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I've been with my current company for just couple of months. The job itself is great. But since we don't get along well with my direct boss, who mentioned that we might need to part ways, I started searching for a new position and - to my surprise - landed first interviews very quickly.

In the meantime the boss has started being nicer to me and I'm not sure whether I should consider changing jobs so quickly.

What is the best tactic here? Are there reasons why I should cancel the interviews? During the interviews, should I be clear about my not being sure about switching yet? If so, how should I explain why I've even applied?


The question linked is different since I don't just want to practice interviews. I'm not sure whether I need a new job and my reasons for that are quite specific.

  • "But since we don't get along well with my direct boss, who mentioned that we might need to part ways, I started searching for a new position" This is so incredibly bizarre. Can you elaborate on what the exact situation is and what they actually said? Do you not get on with your direct boss because they have an issue with the quality of your work? A personality clash? One of you just isn't a pleasant person? – Anthony Grist May 9 at 13:31
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An interview is a two-way street, allowing the company to evaluate a potential employee, but also allowing the applicant to evaluate a potential employer. I have never walked into a job interview with total certainty that I'd take a job if offered - how could I without knowing if the offer is any good? There is no reason to bring up the fact that you might not take the job if offered, as that should be expected of anyone they offer a job to.

If you are certain that you would not take the job if offered, then you should cancel your interview since it'll be a waste of time for everyone. As long as you approach the interview in good faith, meaning there's some reasonable chance you'd take a job if offered, then there's no need to cancel. That threshold will vary from person to person, but if you don't feel like you're wasting your own time with the interview, then you're not wasting theirs, either.

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In the meantime the boss has started being nicer to me and I'm not sure whether I should consider changing jobs so quickly.

Is there any guarantee that your boss won't turn the other way again, soon (once you stop looking for other jobs)?

I'm not sure whether I need a new job and my reasons for that are quite specific.

Remember, they are the one suggested you to look for other opportunities - if I were you, I'd take that advice seriously, find a new job and move on. As you've already started the process, continue on that and get yourself a new job.

If asked for the reason in the interview, you can avoid getting into details and use one of the canned-comments, like

The work expectations are not met and I realized I'll not be able to unleash my full potential. I'm looking for something more challenging.

At least, you would find a better manager.

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But since we don't get along well with my direct boss, who mentioned that we might need to part ways, I started searching for a new position and - to my surprise - landed first interviews very quickly.

If I were you I would definitely find a new job if a boss mentioned something like that to me

What is the best tactic here? Are there reasons why I should cancel the interviews? During the interviews, should I be clear about my not being sure about switching yet? If so, how should I explain why I've even applied?

I wouldn't cancel the interviews unless you are certain you want to stay at your current company. In that case- you'd be wasting both the company's time and your own. As far as explaining why you're applying for different jobs I would NOT say anything related to not getting along with your boss or not being sure if you want to switch jobs because you're unsure of which job you will have. You can say something like

I am interested in pursuing new opportunities and was excited by the prospect of working at [insert company here] because of [insert reasons related to the company here].

Reasons being reasons including company values, type of work/projects you'd be doing, work environment, more challenging atmosphere, etc.

  • Thanks chevybow. However, I have doubts whether your justification can be used if I've been with the company for just a few months. It's a great explanation for someone looking for a job after a much longer period of time though. – oraculo May 9 at 5:17
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As noted in other answers, both the candidate and the employer enter an interview with uncertainty -- you don't know you'd take the job before you can learn more about it, and they don't know they'd hire you before screening you. If you're entering with good faith, meaning you might take the job depending on how the interview goes, there's no need to cancel.

You said you've only been at your current place two months. They will ask about that (in particular, they want to know if you'll do that to them too), so that's your opportunity to "spin" your search. When they ask why you're looking so soon, you can say that the position you just took turns out not to be a good fit so you're exploring options, because your goal is a long, mutually-beneficial working relationship.

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