If you’ve had five positions in the last three years, the question about your employment history will definitely come up in an interview. It could be that you’ve had a string of bad luck or moved around in search of your true calling, but prospective employers will still be looking at your resume with one eyebrow raised even if you’re technically strong.
The way to answer this question is to be honest about why you’ve changed so many jobs. Keep it simple and not get too emotional. Do you remember the golden rule that you shouldn’t complain about your previous employer at an interview? The same applies here. Hiring managers are going to be looking out for potential red flags such as you having trouble adapting to new environment, lacking the skills to work with people, or looking for better opportunities the moment a challenge arises. Therefore, avoid anything that would put the hiring manager in doubt.
1. If you’ve had a string of bad luck, be truthful about it. E.g. “I loved working at [tech start-up ABC], but they ran out of funding.”
2. Accentuate the skills you’ve gained. E.g. “I’ve learnt to use XXX technology at Company ABC, and YYY technology at Company DEF. If I’ve stayed on at Company ABC, I wouldn’t have accumulated those additional skills and experience.
3. Say you want to stay for a while. Reassure the interviewer that you’re looking for a long-term fit to allay their doubts further.
To end off the interview, you can offer references whom they can speak to about your strengths and loyalty.
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Stella Li is a Talent Consultant at Evolution Singapore. She loves meeting and interacting with exciting people and enjoys every bit of her recruiting career as she gets to do that every day. Stella’s other passion is food and coffee. Want to discuss your next IT opportunity with her? Just ask her out for a cuppa.
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