Recently attempted to jump client side and was told I was rejected due to my reason for leaving my agency. Interviewed w/one woman twice, the first time we spoke I said... (cont below)

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Hey, so not that the above advice is wrong at all, but the “negative” line you said is just a reality that literally everyone knows about agency vs in-house work. I honestly don’t even think it’s negative, it’s just a reality. You didn’t say anything bad about your company, and I don’t even think you actually said anything truly negative about agency. FWIW, I have said something like what you said twice and gotten client-side offers and no one mentioned it. Honestly it sounds like they don’t know what they want or if they even want to fill the position. I think this is totally a “them” issue, and what you just said about the new job posting kind of underlines that. If you want to take this as a learning and be extra careful next time, sure, say “I just really want to go in house,” or whatever, but please don’t beat yourself up about it because it kind of sounds like they just have trouble making decisions and you dodged a bullet

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Glad it was helpful! I have gone back and forth between fields and between in-house & agency work. Ultimately I personally enjoy the faster pace of agency and the ability to work on different things. Been at the same large agency for ~2 years now and not envisioning leaving anytime soon, but you never know: opportunities and life situations are always changing

General advice for that sort of question is to keep it positive. Focus on what you want from the new role not what you don't want from the current one. A hiring manager wants to know if you are you running to a job or away from one?

She may also not have liked two different answers. hard to say on just what you've written, but definitely a possibility.

likesmart

Agreed with the general advice. Always focus on how you want to grow and contribute, never about what you don't want. She mayhave also thought you were a jumper or ship abandoner at the first sign of hardship or are only motivated by salary. We're speculating here and we also don't know how you said and worded your answer in the moment. If you really really want to go there, I'd reframe it to how you're looking for an organization that is dedicated to its employees and where people go to stay and be tight with each other and is focused more directly on its product, end consumer (if applicable), and people vs B2B / org that services another org's needs (ie agency).

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(Cont) that I was looking for a new challenge, wanted to return to an industry I had worked in previously and manage all aspects of a brand, all that. The second time I interview with her, she surfaced the question again and asked why I wanted to leave agency and I added that beyond wanting a new change, it’d be great to have the extra stability, my current agency has been going through a lot of change due to the nature of advertising being so up and down, and that long term I don’t believe it’s a good fit for me to be in agency. Her response is that there was instability everywhere and that one year her team didn’t get sales bonuses bc the performance wasn’t great that year... I feel like maybe I should have just parroted back my original line, but am also like... I’m being faulted for telling the truth and then she’s comparing the lack of a bonus to me watching entire teams laid off? Frustrated. Any advice for next time around?

Well, screw her

There was an initial phone screen where I stuck to the positive happy answer for switching, then a second phone call where I said the positive happy answer for switching, then a whole day in person with a bunch of different folks. I also had to present a case study to this same woman, and received nothing but great feedback from her and her boss during the presentation about how I made all the same decisions they had down to the targeting and media I had chosen. I really poured myself into studying hard about their industry and nailing that case study, so to have that go so well in the moment and get a no based on my reason for wanting to leave really stung. Appreciate both of your advice. Only other weird thing is... they changed the job description and reposted after I interviewed, which makes me feel weird about it all... guess it’s just not meant to be there.

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