Difficult Interview Question: Why Have You Had So Many Jobs?
The employer is going to look at your resume and say “Hey, this person right here has some pretty impressive qualifications. Wonder why they have 15 jobs listed?”
You still received an interview. Chances are you have something that impresses the company. Still, employers only want to hire people that are going to stick around, because you are an investment. Jumping from one job to another because you get tired of doing the work is a sign that you are a bad investment.
How to Answer
Either discuss how the companies didn’t share the same vision or, if there were financial reasons and you were laid off, explain them. If you are a recent graduate, blame it on school.
“I got tired of those jobs. The bosses weren’t that great and they wanted me to do way more work than they were paying me for.”
Good Answer for Graduates
“Because I was enrolled in college, every semester my needs would change. There would be days that I had classes that took up my nights and weekends, then some semesters where I had a relatively free schedule. At the time, these caused me to jump around, but now that I have graduated I can finally commit to a single employer.”
Good Answer for Working Professionals
“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.”
It’s difficult to have a truly great answer for a “why did you hold so many jobs” question, because even if you had a good reason, employers consider leaving jobs to be a big red X 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.
Take Away Interview Tips
- Try to explain away all of the good reasons that you left your jobs.
- Don’t complain about other employers.
- Try not to make yourself sound fickle.