How to Spot a Job Hopper in the Interview

You hired someone you thought would make a great employee, but within a few months, you receive the dreaded two weeks’ notice. Oh no! What happened? Did you unwittingly fall for a serial job hopper?

Identifying job hoppers may seem easy. Simply toss any resumes where # of jobs > # of years in a career. However, this formula could result in missing out on talented candidates. People switch jobs for a variety of reasons including company takeovers, layoffs, relocations, contract work, time-related projects, poor career choices, personal issues and individual ambitions. 

A resume does not tell the whole story. Here’s where the interview process comes into play.

Interview Questions to Ask a Suspected Job Hopper

If an applicant has switched jobs frequently, use targeted inquiries to uncover the facts.

Why did you leave your last job, and your previous job?
You want to find out the whole story. Can the candidate easily and confidentially explain their moves? Do reasons such as downsizing fit in with market trends? Does the individual seem reflective and thoughtful when describing why they made changes? Or, do they appear to have made impulsive decisions?

What did you accomplish at your last job, and your previous job?
Even if an employee doesn’t stay with a company long term, they still can make enormous contributions. Discover what they have done in the past. A top performer who only stays for a year or two might be worth the investment.

Why do you think this role is right for you?
An applicant may have left their last job and the one before that because neither turned out to be a good fit. Now, with more wisdom and experience, they have a better idea of what they want. Although this could work to your advantage, proceed with caution. Make sure your candidate has done their homework and carefully considered how this position matches with their goals.   

Would you be willing to commit to this role for one (or two) years?
This is not a foolproof question as an applicant could simply tell you what you want to hear. Nevertheless, ask anyway. Many people will be upfront and sincere. Others may provide subtle clues, such as crossed arms or a delayed response, and thus reveal their true intentions.   

Signs of Job Hopping Ahead

Look for the following red flags signaling trouble.

  • Explanations as to why a candidate left past jobs are vague and/or unreasonable.
  • The candidate cannot provide specific examples of career accomplishments.
  • Previous jobs are unconnected and lack a clear progression.
  • The candidate hasn’t researched your company or the role before the interview.  
  • The candidate complains about past experiences, co-workers and managers.
  • When asked about commitment, the candidate appears hesitant or defensive.

Is Your Company Looking for Reliable and Dedicated Employees?

Connectology can provide a professional advantage when hiring top-level manufacturing talent. Our thorough process delivers candidates who are ready to make an immediate impact on your business. Find your next high performing employee today!