Career Advancement Interview Tips Self Improvement

How To Ace An Interview If You have Short Work Histories

Many companies and recruitment agencies view job hopping as a downside, a lack of commitment and indecision. On the other hand, the stigma surrounding job hopping is almost extinct amongst the millennial age group, and become a normal part of professional growth. If you’re one of those who often job-hopping, you need some kind of preparation to answer questions from your interviewer. In other words, make the interviewer sure that your decision will be long lasting this time.

Before we talk about how to deal with your interview, let’s see how long the average length of time an employee at a job. According to an Economic News Release[1]  from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (via The Balance Careers), the average tenure is 4.2 years with one employer. However, that number is higher for older employees. The median tenure for employees age 55-64 is over 10 years. Meanwhile, for younger group of age 25-34 years old employees the median tenure is 2.8 years.

Those statistics were echoed by global analytics and advice firm Gallup. Their survey in 2016 stated that 21% of millennials have changed jobs within the past year. Therefore, you should be aware that putting several short-term positions in your resume might not impress the hiring manager.

Tell Your Story Effectively

What caused you to change jobs? Be honest, as some job hops reasons are explainable and acceptable. Note that the downside of job hopping maybe not your choice that you have no other options but to leave. In this case, you don’t need to think too hard about what to say. For example, layoffs or your previous company experienced bankruptcy.

However, you can’t tell your story without giving it some thought especially if the real reason for your leaving is rather bitter, such as you didn’t get along with your team. Your response should tell the truth in a way that doesn’t throw mud on someone else.

Turn the Negative Perspective Into A Positive Action

Milewalk, an executive search and human capital consulting organization in Chicago, suggests that to answer this kind of question, you should take responsibility and own your previous actions. If you had several job hopping histories, diffuse them into a universal issue you’ve now fixed. Provide the solution of your issues too, such as:

“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.”

Such answer works because you avoid the risk of dragging the conversation on by trying to take one job hop at a time. You’ve also turned a negative question into a positive action that you’ve taken. Speak positively about the action you’ve taken to overcome the short-term position and give the reason why it won’t be an issue anymore.

However, think everything over before you move into a new career that hopefully will be your long lasting job.  Start growing with us through these vacancies.

[1]Released in September 20, 2018.