Job hoppers: Preparing yourself for an interview

In a time not so long ago, jobs were considered a lifelong commitment. People would get jobs within organisations and be expected to stay there until retirement, whether they liked it or not. However, attitudes are beginning to change. Job hopping is on the rise and shows no sign of stopping.

Recent studies show that instead of spending decades working for one organisation, 98% of us Brits are now changing our roles every five years. Millennials are even more frequent with their job hopping, with as many as 43% planning to leave their current roles within the next two years.

However, despite there being a considerable rise in job-hopping over the past few years, there are still employers out there who still view it in a negative light. Regardless of the industry, it’s highly likely that you’ll come across people as you job hunt who consider job hoppers like yourself to be unreliable, unsociable or even money-hungry. But that doesn’t mean their minds can’t be changed.

As a job hopper, you may have to work that little bit harder to convince people that you’re the best person for the job and that you’re not going to leave your new role in a rush. So to help you, we’ve compiled a list of top tips that will help you show off your diverse work history in the best possible light.

Optimise your CV

Many- if not all- interviewers will refer to your CV at some point during your interview, so it's crucial that you tailor it to the role you're applying for and update it before you apply. While it’s important to include all of your job roles and dates on your CV, it’s just as important for job hoppers to showcase all of the experience and skills they have amassed from each specific role. To do this, make a list of all the jobs you’ve had, along with your job responsibilities and the skills you developed during your time in each role. This should make it easier for you to highlight which transferable skills you can bring to this new role and bring them to the forefront of your CV.

We know that it can be tempting to hide the extent of your job hopping during an interview or on your CV, particularly if you’ve done it several times over the years. But employers carry out more background checks now than ever before, so ultimately the truth will out. Rather than destroying the trust of an employer at such as early stage, it’s always best to be upfront and honest. You never know, your integrity could be what helps separate you from your fellow interviewees.

Prepare yourself for difficult questions

If you’ve left previous roles sooner than the one year mark, you can almost guarantee that it will be one of first questions an interviewer will ask you and if you aren’t prepared for it, the interview can quickly become awkward. So it’s imperative that you compile some confident answers to any difficult questions you think may arise before you enter the room to help neutralise any concerns. You might have left a role to pursue a change in career or due to unforeseen family circumstances. Whatever the reason was, always practice your answer before you arrive.

If you can’t provide them with a sufficient answer or reasons why you left a role, this will be a huge red flag and decrease your chances of getting through to the next stage. The key is providing straightforward responses that highlight the positives you’ve gained from leaving a particular role, such as experience or transferable skills, rather than the negatives.

Show the value of your vast experience

Your interviewer will want to know what it is that makes you a better candidate than all of the other people they are going to interview. Your vast experience should be a key part of your answer. Think about the knowledge and experience you’ve gained from your previous employers and consider how you can use this to help this potential employer.

For instance, if you previously worked at a large company and now you’re interviewing at an SME, you’ll have knowledge on various policies and procedures or have first-hand experience using particular software or machinery that the smaller company may be lacking. Being a job hopper itself can also mean that you find it easy to adapt and learn new skills and that you thrive in challenging situations- so don’t forget to highlight these to your interviewer too. These are skills that businesses of all shapes and sizes will always be on the lookout for and find attractive.

By using these tips, you'll not only impress your interviewer but also dispel some of the misconceptions that some people still have about job hoppers. You never know, your next job interview may even be your last! Good luck!

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10th May

Career Advice