So you have changed jobs too many times. And the interviewer will definitely grill you on the reason behind it. How do you handle the situation without giving awkward excuses?
Your interviewer fears you may leave this position quickly, similar to the limited stints you have had at prior employers. He or she is concerned you may be unstable or a “problematic person” who can’t get along with others.
ACCEPTABLE ANSWER: Before you even get to the interview stage, you should try to minimize your image as a job hopper. If there are several entries on your resume of less than one year, consider eliminating the less important ones. Perhaps you can specify the time you spent at previous positions in rounded years, not in months and years. For example, instead of showing three positions this way:
6/1982 – 3/1983, Position A;
4/1983 – 12/1983, Position B;
1/1984 – 8/1987, Position C;
It would be better to show:
1982 – 1983, Position A;
1984 – 1987 Position C.
In other words, you would drop Position B altogether. Notice the difference this elimination makes in reducing your image as a job hopper.
Once in front of the interviewer and the “change job frequently” question comes up, you need to reassure him. Describe each position as part of an overall pattern of growth and career destination.
Must Read: Basic Interview Questions.
Be careful not to blame other people for your frequent changes. But you can and should attribute certain changes to conditions beyond your control.
Example: Thanks to an upcoming merger, you wanted to avoid an ensuing bloodbath, so you made a good, upward career move before your department came under the ax of the new owners.
If possible, also show that your job changes were more frequent in your younger days while you were in the process of establishing yourself, rounding out your skills, and looking for the right career path. At this stage in your career, you’re certainly much more interested in the best long-term opportunity.
Also Read: Are you job hopping too much?
You might also cite the job(s) where you stayed the longest and say that this type of situation is what you’re looking for now.
You may not be aware of the relation between “why you want to join this company” and “why have you changed jobs so frequently”. Your reason for the interest in the new job opportunity can substantiate the answer to the latter question. Were the job hops a way to reach the existing opening? If you spare some time and think over how you can connect the dots between the two questions, you’ll find a solid justification for explaining why you changed jobs too many times.
Have you faced this question before? Why have you changed jobs so frequently? What tips would you give to handle the interviewer’s grilling? Do you know someone who has changed jobs too many times? Are you aware of other important interview questions? We’d love to know more in the comments.