Are you frustrated when an employer asks you, "Why have you had so many job during your career?" or "Why can't you seem to stay at one job for any lengthy period of time?" Do you have difficulty coming up with a great response? Join career expert, motivator, and award-winning author Andrew LaCivita as he discusses the best answer to the job hopper question!
Help is here!
I’ll tell you exactly how to answer those questions, but let’s first address what’s happening when an interviewer asks you these questions.
Realize no one is smart enough to take your responses from those particular questions and determine whether you’ll be a great employee in their company. It's just too great a leap to connect those dots.
Decisions you made years ago simply won’t help them understand how you're going to fit into their organization.
What’s the question you’re really being asked?
If you are interviewing, whether on the phone or in person, the employer has essentially granted on paper you are qualified for the job and deserving of their time!
The question they are truly asking is, “Why will it be different this time?”
The interviewer wants to know why are you going to make a good decision that sticks…so when you join their company you’ll be a good longstanding, successful employee.
That’s what they really want to know. That’s what they want to be assured of.
That’s the question you need to answer!
Turn multiple job hops into one issue you’ve resolved!
First, take responsibility and own your previous actions.
Second, turn “several” problems into one problem you can address quickly. That is, if you’ve had a handful of job hops, respond to all of them at once. Make it a universal issue you’ve now fixed. You can diffuse it all in one fell swoop.
Third, give your response with a smile and lots of positivity regarding why this will work going forward.
“Ya know, you’re right. I do have a few (or a number of) job hops in my history.
I discovered very recently the reason I was having some trouble was due to a common issue. I wasn’t clear upfront regarding all the criteria I needed to be fulfilled in my job.
I did some self-reflection and thought deeply about everything I needed to make me happy in my work life. I hadn’t done that previously. But, now, I took the time. Performed the exercises and reflected.
This has put me in a much better position to evaluate whether any future job opportunity and company will be a great fit for me because I now have a much more complete list of the criteria I need. I have that clarity.
Previously, I wasn’t as skilled at getting the information I need from the employer, but I’m in a much better position now because I’ve gone through this reflection.
I understand specifically what I need to evaluate and how to evaluate it. Now, I’m more confident I can determine whether your company is a good one for me.”
Why this works…
First, you avoid the risk of dragging the conversation on by trying to take one job hop at a time.
When you do this, the interviewer thinks goodness. It's always something with her. It seems like a different issue every time or he's just like Pig Pen. He's got that cloud of rain over himself wherever he goes.
You’ve also shifted a negative question into a positive action you’ve taken!
There are exceptions, but the pattern is what’s important…
I realize people leave jobs for countless reasons. You could have an illness in the family. Your husband or wife could be getting transferred.
But, if you're getting asked the job hopper question, the interviewer is looking for the common pattern.
Take responsibility. Defuse it all at once. Speak positively about the action you've taken to overcome it and why it won't be an issue this time!
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