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How to answer the question about why you want the job

answer the question about why you want the job

How do you answer the question about why you want the job, when asked during the interview? Our guide outlines what to say and NOT say if you want success.

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Job interviews are sometimes like a diplomatic gauntlet with questions and answers, the meaning of which can largely be found between the lines. People who are so honest that it almost hurts are clearly at a disadvantage in interviews. Because there are only two types of answers: acceptable and totally catastrophic, which destroy the prospect of the new job. When answering the question of why exactly you want to change your job, you should under no circumstances take an example from the following 6 headlines when you answer the question about why you want the job.

6 ways NOT to answer the question about why you want the job, and what you should say instead

I need more money.

More wages – Statistically, this is one of the main reasons why employees change jobs. HR managers know that too. The problem with this is that you shouldn’t appear too opportunistic, otherwise the HR manager thinks that if you have a better-paid opportunity, you’ll be looking for space again. Companies prefer loyal applicants

Therefore, make sure that your answer expresses enough passion for the position you are applying for.

I want more time for my […].

It doesn’t matter whether you want to spend more time with your family, with hobbies or other projects, this shot backfires. The HR manager only hears: This person doesn’t want to work for us at all and everything else is more important to them than work. This way of thinking is no longer up-to-date, because burnout is out – be careful though: you cannot know how “traditional” your opponent’s views are. 

You should therefore justify the change by saying that you want a different working environment that the new employer has to offer .

I want to change because your company is very prestigious.

Do you understand exactly what the interview questions are supposed to mean? Probably not if you answer that way. This answer also has a bad taste for HR professionals. On the one hand, they want employees who are confident enough not to peddle with the prestige of the company. On the other hand, HR managers prefer that the job change is justified with enthusiasm for the new position

Rather, mention how much you want to develop professionally and why the new job is ideal for this. In this way, you can even convince extremely critical HR staff.

I’m aiming to change jobs because my old job was [negative statement].

If you answer this, it is possible that your loyalty will be questioned. Under no circumstances should you be drawn into making negative statements about your old position, former colleagues or former superiors. With every negative statement, it is assumed that one day you will also find out about the job for which you are applying. 

Do it better: your reason for changing jobs should indicate where you want to go, not what you are fleeing from

I want to change jobs because I want less stress.

This is also an understandable, entirely human reason. In the end, this even proves that you are a resilient worker and that you know your own limits and resources. Unfortunately, this reason nevertheless causes eyebrows to be raised. So don’t do it. Surrendering responsibility or shifting down a gear does not fit into the career logic of most HR professionals. At best, you have to put up with the following question as to whether you are resilient enough at all. In the worst case, you give the impression during the interview that your motivation leaves something to be desired.

I just have to change jobs for personal reasons

Do not wake up sleeping dogs. In general, the more specific the reasons you give, the fewer untrue horror scenarios the HR manager can think of. If you remain too vague in the reasoning, the personnel manager can accept all kinds of negative things. Don’t be too detailed, either. Short, precise, and well-considered answers are ideal. To save time, you can also take the initiative: HR managers are not the only ones who can ask questions in job interviews .

If you prepare well for the interview and avoid these mistakes, your chances of getting a new job are excellent.