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How to Answer "Why Have You Changed Jobs So Frequently" Interview Question

How to Answer "Why Have You Changed Jobs So Frequently" Interview Question

During a job interview, you can come across a great variety of question – both easy and hard ones.

If you happen to have frequent job changes on your resume, you are likely to stumble upon a hard one – “Why have you changed jobs so frequently?”

It might seem like a trick question with no correct answer, but that is not the case, and we are here to help.

In this article, we are going to explore the following questions:

  • Why do recruiters ask “Why have you changed jobs so frequently?”
  • What’s the best approach to answer “Why have you changed jobs so frequently?”

And we are going to leave things off with some great example answers.

If you still struggle to get your interview, you might need to tweak up your documents to catch the recruiters’ attention. Check out our Resume Builder, along with our Cover Letter Builder, and make your documents the best they can be.

But if you are ready to learn how to answer “Why have you changed jobs so frequently?” just right, stick around.

Why do recruiters ask "Why have you changed jobs so frequently?"

Before we find out why recruiters ask this question, let’s take a look at what job-hopping means. Job-hopping can simply be described as switching jobs frequently within a short period of time – it can be every year, or as soon as your bond period is over.

Recruiters ask “Why have you changed jobs so frequently?” mainly to avoid candidates who are job-hopping, as they would like a candidate who would stick around in the long term.

Another reason for recruiters to ask that is to make sure that the job you are interviewed for is compatible with your long-term career goals, as well as that you could get along with other employees in the work place.

As this question can show the recruiters the answers to many questions, you need to be really extra careful when constructing your answer.

Best Approach to Answer "Why have you changed jobs so frequently?"

Now that you know why recruiters ask this question, it is time to learn how to get it just right.

All you need to do is follow just a few simple steps.

Do your research

The first thing you need to do is to know what you are up against in your interview.

Carefully read the job description to understand the role and the responsibilities attached to it, and take the time to find about as much as possible about the company’s culture and people.

You should find the specific keywords and phrases the company uses to describe its requirements, and think about your strengths and abilities that would match these requirements.

All that can be really helpful to use when you answer the questions, as you can stir it towards what you can bring to the table if you are chosen for the position.

Explain the reasons for job changes

When it comes to this question, you should be fully prepared in advance.

Take a look at your resume and go through each entry in your work experience section, and make sure you have a specific reason for all job changes there.

Make sure your answers don’t reflect negatively on past employers, as that would only serve against you.

Some of the most common reasons for job changes are connected to completion of a project, company-wide layoffs, or organizational restructuring.

Other completely plausible reasons are relocating to another city, getting a job near your home, starting your own business, or pursuing higher education.

Think from the recruiter’s perspective

One of the most important things about answering this question just right is to step into the recruiter’s shoes for a second.

First of all, don’t be defensive, you are now interrogated by the police, the only reason you need to answer this question is to show the recruiter that you are here for the long run.

And that’s exactly what your answer should show – that no matter what the reason for your frequent job changes is, you are looking for a long-term commitment.

Talk about the future

A great way to stir the focus away from your past jobs, is to focus on the future, and even better – your future with that company.

You need to show that you are excited about the job, and share how your relevant experience and skills can help you succeed with the company and accomplish great team success.

You need to remove any doubt from the recruiter that you might jump to another job in a month.

Be honest

An important thing to do, and not only for this interview question, is to keep it honest.

Often interviewers ask follow-up questions based on your answers, and you would not want to be caught red-handed.

Show your growth

The last thing you need to do is to show that changing jobs had a positive effect on you, and you have learned a lot.

You need to show the recruiter that each new job you took was more advanced and challenging than the previous one, and you learned lots of new things, while strengthening your existing skill set.

However, if you jumped between similar positions, you need to explain how they differed and what different responsibilities you had in the different companies.

Example answers to "Why have you changed jobs so frequently?"

And now, as promised, check out our example answers to "Why have you changed jobs so frequently?"

Example Answer 1:

“I joined the first company while I was still in college. It gave me an excellent opportunity to learn more about full-stack programming. When I finished my Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, I wanted to move on to something more challenging, where I can use all my knowledge and skills. I joined my second company as a senior backend programmer and managed a team of 10 programmers. Although I love my job, I am more passionate about web development, and want to use my skills in that direction”

Example Answer 2:

“Working in my previous company was a real adventure, as it was a start-up and I could work in several areas. However, it also involved putting in lots of late hours, which eventually affected my personal life. My wife and I decided we need to maintain a better work-life balance. That’s why I need a more stable organization that leaves me with more time for my needs and my family. I am excited about the opportunity you offer, as both the position and the company seem to be a perfect match for my skills”

Takeaways

We are all done, now you know how to get the answer “Why have you changed jobs so frequently?” just right.

Just to be safe, let’s do a quick recap of everything you need to do:

  • Do your research – before you head out to your interview, make sure you do all the necessary research about the role, and about the company’s culture. It can always come in handy, no matter the interview questions
  • Explain the reasons for job changing – make sure you have prepared answer for every job changing you have on your resume, and never speak poorly about your past employers
  • Think from the recruiter’s perspective – don’t be defensive when answering this questions, and convince the recruiter that you are looking for a long-term opportunity
  • Talk about the future – you can always stir away the conversation from your past jobs, and point it to your future with the company you are interviewing for
  • Be honest – no matter what the interview questions are, you should always keep it honest, you would not want to be caught red-handed
  • Show your growth – you should always get the best out of your past jobs, which means that you should show how every job helped you gain more skills and develop professionally

Check out our example answers one last time, and nail your interview question.

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Kal Dimitrov
Kal is a resume expert @ Enhancv. He frequently publishes blog posts around resume writing, cover letters & job applications. Kal also runs a Career Accelerator Bootcamp for young graduates.