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Recently I applied for a job in another company and they called me for an interview. Its one of the best companies in the country(might even be considered as the best in the world) and offers much more benefits and very good pay as compared to all the other companies.

The technology in which they are working on is also much different than the one I am currently working on. I am getting good pay at my current job but I have always wanted to apply to this company.

How should I answer "Why do you want to join us?" or "Why you want to leave your current job?"

I could say I am interested in your technology but then they would ask me why didn't I choose it as my thesis research project (as my current thesis project is in a different technology)?

I am interested in learning their technology but I am confused on how to answer this question.

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    Variations of phrases like "limited growth at my current/old position", "I want to expand my knowledge and skill set", and "I've heard you're one of the best companies to work for in the country" all come to mind. – Rachel Jun 27 '13 at 14:40
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    It doesn't sound like the sole reason is $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ if you want to learn their technology too. It also sounds like you have always wanted to join their company, which presumably means you have reasons you want to join it? – enderland Jun 27 '13 at 14:44
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    If they start argueing with you about your thesis you have already lost. They are just looking for a reason to eliminate you. They will find it if they want to. You are over thinking this. Just relax and give them the answer they want to hear. – IDrinkandIKnowThings Jun 27 '13 at 16:50
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    Hey why the downvotes and close votes? – zzzzz Jun 28 '13 at 11:33
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    @alaa - Imagine that you're employing a babysitter. You get three emails from prospects: 1. 'I like you because you're offering more money than anyone else that I've worked for so far'. 2. 'I've been babysitting for years, I do it all the time, and I'm good at it', or 3. 'Kids are so cute, I love to play with them, we have little adventures in the yard and I have balloons and costumes and stories to tell and games to play.' 1. is focused on 'me', 2. is 'this is what I do for a living', and 3. is 'I'm here to meet your wants and needs'. Which do you hire? – Meredith Poor Sep 23 '13 at 15:54
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Try to find out some other things about the company to mention so you're not just mentioning the salary. The salary/benefits might be the deciding factor, but I'm sure there's something else you can find to praise about the company.

  • Company Reputation

    You already mentioned that they're one of the best companies to work for in the country, so mention that if the question comes up. A little bit of honest flattery can't hurt, such as "I've heard you're one of the best companies to work for in the country, and I've love to be part of your team". You don't need to mention salary/benefits specifically.

  • Company Product

    Is the product something that interests you? Is it something you can praise or get enthusiastic about? There are plenty of broad categories a product could fall into that would overlap your interests.

    For example,

    • I think the [education|healthcare|financial|etc] system in the country needs work, and I'm excited to be a part of improving it
    • I think this [product|service|etc] is going to be a huge success and I'm looking forwards to being a part of the team working on it
  • Work

    What's the actual work like? Surely there's something there which you can get excited over. You said you would be working with a different technology, so you can mention things like

    • I'm very interested in technology X, and would love to have an opportunity to work with it
    • I'm looking to expand my skill set into the field of X
  • Salary/Benefits

    I actually don't think it's bad to include this if it's something that has been mentioned already, although it may raise a red flag if it's the only thing you can think of. Most companies know if they're being generous in their salary and benefits, and often like being appreciated for them.

    I usually try to make light of the issue, such as "Of course, your generous salary and benefits package is also very attractive".

But to summarize, just try to show some enthusiasm about the prospect of being employed by them. It indicates that you want to work specifically for them (who doesn't like to feel wanted :)), and there's a high chance you'll actually work hard for them and won't be just someone that shows up to collect a paycheck.

As for why the question about why you left your old company, it's OK to mention salary/benefits here, but try to find some other things to include. For example, how are your hours? Commute time? Pay or bad benefits? Potential to grow your salary|career|skill set|etc? Legacy technology?

You don't want to speak bad your prior company, but there are usually plenty of things you can mention objectively to point out that your company's business model or best interests no longer aligned with your own. And of course, be sure you pick points that don't exist in the company you're applying for (for example, don't mention commute time if the company has a similar or longer commute time!)

  • I think being frank about also wanting the good salary and benefits is very good, since it shows the OP is honest. Who wouldn't want better conditions? – MadTux Jul 11 '14 at 8:01
  • Unless you have an accepted offer, you really don't know what the compensation is. It's premature to bring that up, and, really, paying an acceptable wage is assumed - if they can't do it, you won't come on board. They're looking for what your priorities are, as a candidate. Best not to mention money, in that context for a new company, though I do think it's reasonable to state that as one of the reasons for leaving the previous employer if they are under market-level, but even better would be phrasing it as lack of a path for growth and progression. – PoloHoleSet Dec 1 '17 at 14:17
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Stick with the technology and strong company. You're always wanting to work for them shows they've been around for awhile.

A lot of times, a thesis topic can be driven by your expertise which was formed by the expertise of your professors. You need people on your committee who understand what you're doing. Rarely do masters thesis introduce radical discoveries.

You want to grow and stretch your skillset. It's not purely just picking on technology over the other. I've seen Windows users switch to Mac just for a new challenge.

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I don't think that they will ask you about "why didn't you choose a particular research problem, etc..". However, they will ask you "why do you want to leave your current company"? Everyday, many people change jobs because of several reasons. I think that it is fine if you say that you are interested in their technology and would like to be part of that company. Better to focus more on your career goals, technology, etc., than benefits. It is better to avoid a topic on benefits in the starting of the interview process or if necessary put it at the end. Moreover, it is fine to pursue your career in different area than your "thesis problem". There is no wrong in that. We are human-beings and we change our tastes/opinions over the time. :-) That said, "at least" you should know why do you want to leave your current job (exact reasons). Good Luck.

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Not all graduate students get to do research on anything they want. You have to be able to put a committee together of people that know something about what you're doing. You picked a technology you were comfortable with at the time. It happens. A thesis is much more of a learning experience for the student than creating ground breaking research.

You think it is one of the best companies for many reasons. That's pretty compelling. If I'm trying to lure someone away from another company, I have no problem with higher salary playing a role. Just don't give the impression that is the only reason.

Personally, I'm getting sick and tired of people being treated as a pariah for wanting to make more money. If I'm leaving a job that pays 40K for one that pays 100K, you bet your ass money has something to do with it.

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    Although this is more a comment than an answer, I gave it +1 for the sentence I'm getting sick and tired of people being treated as a pariah for wanting to make more money. If I'm leaving a job that pays 40K for one that pays 100K, you bet your ass money has something to do with it. – Ouroboros May 23 '16 at 17:35
  • If you're going to a job that pays twice as much, then, probably, you are moving to a position with much greater responsibility that demands a much higher level of skill and expertise, in which case you're leaving for the better challenge, the better opportunity for growth and advancement. The inability of your previous company to find you a position that pays what you are worth is just that - inability to find the correct role that matches your skills. The commensurate salary is just part of what comes with that. So, yeah, if you view that as strictly about $$$, you are missing the boat. – PoloHoleSet Dec 1 '17 at 14:21
  • @PoloHoleSet - I exaggerated a little. Since salary increases, bonuses and future job offers are usually a percentage of what you're currently making, it won't take long before the compounding affects can add up to a significant increase in salary. – user8365 Dec 3 '17 at 15:45
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You are overthinking this.

The reason why you want to join a company is that they have a job available, which pays reasonably well, which seems to be reasonably interesting, they don't have a reputation of mistreating employees, the company isn't doing anything that you morally disagree with, and has a business with a future. If that all fits, that's when you are willing to join a company.

When you go to an interview, you look very closely at everything you see, listen to what everyone says, and that makes them either more or less appealing to you.

Concerning interesting technology: There are 100 times more interesting technologies out there than I will ever have a chance to learn.

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"Why you want to leave your current job?"

I wrote my Thesis years ago upon a very interesting subject, at the time.

I found a great company to work for and enjoy my time there but now that I'm upper management I'm neither hands on with the newest technology nor is that the direction the company is going.

Instead they focus on what they know rather than breaking into what's new.

"Why do you want to join us?"

I started a job search and your company is the first that came to mind.

I looked at your website and read up on what you're doing and where you're going.

I can see that's a great direction and leaving my management position to accept a better position, where I'm hands on with the latest and greatest things, is much more motivating.

I know my skill set will be most useful and I can help in areas A, B and C; I'm also very interested in the related areas of X, Y and Z.

So, you're the first place I thought of, I know I can make a difference here.

Can I ask a question ...

I presume I was not the first interviewed, can you tell me about your reservations with hiring some of them; perhaps I can highlight skills I have that are complementary.

[Then either help the other candidates by complementing their skill set with your own necessary skills or highlight how you can replace a few of those people but probably not do the workload of 5 people - imply that they walked out the door unhired.

Further implication: Do they want to do that with someone as valuable as yourself. If that doesn't get them to jump at the chance it certainly leverages your position to ask for higher wages if you need to return for another interview.]

Push and wiggle your way in a bit.

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    If I was interviewing someone who said "tell me what you didn't like about the other candidates" it would make me very uncomfortable. I wouldn't answer and I think it might make the interview go less well overall. – Kate Gregory Dec 3 '17 at 16:00
  • They are asking either why is our company preferable or how did we get on your list. You are asking why you're on a list or why you're not preferred. Being on a list of hundreds and interviewing a few times makes for a lengthy process. I've been essentially 'hired over the phone' with a meeting or tour scheduled, at worst a second interview. Multiple interviews against hundreds of candidates places your current position in jeopardy. If they don't know, they don't know; they'd best not be the supervisor too. Specialists and experts are not to be shooed away. – Rob Dec 3 '17 at 17:19
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    If you want to ask them the equivalent question, then "why did you choose me for an interview?" is, I suppose, possible, though it comes across as "I'm not sure what's good about me." Like it or not there is a power imbalance while interviewing and not everything they ask you is appropriate for you to flip around and ask them. But even if it was "why do you want to work here?" is most definitely not "please tell me why you are rejecting other possible jobs you could take." – Kate Gregory Dec 3 '17 at 17:23
  • If you're a junior person then likely company X is a wonderful opportunity and it's your great fortune to get a look inside, chosen or not. If you're able to generate a cash flow of over $10K / day then calling you back in a couple of weeks later is a loss for both sides. I've worked at the largest companies in my area, and prefer the medium sized ones for friendliness and growth potential; along with lesser difficultness. Places you've probably heard of, and that I've rejected on the first interview, include: Bayer, The Washington Companies, and Toyota; they pay too little. – Rob Dec 3 '17 at 17:52

protected by enderland Apr 5 '15 at 22:04

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