Man leaping to illustrate job hopping

Most hiring managers see job hopping on a resume and write it off as a red flag. They worry that a job-hopping candidate lacks focus or loyalty. However, the truth is that people move from job to job for excellent and legitimate reasons. So, when you’re asked about it in an interview, it’s essential to understand their concerns. Address them as best you can. Here are three ways to justify job hopping in an interview.

You love new challenges.

When you address these job hopping questions, be sure that you use clear, direct language, and you accept responsibility for the move. Don’t ever badmouth a former boss, employer, or coworker. Say that the company culture wasn’t right, that you hit the ceiling and needed more challenges, or that you were looking for something more fulfilling. You’ll show that you’re motivated and hard-working and committed to your career. Most employers want to hire people who aren’t satisfied with the status quo and who are interested in learning and growing.

You’re adaptable.

Being able to start and master new jobs must mean that you’re a quick learner and easily adaptable. Focus on all the new skills and lingo you had to pick up to perform your job. Describe the lengths you went through to prepare yourself for your new job. This could mean books you read, online courses you took, or YouTube videos you watched. Ideally, your interviewer will be impressed with your efforts and your commitment to give yourself a leg up in your new job. It’d be even better if you can mention some of the research you’ve already done for the job. It could help to set you apart from the rest of the competition.

You had a personal reason.

Don’t ever lie about a reason that you left a job. Most hiring managers or recruiters will check on that when they call your references. If they find out you weren’t truthful, they’ll question your integrity and credibility. But if you were job hopping because you were ill, moving, caring for a child or sick relative, or because you were pursuing more education or training, explain that. Prospective employers understand that life happens, and many factors are out of your control. They’ll probably even look at your reason—your compassion or ambition—as admirable.

For more tips on preparing for the more difficult questions in a job interview, check out our blog!

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