Recently we addressed tips to avoid job hopping. The logical next question is “What if I’ve already done some job hopping, how should I explain job hopping during the job interview? Some people job hop because they are looking for promotional opportunities they may not find in their current company. Some individuals feel unhappy in their current role and believe there are better opportunities elsewhere.
During the interview process, if there’s a lot of movement in your career, you may be asked to explain job hopping. It’s something you should be prepared to answer just in case. Tenure with one company has gone down considerably in general. However, employers still do frown on it, not as much as before but it’s still something you may need to overcome. It’s simply becomes a concern from a business perspective. They may not want to invest in training for a new hire that they feel has a track record of moving from company to company. Data does show that it’s more of a generational circumstance. Millennials are less likely to have a long tenure at one company before moving on.
During the interview process, it’s important to deliver a concise and relevant message. The same is true when you explain job hopping. Explaining why you left a company can be as simple as “I was interested in being more involved in the creative process and found another company that gave me that opportunity. I learned a tremendous amount about X and it was a great training ground.” Or “Company X, decided to move the position to another state. I was offered the opportunity to relocate, but it wasn’t the right time to move.” Whatever the circumstance is, give a very brief explanation for each job and never ever bad mouth a past employer.
Put Yourself in the Employers’ Shoes
Think about it from the company’s perspective. They want assurances that if they hire you, you won’t leave the company in a year or two. There are no guarantees but it’s important that you explain your intentions. You want to address this head on if you sense their concerns. You want them to know you are looking for something long term and that you feel this opportunity is ideal for you and a great fit in terms of what you have to offer.
It’s always best to anticipate what interview questions you may be asked and to be well prepared. Interview preparation with a professional is something to consider. Give some careful thought to how you will explain job hopping in a way that will alleviate their concerns.
Job Hopping May Not Be the Answer
If you are considering leaving a company, why not give your company a chance to address your concerns first. If you are looking for more challenging work, talk to your boss. (S)he may be able to put you on a project that could offer a great learning opportunity. If the issue is financial, talk to your boss about a raise. You want to be prepared for that discussion and justify why you deserve a raise. The important point is, before you make a final decision to leave your company, give them a chance to address your concerns. I wouldn’t suggest letting them know you are thinking about leaving. You really have nothing to lose and they may just surprise you.