched about your company, and perused the employee reviews. The company has consistently experienced positive growth. Further, it has also managed to keep its employees happy and engaged by providing them with ample growth opportunities. I read your job description for this position, and it perfectly aligns with my skills and career expectations. I can assure you that I will add immense value to this organisation through hard work and dedication.
Answer 3 — Reason for a job change is ‘end of the contract’.
My reason for leaving job is the end of my contract. I was associated with the company for two years, as per my contract. My role involved travelling to different locations for project management work. As a result, I ended up spending most of my free time travelling city to city. This took a huge toll on my personal and family life. Therefore, I was in search of a stationary project management job which involved minimal travel, as I wanted to make the fullest use of my knowledge and skills on the job. My contract was about to end soon, so I thought I might as well look for a better opportunity than to renew the contract.
I came across your advertisement on the internet for the project management job position. I read through the detailed job description, and it was exactly what I was searching for. It aligned perfectly well with my future goals and ambitions. I did extensive research about your company. I realised that yours is exactly the company which I seek. Yours is an inclusive work environment that encourages creativity and innovation among its employees. You guys believe in inclusive growth and zero wastage of resources, both of which aligned beautifully with my thoughts and actions. Therefore, I think I am the best fit for your job role. I can assure you that my knowledge, skills and expertise will make me an invaluable asset to your organisation.
Answer 4 — Reason for job change is ‘better opportunity’
I am currently employed with a leading banking sector company. Working with such a large and reputed entity has been a great learning experience. I learned so many new skills, such as resource management, portfolio management, key accounts management and sales, among others. I understood exactly how the banking sector functions and keenly learned all the nitty-gritty of the job. Currently, the company is going through a transition. I realised that now is the best time to switch my job. I have gained ample sales and banking experience, and now is the appropriate time to look for better opportunities, wherein my skills and expertise will be put to better use. I wish to move to a bigger job position, which could offer me greater job responsibilities.
Therefore, for a few days, I was seeking a good opportunity and a reason for a job change. Your company gave me a wonderful opportunity to do so. I am a part of the sales team in my current company and would wish to continue with the sales profile in your organisation. The knowledge and skills that I have gained in a large organisation will certainly be put to best use for the growth and development of your company.
Answer 5 — Reason for job change is ‘lay off’
I had a wonderful stint with my current employer. However, now they are undergoing corporate optimisation and resizing their business to meet the change in business dynamics. As a result, they have decided to lay off our department. I was informed by the higher management to search for better job opportunities with other sunrise companies. I must admit that the management has been extremely understanding and cooperative during this 90-day transition period.
I possess strong technical skills and expertise. I am aware of my strengths and weaknesses, which allows me to focus on my forté to deliver the best results always. Also, I regularly work towards improving my skills and working on my weaknesses to enhance my performance further. I believe these skills will be certainly helpful for your organisation. I come from a highly competitive environment that works on shifting deadlines, so I have extensive experience in providing the best results under pressure and tight situations. With all these capabilities, I assure you that I will be a true asset for your organisation.
Answer 6 — Reason for job change is ‘ growth in career’
I joined my last company as an intern after completing my graduation. Eventually, I got absorbed into the company as a permanent full-time employee. The last ten years at the company have been quite eventful. Gradually, I came to the realisation that if I have to advance in my career, then I have to be open to other better opportunities. After a decade, my growth had somewhat stagnated in the organisation. And I wanted a bigger, better role that truly utilised my skills and expertise.
I started as a rep and gradually climbed the corporate ladder through perseverance and grit. Now, as an assistant manager handling a team of five employees, I feel that this is the maximum that my company could offer me. Their scale and scope of operations are limited to provide any further career growth. Therefore, I wish to switch to a bigger and reputed company that acknowledges my skills and offers me an appropriate job position. I am still a passionate learner and believe that I have many more things to learn from a new company that I join. Plus, I will make sure that my knowledge and skills are put to achieving the goals set by the company. I have a good hold over the current market trends, and I’m sure my expertise will be of great help for your organisation.
Answer 7 — Reason for job change is ‘a great offer’
To be frank, I wasn’t looking for a job change. I was happy with the current company and the job position. It is a very good place to work. And they looked after their employees well. The work was less challenging but fun. It all seems easy and normal.
Then, one day I read your job posting on the internet. I happened to read through the job description and was highly impressed by the role and the challenges and the opportunities it offered. I was enjoying my work at the current company, but your job position was far exciting, and I couldn’t just resist the temptation of working for your company. That is how I ended up applying for the job.
I knew my application would pass the initial screening test as my body of work exactly matches your job description. I am a confident go-getter, and I believe in accomplishing things through hard work and dedication. I never thought a company could offer me what I am making as of now. Now that you have advertised a far more exciting opportunity, I am enthused to get on board your team. I can assure you that I shall be a true asset for your team.
Answer 8 — Reason for job change is ‘seeking better team handling position’
Currently, I work as a team leader, managing a small team of ten employees. I possess extensive experience in handling the people and rallying them together to achieve the collective team objectives month on month. My company has recognised and rewarded our performance by giving us the Best Team Award for three years in a row. I hold extensive experience in sales, client servicing and resource management. During the last six months, I successfully led the team to achieve the highest sales targets despite the difficult market conditions.
My company could offer me a promotion, but the scope and scale of work would remain the same, and it would essentially just be a change in designation. I, however, am looking for even better opportunities that would put my skills to test. I am looking to handle a bigger team responsibility, and the job position that you have on offer aligns with my future goals and aspirations. Your job description is exactly what I am seeking, and this has made me more excited about this job opportunity. I assure you I will give my best to achieve the goal if allowed to lead one of your teams. My illustrious track record and extensive knowledge can certainly play an active part in the growth and development of the company.
Every individual undergoes a job change at some point or other in their career. It is a normal aspect of career advancement, and it provides newer and better opportunities to an individual. And the interviewer, by asking about the reason for a job change, just wants to understand your psyche and your motive behind this decision. If they find your motive genuine enough, then they may offer you the job. So prepare well what you wish to say in the interview. You can take the help of the answer samples mentioned above. Don’t talk negatively about your previous company. After all, the answers you provide will spell the difference between success and failure in the job interview.