Hiring managers will often ask uncomfortable questions, and it is important to be prepared with answers that will show them that you are professional. When an interviewer asks why you have had so many jobs, what they are really concerned with is your potential for loyalty. Employers want to hire someone who is dedicated to their company, and having several jobs can give the impression that you will not stay long or give the effort necessary to contribute positively to the organization. It is important to reassure them that you are prepared to commit.
Points to Emphasize
- If you are a recent graduate, explain that you were taking jobs to support yourself while you obtained an education, and that each job taught you something valuable that you can utilize in the position you are applying for.
- Focus on the aspect of gaining experience, relating that you wanted to have a well-rounded set of skills to apply in your career.
- If any of the jobs were classified as temporary, make sure to mention this.
- If you were a bad fit for any of the positions, communicate this by stating that you did not feel that your values and vision matched those of the company, and you are looking for a job that is a better fit.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
- Do not focus on placing blame on each company if you were dismissed, and avoid telling long stories that portray you as the victim. The hiring manager will see you talking about them this way in the future.
- Never say that you grew bored or that you weren't being paid well, even if this is true. This creates the impression that you are a demanding and ungrateful employee.
- Don't make a joke about how you can't stay in one place for very long. This just communicates to the interviewer that they are wasting their time.
This question may make you nervous, so practice your answer ahead-of-time with a friend or family member to help you be more composed in the interview. Here are a couple of ways to answer this inquiry effectively:
I was supporting myself while obtaining a quality education and each job provided me with skills that will assist me in my career.
I spent some time working for several companies that did not share my values. I read your company mission statement and I feel that we are on the same page and share the same vision. I am ready to commit long-term to a position that I feel passionate about.
Taking the time to provide the interviewer with a solid answer will help you land the job.