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Last time out, we went over the core technical aspects of preparing for an online video interview. Hopefully since then, you’ve gotten more familiar with your chosen video sharing software. Now, let’s take a look at the human, physical side of the equation.
It’s important to understand how you are seen on screen during this interaction. It starts by knowing how to set up your camera, where and how to sit, and how to make yourself look as good as possible. Presenting yourself in the best possible light can be the difference between an online chat and an invitation to a job.
If you can, set yourself up in a quiet space, or at least one that you can close off to the rest of your home to minimize extraneous noise and interruptions. Optimally, the space should have a lot of natural light, as well as some lights that you can control. Try to place your seat so that … (read more: https://hanklondon.com/now-featured-on-the-small-screen-you-part-two/)
Tough Interview Questions and Answers
Every other week or so we pose a question you might get asked during an interview and a suggestion on how you might formulate your answer.
This week’s question:
Why have you held so many jobs?
Twenty years or so ago, it was thought that the average worker would change jobs at least five times by the time they were 40, and change careers five times in the course of their working lives. Today, according to the Department of Labor (at least pre-pandemic) there’s a good possibility that workers will change careers five times before they turn 40. Allowing for variances of age and specific job type, the average wage earner stays with a single employer on average about four and a half years. So when HR interviewers notice that your resume and/or social media presence indicate you have switched jobs numerous times in a relatively short amount of time, they have good reason to ask this question.
Employers place a high value on loyalty, as well as performance, and they want a return on their investment for recruitment and on-boarding, training you and (hopefully) giving you benefits on top of your salary. Depending on where you are in your career – highly seasoned or just starting out – will influence how you approach answering this query.
A younger applicant might have switched jobs because they were learning about themselves and their chosen industry, the areas where they felt they could make the biggest contribution, learn and grow, while trying to define a career path that targets growth for the future. “Job hopping” is less of an issue for those between 24 and 34 because the average stay is about 3 years, and employers take this into account.
A lot of job changing when you get older becomes problematic. No matter how legitimate your reasons for bouncing from one job to another, the transitioning could convey that you are hard to please, have a short attention span, don’t get along well with others, aren’t good at your job, or other negative perspective you’d rather employers didn’t have of you. Removing some of the oldest entries on a resume, or taking off those where you stayed the shortest amount of time, might help reduce the appearance of job-hopping.
So, regardless of the real reason why you’ve held so many jobs, try to convey things in a positive light. Tell your interviewer that you thrive on diversity of tasks and opportunities that were lacking in your previous jobs. Another reason you could provide is that your previous employers didn’t offer you sufficient challenges and growth opportunities.
These reasons for job hopping are ok to use to validate one or two situations, but be careful not to overstate them, because, again, your job switching could be interpreted negatively, and that will not help you get hired. Keep your responses positive and succinct, and try to provide relevance between what you’ve done in the past that leads you to where you are now, applying for that particular job. Define how your past gotten you here. Sure you may have had many previous jobs, but they’ve all led you to this moment in time. Make the most of it, and maybe plan on sticking around awhile!
To see previous installments of
Tough Interview Questions and Answers,
(Most recent are at the bottom of the list.)
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