Don’t Hide Negatives From The Interviewer

Q.  I have some turnover in my background that makes me look like a job hopper. Most of the turnover resulted from the company either closing or moving, not me leaving. Do you have any recommendations on how to handle this when asked about it in an interview?

A. Yes, don’t wait to be asked. Regardless of your negative situation you should always address it head on. Bring the issue up before you are even asked. In your case I would say, “From my resume it appears as if I have a lot of turnover. I would like to clarify this as in most cases the company either closed or moved. I never really left the positions.”

Candidates often think that because the interviewer didn’t bring up the issue that they are comfortable with it. This just isn’t correct. It is always better to make it appear that you have nothing to hide. I refer to this as making a preemptive strike.

This is especially true if you have been let go. It is better to discuss the issue on your terms and get your point of view out, than to let the interviewer jump to an incorrect conclusion.

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If you liked this article, please send it to others so they will benefit too. Post it to your Facebook page, Tweet it, or submit it to your LinkedIn groups.

I welcome your thoughts and comments.

Brad Remillard


About the Author

Brad Remillard is a founding Partner of IMPACT Hiring Solutions, co-author of "You're NOT the Person I Hired", and "This is NOT the Position I Accepted". Brad is an award-winning international speaker, retained executive recruiter, and expert on hiring and retaining top talent, and executive job search.


  • By Peter Raeth, May 27, 2011 @ 1:01 pm

    You can achieve considerable success in your career. It is possible to overcome what most people call discrimination, accidents of birth, and late blooming as you continue down the path you prefer. But, you will find that it is not something to be done casually. There are no get-rich-quick schemes, no 90-day wonders, and no labor-free approaches to a successful career. If you want success, you have to reach for it. That reaching takes time and effort: a continuous cycle of studying, learning, working, and producing. In this personal enterprise, you will find great joy and solid employment opportunities.

  • By Carol N., October 7, 2011 @ 8:34 pm

    This article was very informative. I am in a possible position of being let go from a job of only 3 months. My 90 day review was horrific. I had no idea my boss was having issues with my work. I work in a fast-paced marketing department, as I always have, but I’m not fast enough for them. Most employees previously in this position only lasted 90 days. I was given two weeks to improve. If they do let me go, do I list this very short lived job on my resume? Before this job I was with a company for 7 years and was laid off. I was unemployed for only 5 months, and now have been working for 3 months. Do I list the job or just keep it off and let it look like I haven’t been working for 8 months?

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