So, that is the situation. The employer is good, except it has a bad disadvantage.

It has a closed, fixed customer circle and no sales. If this narrow set of customers have no work for us, then we have no work. I can not imagine, how can a company survive so long without an active sales, but it seems, somehow they can.

I think, although it is hard in Germany to fire someone on this reason, but I think, the company will find a way to fire us. Beside that, I simply hate to do dummy work:

  1. It makes me lazy,

  2. I lose the time I would need to train myself for the newer technologies of the future,

  3. If I can choose of leave or being fired, I want to leave myself (I have no interest on Arbeitslosengeld or similars, I just want continuous Arbeitsverhaltnis).

So I silently started to apply for some new job. And here comes the problem: the new companies will ask me, why do I want to switch. What could I say?

If I say the truth, wouldn't a boss think, maybe I will say some bad also from them? The most basic rule of any job interview that we do not say negative from our previous employers.

If I say any different as the truth, then it won't be the truth, and second, they might think that I was just fired and now I am looking my second chance by them. Not a good deal.

If I say that I want to go on any reason, maybe they will think, I will leave also them if they need my work.

Simply I can not imagine, how could I communicate my motivation to switch (Wechselmotive) without seriously harming some unwritten law or my own interest.

So what should I say?

What sounds the best for the ears of some Boss or HR decision-maker of an average German company with about 50 - 500 employee?

  • "The most basic rule of any job interview that we do not say negative from our previous employers." So if your employer goes bankrupt, or lays off people, you won't ever say the truth? Seriously? No, you can say negative things, especially if those things can easily be verified by a quick google search, or by knowing the industry trends of your current employer. This advice wasn't really meant for you. This type of advice was meant for the type of employee who perceives everything as someone else's fault. Just prepare what you have to say in advance and don't elaborate on the negatives. Commented Dec 12, 2022 at 4:35
  • @StephanBranczyk I can not be sure if it is not my fault. You know only my version of the story. What if my employer thinks this from me: "GS works badly and alienates customers. But we can not easily fire him, so we try to give him tasks where he causes the least harm". What if that is what my bosses think? I do not know, what do they think and do not even have a clue. There is no objective moral in this country and that is the hardest to accustome to. More simply: I have f..ly no clue, if not I am here a bad guy. Maybe it is just impostor syndrome. Maybe I am a real impostor.
    – Gray Sheep
    Commented Feb 1, 2023 at 23:04

3 Answers 3


Some good suggestions, but let's assume that you are applying in the same or similar industry and that the interviewer perhaps knows of your current companies situation:

"I'm looking for an opportunity where the project load is more regular and less seasonal"

You aren't bad-mouthing your old employer and it's reasonable to want a little and often rather than switching between abject boredom and total panic.

  • 2
    That looks very nice! Germans love employee wanting more regularity. ;-)
    – Gray Sheep
    Commented Dec 6, 2022 at 19:50

Don't badmouth your current employer. Focus on positive reasons you want to join the new company.

Anything like

  1. I'm looking for new challenges like <<something about the role>>
  2. I'm looking for opportunities to work with new technologies like <<something you'd be using in the new position>>
  3. I feel that I've reached a ceiling at my current company. In a new position, I'd like to be able to do <<something new you'd be doing>>

are perfectly reasonable and understandable.


As always, tell the truth... but not necessarily the whole truth.

I'm not finding my current work very challenging

I'm looking to expand my skills in [whatever new employer uses]

[Current employer] doesn't give many opportunities for personal development

I'm looking to move to [location of new employer]

Countless other variations exist, just pick one which you can justify one way or another.

  • My impression about these variations that they will be decoded to: "I do not say why I want to go". The "work is not very challenging" is also badmouth, beside that also looks bad if the new company has no really challenging jobs, too.
    – Gray Sheep
    Commented Dec 6, 2022 at 19:29
  • Well, if the new employer doesn't have any challenging work, do you want to work there? Commented Dec 6, 2022 at 19:40
  • Right, that is a good argument :-) :-) :-) ...and the answer is, only if there is no better. Not having work at al is worse as having work which is not challenging. But the employer do not need to think so deeply :-)
    – Gray Sheep
    Commented Dec 6, 2022 at 19:47

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