A friend is helping me submit a resume to her group at a bank and while catching up, she asked me why I was leaving my teaching and research job at school; I told her that I wasn't making enough money to live -- and also that one of my parents is sick, so I plan to help them out with healthcare costs. Shortly after saying that, I regretted it and felt that it was perhaps too much information to share.

So, my question is: if on an interview, I am asked something like, "so why are you job searching at this point in time?", should I leave out the part about needing to help pay for my sick parent's healthcare costs?

(If it matters, the setting is in New York City.)

  • Be aware that the recruiter may worry that you will start to take more & more time off to care for your parent. Personally, I would never mention this at interview - or even during a probation period.
    – Mawg
    Feb 9, 2018 at 7:34

7 Answers 7


I would hesitate to bring personal hardships into a job interview.

Managers want to know that you're hardworking, a team player, good communicator, etc. When you start bringing things like requiring money for X into the mix, you open yourself to them thinking:

If a better paying job comes along he might jump ship!

Or worse, they may think you're lying, and trying to manipulate their emotions. Just avoid it altogether, and contend for the job based on merit alone. Don't try to tug on their heart strings.


Yes, that is too much!

Of course the only reasons anybody ever wants a certain job are:

  1. You are a fan of that company and what they do!
  2. Personal development.
  3. Love for the field.
  4. Maybe: Relocation.

People reveal a lot about themselves in the answers to simple questions. In your case, perhaps some things that people might see as a negative. For example, if your sick parent worsens, will you need accommodations such as time off? If they get better, will you no longer need the money and go back to research? Are you willing to take pretty much anything as long as it pays well? (Nobody wants to be your "pretty much anything".)

Wanting to make more money is a perfectly fine reason for wanting to change jobs. And research is well known to be a lower paying career. So work on a few sentences like this:

I have enjoyed teaching and research, but there are some things it doesn't offer me. I would like to do more X, and to have a career path that can be rewarding both financially and in job satisfaction.

I have no idea what X is, something you can do at the bank that you can't where you are now, but it might be meeting customers or helping businesses thrive or knowing you're contributing to a larger project or whatever. You need to know that before the interview, because you'll look foolish if you say you want something they don't offer, or won't offer for a decade or more until you rise up in the company.

It's always a good idea to answer about what you want more than what you want to leave behind. Not making enough to actually live on is nobody's business. Wanting to be well rewarded for your skills? That's something you can learn to say with a big smile.

  • yeah ... I'm actually considering forgetting about that particular bank / group and starting fresh and continuing to reach out to recruiters - I'm glad I asked here and learned quickly from it. I actually wouldn't want to land up at my friend's group anymore and then have to always be known as "that new employee who's going through family hardship ... " Feb 9, 2018 at 4:16

Probably better not to bring it up. This could put it in their mind that you'll have many absences from work due to that responsibility. In general, irrelevant personal details shouldn't be brought up in an interview.


Actually it's more useful to say this.

In the event of a direct toss up, most people will favour you, as they will attach a human aspect to your application. Even with a better qualified candidate, such information can improve your aspects.

It also makes you an more reliable - you have more on the line, so to speak, so are unlikely to, say, turn up late or leave early or whatever. You're more likely to work hard to keep the job,as you are invested in the result.

A lot of answers here think managers are robots, they are not. It is unlikely that such information will drop your chances, and there are plenty of managers out there with whom this would improve your chances. Bringing this information up as the result of a question means it is organic, and cannot be seen as manipulative.


I think this is fine to share with a friend, but you might want to ask her to keep it confidential.

For the interview, when I'm asked why I'm leaving a job, I like to say it's really about the opportunity that I'm interviewing for. Saying "I'm excited to use my skill set in a new environment and I can really see myself thriving if I work with this team" is vague but true enough.

Think about why you would be good at this job, and be prepared to jump right back to that topic if this comes up.

If the interviewer tries to come back to the subject, just say "I very much like my current organization, but unfortunately there's just no room for growth."


if that's the truth why not ?its not like you simply hop to another job just for fun ,you are indeed trying to improve your life and also aiding someone important which is your parents .

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