The reasons why someone wants to change their job are varied and can be different for everyone. However, it is not always a good idea to tell the unvarnished truth behind your motives. Above all avoid making critical comments about your former employer and work colleagues. That never goes over well at interview. Continue reading for more tips on how to explain why you want to change jobs.
Before you get to the interview at the latest, you should have prepared an answer to this question that will satisfy your new employer or personnel manager. We have put together a few suggestions. Make sure, however, that you come across as sincere. Put your answer into your own words and add any relevant information. Even if you cannot give the main reason, you should only mention motives you identify with. Otherwise, it will be very difficult to convey them convincingly.
5 possible reasons for a change of job
• I am looking for opportunities for personal or professional development. Explain exactly what you mean: Do you want a promotion or to learn something new or to broaden your experience?
• I want to get to know a new industry sector. What is it that interests you about this sector? What piqued your interest? Why do you think that this company in particular is the right choice? What skills and experience have you already gathered in this area?
• I want to change job for family reasons. This may be because your partner has been transferred to another city or has been offered a job there, or that you want to go part-time to care for young children or ageing parents.
• I want to forge an international career. This always sounds good. However, be prepared to say why. Do you want to use or improve your language skills? Are you interested in foreign cultures? Does this present a good opportunity for your career?
• I want to work in a new environment. This is another reason that requires an explanation. Is it about the company structure? Were you previously employed in a medium-sized company and want now to work in a large corporation? Or is it about the working environment? What are your expectations and why does the new company have what you are looking for? But be careful: Keep it positive and avoid criticizing your old company!
• I am looking for new challenges. On its own, this popular reason is little more than a platitude, which is why it must be accompanied by a good reason. Be specific. Are you interested in taking on new responsibilities, tackling a particular project or moving into a management role?
The following reasons are better avoided
• I want to earn more
• I want to live closer to work Both of these reasons can of course be completely legitimate motives for changing jobs but should not be given as the main reason for the move. Avoid giving the impression that the company you are changing to is secondary to fulfilling these requirements.
• I don’t enjoy working where I am any more
• I don’t get on with my superiors/colleagues Keep the golden rule in mind: Don’t say negative things about former employers. Look instead to the future and your new job!