Author Topic: Have you ever left a job after 2 months? How'd you explain that in an interview  (Read 2913 times)

Secret Stache

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I've got a friend who took a job (Engineering role) that she thought was going to offer more upward mobility, better culture, and money based on interviews with the leadership team.  At 60 days in she's left work crying 3-5 times and has had 3 reviews (15 day - 30 day - 60 day) so far that basically consist of "your work is great but you need to talk more" which has made her feel more isolated.  She's decided that the environment is too toxic and has scheduled some interviews with other organizations. 

What is the best way to address that she just didn't feel like her and the last company were a good fit and the short employment time?  Also, what questions or strategies do you all use to assess the "culture " of a company during an interview process.

Edit:
*This is not her first job out of college.  She has 10+ years of experience with a career between a couple companies.
*She was recruited by this company away from her last job
« Last Edit: February 15, 2018, 11:06:03 AM by Matt »

mm1970

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I've got a friend who took a job (Engineering role) that she thought was going to offer more upward mobility, better culture, and money based on interviews with the leadership team.  At 60 days in she's left work crying 3-5 times and has had 3 reviews (15 day - 30 day - 60 day) so far that basically consist of "your work is great but you need to talk more" which has made her feel more isolated.  She's decided that the environment is too toxic and has scheduled some interviews with other organizations. 

What is the best way to address that she just didn't feel like her and the last company were a good fit and the short employment time?  Also, what questions or strategies do you all use to assess the "culture " of a company during an interview process.
Is this her only job?

If not, just leave it off the resume. 

Tyler

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Crying at a new job is not normal, and she definitely needs to make a change.  That said, I do think that complaining about pay and upward mobility after only a few months at a new job raises a few red flags.  Did she not know her pay when she accepted the job, and are her promotion expectations reasonable?  I'm not saying this is her, but I've known a few young people over the years who thought they should be CEO right out of school and required a reset of expectations once they moved into the real world.  That's going to be a problem anywhere that you're working for somebody else. 

In any case, I've left a job after only three months.  It's not a problem if you handle it correctly.

Standard explanation: "After joining ______ I learned that they value X while I offer Y.  I respect the way they have chosen to run their business, but I am excited to talk to you because I think we might be a better mutual fit."

A few good questions I've learned to ask to assess the culture of an organization are:

- What is your total employee turnover in the past twelve months?
- What characteristics do you most value in employees for this particular role? 
- Tell me about the most difficult project you have personally worked on.  What most frustrated you?  How did you handle it?

That last one is particularly good at disarming fellow non-managers and getting to any core company issues. 
« Last Edit: February 15, 2018, 11:10:34 AM by Tyler »

MrThatsDifferent

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3 ways to approach: keep it and say that upon reflection, the job wasnít the right fit for me so I continue my search to find an organization that I could bring value to; leave it off completely and say you took an extended holiday as part of an adventure; or spin it as a consulting experience that was only meant to be a short time. Yes, the last 2 are lies, so what? Youíre not lying about what you can do, youíre preventing them from having arbitrary reasons to dismiss you. Itís a game, learn to play it.

GuitarStv

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I've got a friend who took a job (Engineering role) that she thought was going to offer more upward mobility, better culture, and money based on interviews with the leadership team.  At 60 days in she's left work crying 3-5 times and has had 3 reviews (15 day - 30 day - 60 day) so far that basically consist of "your work is great but you need to talk more" which has made her feel more isolated.  She's decided that the environment is too toxic and has scheduled some interviews with other organizations. 

What is the best way to address that she just didn't feel like her and the last company were a good fit and the short employment time?  Also, what questions or strategies do you all use to assess the "culture " of a company during an interview process.
Is this her only job?

If not, just leave it off the resume.

+1

Your resume is a propaganda tool used to sell yourself.  Don't put stuff on it that will do the opposite.

mozar

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First of all I wouldn't leave a job for 12k. 15k minimum.  It sounds like she is in high demand. When I was being recruited a lot recruiters rarely asked me why I was leaving. If they did I took it as a sign that they weren't that interested. And to hammer my point about demand I remember talking to one company a couple years ago and the recruiter was being obnoxious. When I told her I was in final talks with 3 other companies she immediately changed her tune and started trying to schedule me for an interview. My resume is full of holes.

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Just don't tell them about the job, simple.

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Just say that you left to take an opportunity that fell through, and that you took some time to refresh in the interim. Easy. And mostly true.

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Just say that you left to take an opportunity that fell through, and that you took some time to refresh in the interim. Easy. And mostly true.

That's quite good!  Personally it would leave me curious and want to know the details, but I would let it go and not press the candidate further.

If they ask what the opportunity was, you could say it was something that a family member had instigated and that it had left a family member in a difficult position. That makes it sound like you're not actually going out looking for other opportunities (and you will stay in the job offered long term), and it will stop anyone asking any more. You don't need to say that the family member concerned was you, and that it left you in a difficult situation!

ChpBstrd

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Just don't tell them about the job, simple.

That's the easy part. 

The tough part is what lie to tell when asked what you were doing those months.  It's especially tricky if you're employed there now and don't want to tell potential employers.
My questions would be:
Why did you leave your last job (the one they left to take secret bad job)?
Did you get fired?
What have you been doing the last few months?

Job searches of 6 months or more are not uncommon for specialized professionals. I wouldn't worry about it. I'd just say "I was looking for this position!". A long bout of unemployment might, however, affect your ability to negotiate from a position of strength.

Bottom line, the longer this job goes on, the harder it gets.

mozar

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"I took a new job and it wasn't a fit" if the recruiter is actually hiring (sometimes they're not) they won't care. Also the old adage that it is easier to find a job while you are still employed probably still applies.