Why Have You Had So Many Jobs?

“I have had 4 jobs in one year and every time the interviewer asks me ‘Why have you had so many jobs in a short time’, I go blank. What is the best way to handle this question?” asks Sylvia Kimaru in an email.

You might be the best candidate for the job but having too many jobs in a short span may give an employer a negative impression of you. So how do you handle such a question?

Truth is, this is a common question that an employer asks because they are concerned about you being unstable as a candidate or a person who cannot get along with your colleagues at work.

You can move from a job due to economic reasons such as being laid off or being under-employed. The opportunity to learn new skills is another reason to change jobs. Finding temporary jobs or contract jobs and geographical relocations may be other reason why you have had so many jobs.

Once this question comes up, it is your opportunity to try and reassure him.

Take this time to describe each position as being part of career growth.

Ensure that you do not blame other people for your frequent changes. You could attribute some of the movements to conditions beyond your control such as downsizing or a company becoming bankrupt.

Use the jobs where you stayed the longest to your advantage. Explain to the employer that this is the kind of job that you are currently looking for at the moment and how this company is the best fit for that position.

Good Answer

“Job X was a temporary position, so when my contract was over it was time to look for more work. Job Y was a startup, and their product was not pulling in as much revenue as they had hoped and the company went through some substantial layoffs.

Finally, Job Z had a company vision that I simply could not agree with, and I decided it was time to find an employer whose goals I believe in.”

Most employers consider leaving jobs to be a big red flag on your employment chances. With the right explanation, however, you can at least ease those doubts, and then wow them for the rest of the interview.

Are you worried that your change of jobs could impact your chances of securing another job? Get customized help by booking a mock interview coaching session with a professional. 

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