Explaining Your Job Hopping Habit

Although job hopping is becoming more common now, with millennials introducing this trend, it is nevertheless a red flag for potential employers. If you are guilty of job hopping, here are some things to think about before you turn up for that next job interview:

What is considered job hopping?

You are considered a job hopper if you have a habit of staying in jobs for less than two years and this pattern is repeated throughout your career. Someone who has left one or two companies after a year, but has worked for other companies for periods of five years or more would not fall into the job hopping category.

How to explain job hopping during an interview

Never complain or say negative things about your past employers. They may have been the worst people to work with, but your potential employer does not know that and will think negatively of you.

Be positive and say you were looking for growth and/or the right environment and company to offer it, and that you feel that their company and the job are the right fit.

If they ask you about the reasons for leaving each job, it can be more difficult to offer satisfactory answers. Try to make it sound like you changed each post to grow and gain more. If it was salary, don’t mention it unless your previous role was paying you very low for the industry standard.

If you changed one job because travel wise it was inconvenient, and this role is far more conveniently located, mention it, they will be sympathetic. Perhaps you were looking for something more aligned with your interests or degree? And until now the opportunity to be interviewed for it hasn’t come up.

Other acceptable reasons for leaving:

  • The company structure changed – your boss leaving is an example
  • The job description was misguiding and you ended up doing tasks other than what you were hired to do
  • Personal issues that prevented you from fulfilling the job requirements are also acceptable as long as they are now resolved
  • Foreseeing a lack of progression in the role

Whatever the reason or reasons you give, try to be positive and honest. Focus on how this role can change your job hopping pattern. This is what will put the hiring manager at ease.

If you found this post helpful, you may also like our advice here on how to get back into employment after a career break.

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