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The Big Q: How to say your boss is the reason you want a new job

Posted on 7/02/2019
by Client Server

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“I’m a C++ developer looking for a new job. During job interviews, it seems common for the interviewer to ask something along the lines of ‘Why are you looking for a new job’?

I want to leave because I think my boss is a bully and that he doesn't respect me.

Is it okay to say that during an interview? Or is there such a thing as being too honest?”


These kinds of questions are more than what they seem. They are a chance to talk about your ambitions and the opportunity at hand, not to slag off your boss.

The reason why you’re looking for a new job is pretty obvious: the old job isn’t cutting it anymore. There are numerous reasons for this: your boss is a mug, you’re underpaid, the coding is repetitive, company too small, etc.

But the reason interviewers ask the question is to assess your level of motivation for their role, not your dissatisfaction with your old role.

Employers want to hire people whose motivations are clear and whose ambitions suit their organisation’s plans.  

The hard truth for businesses is that hiring can cost both time and money. Research has found that a poor hire at mid-manager level with a salary of £42,000 can cost a business more than £132,000. That is money wasted on training, lost productivity, and increased staff turnover. They want to make sure they get things as close to right as possible.

Your job is to be honest with yourself. What is it about this organisation that excites you? What does this role mean for your career ambitions? Why do you want this job?

Don’t be a developer looking for a job just to have a job. Leave your mug of a boss out of it.

Check out these other editions of The Big Q: