An interview isn’t all that easy if you’re a jobseeker with experience and looking for a job change. A very challenging question the interviewer would definitely ask you is: “What is your reason for job change?” or something similar.
For some categories of jobseekers, answering this question is fairly easy. For others, it can be that deciding factor whether or not you’ll succeed at the interview. And of course, get a job offer.
Therefore, let’s begin by understanding why interviewers often ask this question about reasons for job change.
Why Reasons for Job Change Question?
As you would know, applying for a job or new employment is a serious and important step in life. If we look at it closely, applying for a new job actually means we’re looking at a new way of life. That includes adopting new work culture, upgrading lifestyle with higher income and possibly more prestige in the society.
Therefore, interviewers want to know what are reasons for job change. They’re trying to find why you’re leaving a specific job and seeking a new one that would bring about a change in your overall life.
Furthermore, interviewers also wish to know what a job change means to you and reasons.
Details Interviewers Seek
Unfortunately, lots of people apply for jobs just to know how much salaries they can get with another company. They’ll use these job offers as bargaining chip with their present employer to extract more pay and perks. Interviewers try to find whether an applicant is trying to do this by asking reasons for job change.
Interviewers also try to find whether you’re applying for the job purely for money or have genuine reasons such as career advancement.
Additionally, the question and your answer also helps interviewers to know something about your personality. Your answer can clearly indicate whether you’re unhappy with the present employer, facing any kind of problems at work or you’re about to face termination of services.
Therefore, it is best to answer the question about reasons for job change with complete honesty.
Answering Reasons for Job Change
There’re many ways to answer the question about reasons for job change.
I’ll start by warning jobseekers that appear for an interview merely to get an offer letter. Giving an interview and getting an offer letter to use as bargaining chip can work against you in different ways. The current employer may retain you for some time on higher pay but terminate you once the job offer expires.
Secondly, the employer that makes the job offer will not entertain you again. After all, you’ve turned down the first job offer.
Thirdly, applying for jobs merely to get offer letters for bargaining can severely damage your reputation in the job market.
Hence, avoid such malpractices: you might end up losing a good job and remain unemployed for some time.
For serious job seekers, here’re the best ways to answer the question, reasons for job change.
Reasons for Job Change
It’s very important to prepare well for this question. Therefore, use these guidelines to answer the question about reasons for job change.
If the reason for job change is career advancement, the question is really easy to answer. You can start by speaking a little about your career objectives and goals. Depending upon your experience, give some details about your present and previous jobs and how it would help the interviewer’s organization.
Also include why you’re applying at that particular company. And how working there would help both- the employer and yourself. It’s important to remember, your answer in such situations should be a careful mix of own professional and personal goals and how your skills will benefit the company.
End of Contract
Nowadays, most companies provide job contracts instead of permanent appointment letters. That’s because organizations are increasingly becoming aware of the fact that employees are bound to switch jobs after two to three years. If your contract is expiring shortly and you’re applying for a new job, there’s a different way to answer the question “reasons for job change.”
There’re four distinct factors that come into play in such situations.
- Firstly, you’re looking for a job because your contract is non-renewable. In such situations, you can clearly state this as the reason for job change. There’s no need for any specific responses.
- The second scenario: your present employer doesn’t want to renew your contract for any reason. In such situation too, clearly mention why your current employer doesn’t want to renew the contract.
- Thirdly, the current employer might not be willing to increase your pay while renewing the contract. If this is the case, you can answer the question by saying you’re looking for a permanent career rather than contracts.
- There could be yet another scenario where an employer doesn’t find you worthy of renewing a contract because of unsatisfactory or poor performance. This could be due to a number of reasons. If that’s your case, answer the question about reason for job change by speaking about how your skills aren’t relevant at the present job.
In each of these four scenarios, remember to lay emphasis on your career growth and interests of the future employer. This creates a better impression than harping about yourself and any problems with the present job.
If your reason for job change is to get a higher salary and more perks, the question would be fairly difficult to answer. A wrong response would imply that you’ll leave any employer for more pay. And that’s an impression you should avoid at any cost.
You can answer this question safely by speaking about your personal goals and how they will help the new employer. And of course, your expectations from the new employer that you couldn’t fulfill from a past or present job.
Never speak ill about any past or present employer since it leaves a poor impression with the interviewer. Instead, speak about how you wish to utilize your qualifications, experience and skills in a manner that would be mutually profitable to the new employer and yourself.
Applying at Large Corporations
Usually, interviewers at large corporations will never ask you reasons for job change. They’re aware that working with the corporation is beneficial to the applicant.
It would mean prestige of working for a large corporation. And most likely than not, fairly higher pay. A large corporation also provides excellent career prospects.
Just in case an interviewer at a large corporation asks you this question, speak about how the corporation will help you utilize your skills to the fullest and to their advantage as well.
Clearly define your career objectives. Emphasize you’re there for the long-run and serious about creating an excellent career.
Overall Career Change
Often, people apply for new jobs because they want a career change. In such cases, you can expect a barrage of questions about why you want a career change.
Usually, these questions will answer the one we’re trying to address here: “Reasons for job change.” However, there’re other ways to answer the question too.
You’ll first have to provide specific details about why you are unhappy with the earlier career. And give very strong reasons to select a new one.
Additionally, you’ll also need to give reasons about why the employer should hire you. If you’re changing your career, prepare well to answer this question. You’ll have to focus on shortcomings of the present career and advantages of the new one. And cover up for lack of adequate skills.
Before concluding, here’s something important. While you need the job, the employer also requires your services. However, every employer wants to know what you can deliver. Or how you can add value to their operations.
And that’s also the reason for this question about reasons for job change. Confidence and facts matter more while answering this question, if you keep the employer’s benefits in mind.