Let's rule the salary out of the question and assume that one believes that it's worth the hit.

It may be the case of a Junior demoting to an Internship or a Senior demoting to a Junior/Normal role.

As for the reason to give about the demotion during the recruitment process, let's say that it's because one is not confident that the experience gained before is not on the same level than the equivalent role at dream company because of its competitiveness, or because the previous experience is in a slightly different industry, or both.

Are there higher or lower chances of been accepted?

  • 2
    is it possible the person in question is suffering from imposter syndrome?
    – jesse
    Feb 19, 2019 at 16:19
  • What's the reason you might want to do this? Are you only seeing more junior roles advertized at your dream company? Or are you literally going into interviews saying "I would be prepared to take a junior role to get into this company?" Also please give us some idea of what it is about this company that makes it your 'dream'. Feb 19, 2019 at 16:55
  • 1
    A little nitpicking... but I think "demotion" is the wrong word here for what you are describing. Demotion is something typically done to someone by a company. This can happen for various reasons but is usually related to poor performance related and so has negative context associated with it. I think a more appropriate term for what you are describing is "accepting a lower role" which clearly states this as a personal choice and has much less negative associations.
    – user48276
    Feb 19, 2019 at 16:59
  • This question really depends on the ethos of the recruiting company so is impossible to answer objectively. From personal experience (both recruiting and being recruited), this would either increase or decrease your chances depending on the company in question.
    – Robbie Dee
    Feb 19, 2019 at 17:05

4 Answers 4


Let the company decide what your seniority should be, this title is pretty much different in every company so if they are smart enough they won't base their decision on the seniority you show on your CV, but they will evaluate your experience among other things. If they realize you are a good candidate but you lack the expierience they could offer you a more junior position. So if you see a job post looking for senior dev, and you consider yourself one you should apply without hesitate.

If I see a CV from a senior dev, applying for a junior position on the same field I would think "there is something weird about this dude"


When I switched domain, I got demoted, because the expectations for a Senior in one domain were different than a Senior in another domain. I could have fought for having a more Senior title, but I learnt two things from that experience:

  • How to value more junior people's time and how they are treated
  • People recognize my added value all the more that I was humble enough to start one step lower

I still got promoted as soon as it was possible from an HR point of view.


If it were a paid position to an internship, I'd question the sanity of the applicant.

If it were a downward step from senior to junior, I'd be suspicious as well.

I'd be wondering why you'd be making the move down instead of working at your level. It wouldn't look good if it were for lack of confidence or skill. You'd need to impress the hell out of me with why you felt that such a move made sense to you, and then explain why it would make sense to me.

So, overall, the chances would be lower, unless, as I said, you impressed the interviewer/company with a very good reason.

Some ideas to that end.

  • Detailed research and knowledge of the company you're applying to
  • A good explanation as to how your skills and talents will benefit the company
  • What part of your skillset translates, and what does not.
  • How you expect to get up to speed
  • An explanation that will reassure the hiring manager that you're not just resume building.

It depends on the company you are moving from and the company you want to move to. Each company holds different standards for each role, a senior in one company is not a senior in another (heck, even inside the same company it can drastically change).

Adding a special mention to "being demoted to intern": in several countries, you can only be an intern if you are enrolled in a degree at a university/school. I have seen cases indeed where experienced people, in order to follow their loved one abroad for example, enrolled into a new master despite the 10+ experience so they can get an internship and try to make it easier to get hired.

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