Not to be negative, but.
January 13, 2014 6:48 PM Subscribe
I'm interviewing for a job that is the exact same job as my current job but at a different location with a different boss. So it will be instantly clear that the reason I want to make the change is unhappiness (which is true), and the red problem flags will be up from the start. How can I answer the forthcoming "why do you want to leave" question with grace?
posted by houndsoflove to Work & Money (16 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I currently work as a clerk for a court that is interconnected with a bunch of other courts in our region. In the past six months, my relationship with my supervisor has taken a big downturn. She has become a micromanager, petty -- i.e. nasty to one of us and in turn supersweet to everyone else at any given time, which is offputting even when you aren't the current walking target -- and prone to sitting in her office texting or making travel plans while the rest of the staff is out running around during busy times (which I know is de rigueur for bosses, but her desk is in full view, so it's extra irksome that she has no shame about it). She has been a friend to me in the past and she acknowledges in calmer moments that sometimes she lets her temper get the best of her. I understand that, but it makes for miserable working conditions. So I want out.
I applied for a position at another court in the area. It's the same exact position and has the exact same level, pay, daily duties, and possibility of advancement. It's only five minutes away from my current job, so I can't use the "it's more convenient" excuse. The only difference is that I'll be working for different people.
I've applied for different positions within the same organization before, but have never been in a situation like this, where it will be immediately clear that I'm trying to escape some kind of negativity in my current work environment. I fear that the whole direction of the interview might be the boss at the new court trying to suss out whether I'm the problem or the problem is my old work environment. The only positive spin on the question I can come up with is that I want to work for the particular judge -- which is true -- because I have some personal connections to him (that he is unaware of) and have only heard good things about his character from them. But I don't want to be the person that plays the connections card, and I don't want to come off sounding insincere with flattery either.
If you were in this situation, how would you handle the "why do you want to leave" question with finesse?