Interview Question: "Why Have You Changed Jobs So Frequently?"

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published April 14, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

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During a job interview, hiring managers may ask you questions about previous work experience. If your resume has frequent job changes, they may want to know the reason. Learning how to respond to the interviewer's question on frequent job changes can help you ease their concern and show your commitment to the new job. In this article, we discuss why employers ask about changing jobs frequently and how to answer this question, along with examples that can help you prepare your response.

Why employers ask about changing jobs frequently

Employers ask about changing jobs frequently to ensure that the candidates they plan to hire will stay with the company for a while. When your employment history suggests that you've been frequently changing jobs, employers may want to know if the position is compatible with your long-term career goals. They may also ask this question to learn about your views on your past employment and to see whether any of the reasons you mention might affect a new job.

Sharing your viewpoint confidently and honestly with the interviewer can help you earn their trust. Use this opportunity to highlight your skills, interests and abilities, and show your intention to build a long-term career with the company. Assure the interviewer that you can fit into the company culture well and can work successfully with your colleagues, clients and managers.

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How to answer a question about frequently changing jobs

Here are some tips for answering an interviewer's question about frequently changing jobs:

1. Review the job requirements

Review the job description to understand the roles and responsibilities of the position. Research the company to learn more about its work culture and people. Note the specific keywords and phrases the company uses to describe its requirements. Think about the strengths and abilities you have that meet those requirements. You can use this information in your response to show that you fit into the company's work culture and can excel in the position by performing your duties efficiently.

2. Understand the reasons for job changes

Think about why you applied for the position. Take out your resume and review the changes in your employment history. Think about your past jobs, what you liked and disliked about them and what made you move to another job. Try to have a specific reason for all the job changes stated in your resume.

Give reasons that don't reflect negatively on you or your employers. Some of the common reasons for leaving a job may include completion of a project, company-wide layoffs or organizational restructuring. You may also choose to give an external reason, such as relocating to another city, getting a job near your home, starting your own business or pursuing higher education.

3. Think from the interviewer's perspective

Consider how the interviewer may perceive your response. If they're looking for candidates with a long-term commitment, ensure that your response conveys your intention of finding a long-term job. You can also consider linking the changes to your determination and dedication. For example, you can say that you change jobs frequently to take more responsibilities or move to a leadership position.

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4. Focus on the positive aspects of the changes

Employers may look for patterns in your answers. For example, they may try to determine whether you've been consistently negative about your past roles or you've been changing jobs in pursuit of more money. Saying something negative can make them doubt your ability to contribute positively to the organization.

Focus on the positive aspects of your job changes, such as career growth, more challenges or a better learning experience. Assure the interviewer that you left your previous jobs for the right reasons.

5. Talk about the future

Talk about how you can contribute to the new job and help the company accomplish its goals. Show your excitement and passion for the opportunities in the new company. Tell the interviewer what you liked about your past jobs and how those experiences can help you excel in the new role. Refer to specific tasks and responsibilities that match well with your skills and experience. This can help you shift the focus of the conversation from past jobs to your future potential. It also shows that you've properly researched the position before applying.

Example: “I was going through your website yesterday. I noticed that your company is working on a project to develop robots that can replace human servers in large restaurants and eateries. I've always wanted to work on artificial intelligence and have some ideas to contribute to this project.”

6. Give them an honest answer

Based on your response, interviewers may ask you for more details about your job changes. Be honest and give them a direct answer. For example, maybe you plan to pursue higher education after working for a year, so you're looking for a temporary position.

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7. Show progression with each change

Explain how the job changes helped you progress in your career. Talk about the skills and experience you gained from each job. Try to establish that each new job was more advanced or challenging compared to the previous one. If your resume shows that you've been moving to similar or lateral positions, like leaving a sales executive job in one company to join as a sales executive in another, explain how each position had different responsibilities.

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What to include in your response

Consider including the following information in your response:

  • Specific reasons for changing your previous jobs

  • Positive references to your past jobs and employers

  • Information on your relationships with coworkers and managers

  • Details on how your skills support your new career goals

  • Details about your passion and interest in the new job

  • Reassurance that you plan to stay with the company for a long time

  • Information on how you can help the company accomplish its goals

What to leave out in your response

Consider leaving out the following in your response:

  • Negative references to past employers or working conditions

  • Confidential information from your past jobs

  • Lack of interest or commitment

  • Apologies for your frequent job changes

  • Vague reasons for the job changes

  • Giving an impression that you left jobs only for higher pay

  • Lack of commitment to your new job

Example answers

Here are some example answers to the interview question regarding frequent job changes:

Example 1

“I never expected to change jobs so frequently, but it's been an amazing learning experience. In my first job, the company merged with another one, and they removed the position in the new organizational structure. In the second case, the company moved its office six months after I started. The new office was over 25 kilometers away from my home, and I was spending over three hours every day commuting to the job.”

Example 2

“I joined the first company as an apprentice when I was still in college. It provided me with an excellent opportunity to learn about product research and competition analysis. Having completed my Master of Business Association, I wanted to move to a more responsible position where I could directly contribute to the company's market growth. I joined the second company as a senior sales officer and managed a team of 12 sales executives. Although I love this job, I am more passionate about electronic appliances, and want to use my marketing skills in this industry.”

Example 3

“I enjoyed the work in my previous company. Since it was a startup, I could work in several areas. However, it also involved working a lot of late hours. My wife and I were finding it difficult to maintain a healthy work-life balance. I need a more stable organization that leaves me with more time to meet the needs of my growing family. I'm excited to have come across this opportunity in your organization, which seems to be a perfect match for my skills.”

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