I've getting started calls from companies for scheduling interview. But before interview they usually ask:

What is your motivation behind joining XYZ company?

I was truly honest and I said:

Though I am quite happy with the work environment and opportunities in my existing company but I am lacking in terms of finance.

For my above answer I almost got the same response:

So, you have no other motivation to join our company.

I understand that this creates a negative impact on them but do I have to hide my real reason (or to kill my honesty) and reply them with answer which they are anticipating?

  • 3
  • @JoeStrazzere People have sell their passion (companies) which they have build by devoting their life. So, I always thought that saying truth may hurt but at least I'd have nothing to hide. I just got married and then I realized that people with my experience have more income than me because they switched the company but I didn't because I was too happy with the work I was given and my company gives me innovative ideas to work on. But your point make sense too and I'll definitely consider that. +1 Sep 3, 2015 at 19:33
  • 1
    "The total pay and benefits package of my previous company were behind the market" would be better than what you said, and still true.
    – CGCampbell
    Sep 3, 2015 at 19:53
  • 1
    It sounds like you're leaving because of limits on the opportunity to earn more with your current employer. You could say something like, "While I'm happy with the work environment in my current position, the opportunities are limited, I believe the best opportunities for growth are here and that we will both benefit"
    – DLS3141
    Sep 3, 2015 at 20:13
  • 2
    You can tell the truth without telling the whole truth. Honesty is great, but you need to learn tactfulness to go with it. "I want to get into your pants" is usually not the right answer to "why should I go out to dinner with you."
    – keshlam
    Sep 3, 2015 at 22:40

2 Answers 2


You have to look at this from the company's perspective. When they ask "what are your motivations for joining this company?" they are really asking "how can you benefit me?".

From that viewpoint, you saying that you just want more money does nothing to help them, and shows them that you haven't even researched the company or what they do. Moreover, it also says "I'm going to switch jobs the second something that pays more comes along".

Don't get me wrong, money is important. However, if that's the only reason you'd move, I would sit down and think about what you really want from your next move. Money is one aspect, but things like technology, culture, location, etc. are just as important if not more so, IMO. Changing jobs just for money is a quick way to get a job you hate.

  • You're right, but I always felt to be honest. People sell their startup companies (their passion) for money because they might have different plans. Plans or passion can change but to do them with more money is somewhat easier. But I understood your point. Sep 3, 2015 at 19:29
  • But if you already have a job that you hate that pays you poorly changing to a new job you hate that pays you more is a step up. Sure holding out for a job you love that pays you more is ideal... but not everyone is in the position to hold out for their ideal job. Sep 4, 2015 at 15:40

You said this; bold emphasis is mine:

Though I am quite happy with the work environment and opportunities in my existing company but I am lacking in terms of finance.

What you should have said is this:

Though I am quite happy with the work environment and opportunities in my existing company I believe your company gives me greater opportunities to grow in my profession.

Let’s face some facts: Few people want to work for free. We all work to make money; if they suddenly stopped paying you to do what you do would you still do it for them for free? Fairly confident that answer is no. And few people leave a company because they are happy with the company. By stating something like the above you clearly indicate you see more opportunities for “career growth.”

Now what “career growth” means? Easy… That phrase combines growth potential in work/task opportunities as well as financial growth opportunities. By stating it that way you simply kill two birds with one stone.

Also, if you do have to bring up finance as a part of a decision to move to a new company, don’t put the finance aspect on the new company; direct it to the old company. Say something like:

There are some budgetary and staffing issues at that old company that don’t make me feel there is a stable future in staying there. Thus I think it’s time I explore new opportunities such as those your company offers.

This is all a dance. Everyone is reading between the lines. Understand the basics and you will be fine. But simply saying you want more money—an not mentioning anything else—makes you seem crude, crass and ready to leave the moment anyone shakes more money in front of your face.

All that said, I will say that finance can be discussed bluntly if it is somehow well known public knowledge the old company was somehow cheap and the new company is on a financial upswing. But still, touch that topic lightly and delicately even if the conversation is clear and open.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .