How to spin job hopping in interviews?

Interview
New answer on Jun 01, 2021
3 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on May 29, 2021

Dear community, please share some thoughts on my question.

I have been a frequent job hopper and my career path looks like this:

1st job (10 month) -> 2nd job (17 months) -> 3rd job (3 months) -> 4th job (6 months) ->current job (10 months up till now).

The reason why my 3rd & 4th job was so short was because I didn't pass my probation. Just wondering since consulting requires adaptibility and fast learning capability, maybe consulting firms are more open to "job hopping". Please advice on what would be some suggested ways to spin job hopping?

1) Admit that I had switched jobs a few times, but I am clear about my career path now. (I have some solid stories of why I would want to stick to the consulting intdustry. But just worried that this reasoning is too weak.)

2) I seek challenge and steep learning curve. The reason why I left the firm was becasue learning curve was flattening, and I wanted to cultivate more skillsets (This is the real reason of my 2nd, 3rd, and current job. I also have several stories to support this reason.)

Keen to learn from your advice. Appreciate it!

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Adi
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replied on May 29, 2021
Accenture, Deloitte | Precision Case Prep | Experienced Interviewer & Career Coach | 15 years professional experience

Hey,

Job hoping doesnt prove "adaptability" or "fast learning". In fact its the opposite in most cases.

Dont approach this in terms of "spinning it" but rather in terms of what story can you tell that makes sense (no lies!). Consider below points:

  • Do you really need to put job 3 and job 4 or job 3 on your CV? Remove one if you can (perhaps job 3)
  • Explain the job changes in terms of "lack of fit". You made the decision to take the job probably under pressure or not having done proper research etc- you know the reasons, so be honest here! You took a risk but soon realised that the role expectations & values of the firm didn't fit with your aspirations. Talk about what you have learnt from the experiences
  • What exactly have you learnt and improved which puts you in a good position to be ready for the next career move? How can you justify a "good fit" now?

This will require some thinking. Feel free to send me a message if you need help.

My advice will be to stick it out in current company for at least 2 years to stabilise the CV and give yourself time to get the next move right. As you think of the next move, before you say Yes to a job, answer the following key fit questions:

  1. Do I have the right aptitude/skills to offer to the firm?
  2. Do my values align with the firm’s (culture, leadership, ways of working, reputation etc)?
  3. Is the role a good fit with my career aspirations at least in the short to mid-term? One way to gauge this by what responsibility you will be given
  4. Will this job allow me to give my best & be happier?
  5. Are any underlying risks of taking this job manageable? E.g. is there a risk of the company folding in 6-12 months, or is there a risk the role won’t exist in 6 months?

In addition to the interview process, you must do your research to find the information & evidence you need to answer the above questions. Use Social Media, Company Events (e.g. Webinars), LinkedIn & general Networking extensively for this. Once you have answered the above questions honestly, you are then ready to look at other factors such as salary, benefits, location, work life balance etc to work out your final decision.

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Francesco
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replied on May 30, 2021
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ InterviewOffers.com) | Ex BCG | 9Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

I would say job 3 and 4 may be a bit an issue. I agree with Adi that you may consider omitting at least job 3, unless the brand is very strong.

The exact storyline depends on your previous jobs. If there is a progression in terms of brand and responsibilities, I think you can use the second version (got new opportunities or looked for further ways to grow).

If you move to consulting and your previous jobs were not, you will also need a very strong reason on why consulting specifically.

Hope this helps,
Francesco

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Ian
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replied on Jun 01, 2021
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

First, you need to stop doing this! Genuinely, I think this is your "last shot" to prove consistency (either your current job or the next one).

I would not hire you. No matter what. Your resume is scary to me as an employer!

In terms of how you address this, option #1 is the right way. Say you were looking for what you wanted, but now realize consulting is it. I would also consider leaving out firm #3.

Finally, why are you leaving your current job? This seems like a pattern and I'm not so sure you're going to find what you're looking for. Honestly, unless you really hate your current job, why don't you aim for 2 years at the firm? Then you wouldn't have to worry as much about explaining yourself!

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Adi gave the best answer

Adi

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Accenture, Deloitte | Precision Case Prep | Experienced Interviewer & Career Coach | 15 years professional experience
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