I am an Indian citizen and I am working in Singapore for under 2 years (S-Pass). I want to switch jobs for the sole reason that my salary is not enough for bringing my spouse over to Singapore as a dependent (we got married recently). 6000 SGD is the government mandated minimum and my salary doesn't cut it for now.

I tried asking my current employer for a raise and its unlikely to come through.

I am attending the interviews and I tried answering truthfully why I wanted to switch and its not coming out well. What should I tell diplomatically so that I gets past this phase?

I work in IT and skills I have is relevant and is very needed in the industry and I almost always cracked most interviews easily.

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    Welcome to Workplace.stackexchange. Questions very similar to this have been asked many times. Have you done any searching? If so, do you feel your question is different than those that have already been asked? If you do, you should edit your question to explain why it is different. Otherwise, this will likely get closed as a duplicate.
    – dwizum
    Commented Sep 18, 2019 at 14:49
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    It seems like a perfectly valid and understandable reason to me.
    – Time4Tea
    Commented Sep 18, 2019 at 14:54
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    It is valid and quite understandable, but it has also been asked many times and I would expect that people will quickly VTC as a duplicate (I have not, for the record). The thing about this subject is, the answers are pretty much always the same (give a generic, positive-sounding answer) regardless of the circumstances of why you're leaving. I'm trying to be helpful by pointing out that the OP here may get more relevant answers (versus having their question closed) if they are able to explicitly state why their situation is different, i.e. reference near-dupes and point out the differences.
    – dwizum
    Commented Sep 18, 2019 at 15:01
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    Possible duplicate of How to respond to "Why are you looking for a new job?"
    – David K
    Commented Sep 18, 2019 at 15:42

2 Answers 2


As with any interview question, you need to phrase your response in terms that benefit the company or at least are reasonable to it. The company doesn't care if you want to bring your wife over. The company does care if employees are more likely to remain loyal.

I'd suggest taking more of the angle of why you're worth it while being nice about your current employer. Find your own phrasing for something like the following:

I'd love to find the company I can remain in for a long while to come. While I enjoy my current work, I'm paid well under the value I bring and the market rate for what I do. Being paid more commensurately to my skills would also allow me to bring my wife over and to mentally commit more to the long term.

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    If you want to really drip with sweet things to their ears, “would also allow me to bring my wife over which would make me even more productive
    – CR Drost
    Commented Sep 18, 2019 at 15:33
  • @CRDrost I toyed with that, but can see it going both ways. Depending on how effusive the wording, sometimes it can be taken as overwrought--then again, sometimes it makes the connections they wouldn't otherwise. "Mentally commit more" may be too subtle for some.
    – SemiGeek
    Commented Sep 18, 2019 at 15:47

You may be overthinking this. If the position you are looking at is in your acceptable salary level, then "I don't believe my current company is paying me what I'm worth" is a perfectly acceptable reason for switching. If you were to just say that you wanted more money (and it doesn't really matter what you want the money for) they might fear that you would then leave them as soon as you found a higher offer.

But telling them "this is what I will be content with" gives them the confidence to feel that you will commit to them if they give you what you want. Decide how much you must make in order to meet your needs and those of your wife, and make that the bottom range of your salary requirements.

Then the other half of the equation is whether you can deliver what they want. Once you have proved that, it's a good bet that you will be hired.

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