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How to Answer in Your Interview When You Appear to Change Jobs Often

by
Alan Writer

As you grow in your career, you will start building a professional image of who you are and your actions. Experienced talent acquisition specialists and hiring managers will be able to see the person behind the CV. One of these areas will happen when you get to the interview stage, and your interviewer starts to question what is commonly referred to as job hopping. 

What is job hopping? 

Job Hopping is a term that comes from people moving from one position to another, usually to a competitor. It can happen when you're moving from one job annually, giving off a different vibe to the company you are interviewing for. Keep in mind that more companies are finding this type of moment acceptable, especially when it's adequately explained. 

Still, some employers can see it as a red flag, as it shows that you don’t have the desire to build up company loyalty. Recruiting and training are also costs to take into consideration, and the fact that you’re moving so quickly from one position to another can be a sign that those costs will simply need to be absorbed. 

How to handle it in an interview

As always, it's a good idea to be upfront, prepared and honest if this question comes up. For example, you may have switched careers and are in an exploratory phase of your newfound career, trying to see what works and doesn't. Or you're simply trying to find out your ideal career path and want to try different positions in different types of industries. Maybe you found the perfect opportunity at one place, but your manager left, or they discontinued the company. All of these are perfectly fine when explaining your appearance of switching jobs too often.

It shows that you're looking for the right home, willing to take risks, and willing to grow fast, especially when you're able to show prominent accurate metrics and success points during those time periods. You don't want to say things like finding a better opportunity because it can be misconstrued as looking simply for a better title or money versus growing yourself and finding the right path. 

You can state things such as you felt that there was no career growth or it was a small company with no open senior positions; just always make sure your justifications are the exception and not the norm. 

In the end

It is your career, and you have the right to make what you want of it. At times it can be a few years before this happens without you noticing. Maybe you found yourself roles in different countries and didn't think twice about how that may look if you ever decided to go back to a more corporate setting. Either way, it's never a deal breaker, and it's something that you should always prepare to be asked during an interview. If you're not prepared, you'll have an answer that won't make as much sense.  

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